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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

"Museum professions" iPad/Web game + evaluation


 The iPad game "Museums professions" was offered from December 2010 to May 2011 in the exhibition "le Musée des Confluences dévoile ses réserves" in Lyon. 


Visitors could borrow an iPad for this game and also receive an RFID card. The game was an object hunt in the exhibition. They had to virtually help a beginner journalist, follow his encounters with museum staff (in video), succeed in casual games, find objects in the exhibition and check them with their card to pursue their quest. More than 30 RFID readers were handed out in the exhibition for the most important objects. 


Visitors could at any time interrupt the game, enter their email, and finish it at home.

They could also use a collective multitouch table that interacted with their RFID card: all the objects they had previously checked appeared on the screen and could be manipulated (classification, access to extra content, zoom in ...). Museum guides used these features to organise on demand explications and small workshops.


Proposed demo : During MW2012, we propose to demo the Ipad/Web game and share some technical insights and main users return we got through an evaluation.


Technical insights :

We choose to develop a webapp instead of a native app : Html 5/Javascript technologies offer now features that are very close to a native development and offer a lot of openess and agility. When the tablet game was finished, it was quick and easy to adapt it for the web browser version to allow visitor to finish it at home eventually without a tablet. 

We could also make iterations during the life of the exhibition without the pain of installing a new app. 


Real time interaction between iPads and the objects in the exhibition (i.e. checking RFID readers with RFID cards) were based on a special implementation of web socket technologies. 


A WIFI portal redirected to the webapp, so it was possible for visitors to use their own equipment. 


The main issues came from difficulties with the WIFI roaming: iPads sometimes disconnected when moving from one access point to another.


Raw facts : 

Average play time : 93 minutes

24% of the players that had given their email played the game from home after the visit, and spent another 30 minutes on the game from home.

(Public stats are online here : )



During the demo, we will report the main results from the user studies in term of ergonomic, cognitive and social uses. But we will also focus on the methods learned from integration of the user studies in the evolutions of the webapplication during the project. We defend the idea that evaluation should be run during the progress of an exhibition, not only at the end, and used in an open innovation process.


Demonstration - show your project


Yves-Armel Martin's picture
In charge of Erasme : digital innovation center for culture and education. We are a french living lab working with museums (Musée des Confluences, Musée Gallo-Romain de Fourvière, Musée Gallo-Romain de St Romain en Gal ...) on new uses of technologies.
gvidal's picture
Geneviève Vidal est maître de conférences habilitée à diriger des recherches en Sciences de l'Information et de la Communication à l'Université Paris 13. Membre du LabSic et de la MSH Paris Nord, ses recherches portent sur l’appropriation sociale des technologies de l'information et de la...