After the first round of research, I gained better understanding of the visitor profiles, the information needs of the visitors, and visitor behaviors in the exhibit spaces. One of the key findings is the viewing experience is vital to the exhibit space, by enhancing which, visitors and museum can both benefit intellectually and emotionally.
Based on the findings, I decided four directions for further research and prototype.
First, visualize the contextual information in the space to help build understanding of individual artwork as well as to help visitors navigate the space more smoothly.
Second, design for in-depth information inquiry. Expert visitors have different information needs, which is not fully satisfied with current informational tools(labels, audio guides, touch screens, etc.), and thus I am looking into new approach of providing multi-layers of information to visitors with various information needs.
Third, design the environment to be able to react to the visitors in a way that could enhance the viewing of artworks and information.
Fourth, explore the possibility of information living beyond the exhibit space into daily life.
It’s also time that I should revisit my thesis statement to compare my original direction and the current four directions. I rethink about the opportunity that I am looking into, my thesis topic and the goal of the project as below.
In the viewing experience in museums, labels are such an important part that, according to my research, most people would read them. They provide visitors with general information as well as expanded information. They work, to some extent, but I also see the possibility of new types of information presentation to enhance this viewing experience. For example, the information they could provide is limited by the size of the paper while some expert visitors would be willing to learn more; the information they provide is pre-canned to fit for all visitors which is mission impossible. Also, it’s interesting to explore how labels or other informational tools could sustain visitors’ interests when they are looking at the artworks.
My thesis is to explore new approaches to enhance viewing experience that leads to satisfying experience as well as knowledge gain within and outside of the exhibit space.
The goal of my thesis is to provide visitors with enhanced viewing experience via new approaches, including visualization of the contextual information, different levels of information inquiry for visitors with various level of appreciation, responsive physical space and information in daily life.