Interactive exhibits have become highly expected in traditional museums today. The presence of hands-on exhibits in science centres along with our familiarity of high quality media experiences in everyday life has increased our expectations of digital interactive exhibits in museums. Increased accessibility to affordable technology has provided an achievable means to create novel interactive in museums. However, there is a need to question the value and effectiveness of these interactive exhibits in the museum context. Are these exhibits contributing to the desired attributes of a visitors’ experience, social interactions and visitors’ connection with subject matter or hindering these factors? The research focuses specifically on multimodal interactive exhibits and the inappropriate or appropriate combination of modalities applied in interactive exhibits relative to subject matter, context and target audience. The research aims to build an understanding of the relationships between different combinations of modalities used in exhibits with museum visitors experience, engagement with a topic, social engagement and engagement with the exhibit itself. The talk will present two main projects carried out during the first year of the PhD research. The first project presented will describe the design, development and study of a Multimodal painting installation exhibited for 3 months in a children’s cultural centre for children. The second project presented is an on-going study with the Riverside Transport Museum in Glasgow of six existing multimodal installations in the Transport Museum.
Loraine Clarke is a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde. Loraine’s research involves examining interaction with existing museum exhibits that engage visitors in multimodal interaction, developing multimodal exhibits and carrying out field based studies. Loraine’s background is in Industrial Design and Interaction Design through industry and academic experience. Loraine has experience in industry relating to the design and production of kayaking paddles. Loraine has some experience as an interaction designer through projects with a software company. Loraine holds a BDes degree in Industrial Design from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and a MSc in Interactive Media from the University of Limerick.