Museum Experience Design

  • Updated March 27, 2023
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So what is museum experience design? Museums have the ability to captivate visitors and create “dynamic exhibitions and provide rich learning environments” (Museums and Experience Design 2011), while generating a relationship between visitors and artefacts. What if I told you that museums could completely transform the way artefacts communicate a narrative and create a wider ongoing storytelling experience through new digital technologies. Digitisation to enhance museum experiences, will allow artefacts to be better understood by visitors more easily and establish a connection with visitors that continues even after leaving they leave the museum.

Before getting to know the technologies involved in museum experience design, we must understand what the term cultural heritage actually means. Cultural heritage is strongly connected to the conservation of artefacts, it implies a shared sense of belonging to the history of communities and cultures in the past, the present and for the future (Elena Franchi, n.d.). Museums that present cultural heritage through its artefacts help in “encouraging dialogue between generations, of cultural objects or traditions” and preserving the historical background of these artefacts to transfer ongoing knowledge. Through digital technology, museums have the ability to transform into hybrid spaces that integrate the lives and stories of artefacts and characters. According to Falco & Vassos, visual and multimedia communication, already existing museums, can be transformed through Interaction Design, Interactive Storytelling and Artificial Intelligence (Falco and Vassos 2017). Museums now are changing from the traditional role of merely just presenting artefacts and being collection-centred, to being digitised, community centred and using modern technology to reveal meanings and relationships of cultural heritage (Oakland and West 2013).

It’s important to note that the role of visitors in museums has significantly changed. Dal Falco & Stavros Vassos suggest that, visitors are said to be the artworks themselves, as they integrate with the artefacts “through physical relationships”. With modern methods of technology incorporated in museums, visitors are now able to re-interpret and re-experience museum artefacts through interactions. An example of this technology includes the use of mobile devices and online applications, rather than traditional audio guides, that help create additional dialogue and participation between visitors and artefacts. Complex data about artefacts can be transformed into understandable information through these applications.

So how do these mobile applications help? Through a study by Tallon in 2013, 35% of museums had already incorporated mobile applications and 34% were planning to offer it. This created a level of personalization between visitors and the museum and created an ongoing storytelling experience that continued even after they left. Many online applications that incorporate conversational interfaces such as Facebook, Messenger, Skype and WhatsApp have now transformed into automated chatting programs or (chatbots) that incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning to allow users to solve a particular need. In museums, visitors can use this to find information related to artefacts and it will promote museum communication and increase learning potential for visitors.

Other forms of museum experience design is interactive design. Interactive design incorporates modern computing methods such as “Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Embedded Computing, and Gesture Control” (Falco and Vassos 2017), to promote digital communication within artefacts and visitors. This from of interactive storytelling will help increase visitor interest and offer new ways for them to be immersed in a hybrid physical and digital space. In combination with regular information displayed near artefacts, there can also be “virtual reconstructions, on-site gaming scenarios” and shared images, and videos presented on social media. Using digital media like the following, is said to increase visitor attention and grow participation among museum visitors.

The last aspect of museum experience design is conveying branding identity for museums in a digital age. What is branding identity you may ask? A major part of strengthening the identity of museums is being aware of what strategies to incorporate when trying to build a relationship between visitors and artefacts. With the main role of museums being to transmit knowledge to the audience, its critical to “exploit the functions offered by new digital media”. Not only should artefacts be conserved through use, but museums must find innovative ways to transmit this knowledge through design elements, communication design, the way the museum experiences is delivered and other graphics. Branding identity for a museum, “serves as an interface between the museum space, artefacts and visitors” and with implemented modern technology, visitors can be immersed in both the physical and interactive world.

What does it come down to? Museum experience design is essentially reinterpreting and re-experiencing artefacts through implemented technology. Exploiting the functions offer by digital media such as interaction Design, Interactive Storytelling and Artificial Intelligence allows visitors to build relationships with the artefacts to create an ongoing storytelling experience.

Cite this paper

Museum Experience Design. (2021, Jan 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/museum-experience-design/



How do I get experience in a museum?
One way to get experience in a museum is to volunteer or intern at a local museum. Another way is to take museum studies courses or participate in museum-related clubs or organizations in college.
What is good exhibition design?
Exhibition design is the process of creating physical spaces that support the experience of encountering artworks. Good exhibition design creates a balance between the artwork and the space, and guides the viewer through the exhibition in an engaging way.
What makes a great museum experience?
What makes a great museum experience is the ability to learn about different cultures and the history of the world. A great museum experience is also the ability to see some of the greatest works of art.
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