thesis book cover

This project belongs to the thesis written for MA New Media Design and Production programme at Aalto University.
[this corresponds to a brief summary of the complete project and thesis]
The initial research question to this research was: How can museums approach the use of mobile devices to enhance visitors' knowledge of their collections during a visit? Along the process, the question changed but the main core about museums approach towards the use of mobile devices to visitors stayed. Hence, The project aim is to propose a digital service that will work as an intermediary between the visitor and the museum. The outcome is the design proposal of a service that gives visitors the required information and also to be a learning tool for further studies.
Research Plan
Firstly, context: to immerse myself on designing for a museum and their visitors I need to know what a museum is, its origin and its sense. then, because of the rise of technology I need to understand what new media is and how it has affected museums. After understanding the contemporary context of museums and their way of working today, it would be necessary to make explicit why a digital solution for my question would be the right chose.
In addition, I decided to work on a case study which allowed me to get reliable information from the real case and get to know how museums manage different approaches of technology. My initial plan considered 3 case studies from different kinds of museums to develop an idea of their need and produce a generic system for them. The "generic system" idea was used in the proposal but requires deeper research.
And finally, as a way of result from the previous research process, I propose a digital service that would work for museums. A digital service that would be open for any museum to use in order to deliver information to its users.
On this project, I took care of the concepts, foundations for the design proposal, interface and usability test. 



Case Study
The case study chosen is a Museum located in the city of Helsinki, Finland. And its aim is to find concrete and reliable information to be used for the creation of the design proposal. Without this research, the design would lack a reliable foundation.
The method used in this research consisted of on-site observation and public information gathering. After it, primary research was done, conducting 3 interviews with different staff members from the chosen museum and also feedback analysis from visitors gathered for over a year. 
As the final step, an overall analysis of gathered information and formulation of findings and insights was done.

Topics worked on interviews

Design Proposal
Now we have understood the context and also seen the needs and practices of a museum that uses technology in different ways. After this, I built a design proposal that I started ideating along with the research.
Core concepts for the design proposal:
open for museums: means open on every detail. I want to every museum no matter their scale, type or budget use this service. And because every museum is different, the proposal takes this into account and gives the opportunity to show their visual identity to users.
accessible for users: easy access for them and the same usability in and outside museums. promoting access to museums abroad for anyone.
cultural source: this service would stick with the idea of a museum, “for the purposes of education, study, and enjoyment."

What this design proposes is to build, on one side, a digital service where museums are able to submit, categorise and showcase their collections to users. On the other side, users would be able to enter, browse and use the museum’s collections from their mobile devices. This service helps museums to overcome the struggle of designing their own interface in addition to work on their archives. They will have a template that allows them to showcase their collections and introduce themselves online to different kinds of public.
The following images show on the left, the museum or admin side workflow. On this side is where the files and all the information is uploaded. And the image on the right shows the user side workflow, where the collections of museums can be explored through mobile devices.

Museums (Admin) side - Workflow
User side side - Workflow
To illustrate the idea, the following images are wireframes that show how the uploading interfaces would look like.
The interface is meant to be as simple as possible in order to provide a smooth use and not overwhelm users with components that would lead to lead to an unsuccessful use for the whole team in charge.
The following images are wireframes for the screens on the users' side.
This proposal offers to every museum to customise every information and visual components on the wireframes presented. The proposal includes a certain amount of colours for them to edit and make the visual outlook on the user side with the museum's identity. 
Home screen
By way of illustration, the proposal was tested with the information and some images from the Helsinki City Museum.
This correspond to a brief summary and showcase of the project. 
For more information please contact me.

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