Awe or Empathy, Fast or Slow? Articulating impacts from contrasting mobile experiences

Paper

Dafydd James, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Wales, Graham Davies, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, United Kingdom, Jenny Kidd, CARDIFF UNIVERSITY, Wales, Allie John, yello brick, United Kingdom

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales has piloted two very contrasting approaches to the use of mobile technology in two geographically and contextually different museums. Olion/Traces is a bilingual storytelling audio app that takes visitors on a journey around St Fagans National Museum of History, developed in partnership with Cardiff University and yello brick as a playful and transgressive narrative, revealing fragments of fact and fiction inspired by St Fagans. At National Museum Cardiff we are piloting a technology first for UK museums: Museum ExplorAR; an Augmented Reality, trilingual, self-led mobile experience providing visitors with a ‘wow-factor’ means of delivering new interpretation.

While these two projects are very different in their outputs, their approach draws some interesting comparisons. They were both projects that were given space and trust to allow ideas and fresh thinking to emerge, with the visitors at their core, rather than perceived Museum needs. This paper will explore how the different design approaches have led to a more experimental culture for digital experiences, setting out lessons learnt that can be of use to large and small organisations alike.

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