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Sharing museum experiences: an approach adapted for older and cognitively impaired adults

G. Kostoska, D. Fezzi, B. Valeri and M. Baez, Sharing museum experiences: an approach adapted for older and cognitively impaired adults. In Museums and the Web 2013, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web. Published September 30, 2013. http://mwa2013.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/sharing-museum-experiences-an-approach-adapted-for-users-of-all-abilities/

p.1: The paper describes the design process and a preliminary study of a novel interface (digital booklet) for facilitating sharing of museums experiences and specically for helping older adults to participate remotely to museum visits done by friends or relatives. We design in particular for people that for cognitive, physical, or logistic limitations are not able to visit museums, or for which it is very challenging to do so. We performed a user study with a total of 30 older adult participants, 21 in care home (10 of which with signicant cognitive decline), and participants in daily center (all of them without degenerative health problems). Our main hypothesis was that given the right set of tools for supporting the visitor during and after the visit we could increase sharing and reach wider audiences, including older and cognitively impaired adults. We compared the performance between healthy and cognitively impaired older adults on four tasks: open the booklet, browse the booklet, zoom in/out a picture, close the picture after being zoomed in/out. Our results showed that the booklet metaphor was well accepted by almost all the participants and they were able to consume and enjoy the content; the more complex and less intuitive functions like zooming and closing a picture were found to be more difcult for the the cognitively impaired group of participants. Our results can contribute the ongoing research in the field of interfaces for older adults and the challenge of intergenerational communication. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.2: SmartCard (Hornecker & Stifter, 2006) is a card that visitors could buy in the entrance of the museum and allowed them to collect objects or self created data (in this case pictures and videos) in a ‘digital backpack’ -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.2: The tool Rememberer (Fleck et al., 2002), a ubiquitous system deployed at Exploratorium for capturing museum visits, enabled the visitors to collect or ‘remember-this’ objects using an RFID-equipped wristband, and read more detailed info about them on personalized web pages from home. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.2: Multimedia Tour (Wilson, 2004), a guide application developed for the permanent collection at Tate Modern, provided visitors the option to bookmark their favorite objects during their visit. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.2: Myartspace (Vavoula et al., 2009), a service on mobile phones supporting the process of inquiry-based learning, allowed visitors to collect objects by typing in a two-letter code; after the visit, visitors were able to retrieve the bookmarked information on the Myartspace website. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.2: Except for few successful cases, such as the MultimediaTour and Rememberer, with around 40% usage, for the majority of the projects the click-through rate is below 10% (Filippini-Fantoni, 2007). What this suggests is that we have not yet been successful in developing technologies for capturing and sharing museum experiences that are widely accepted and used. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.2: aesthetically the new technologies are designed for younger adults and their features are difficult for elderly relatives to understand -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.3: It is clear that if we are to develop technologies for capturing, sharing and consuming museum experiences that can be widely accepted and used by individuals of different abilities, more attention should be given to the visitors, specially in their relationship with the technology and how this is affected by the context of use and by their own needs and abilities. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.9: Older adults experience difficulties while using technology mainly because hardware and software have not been designed to suit them, and the language the technology speaks to them is unfamiliar and outside of their culture (Leonardi et. al, 2008). -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.16: Our design enabled older adults, including those with cognitive declines, to consume content easily. Across four different tasks, 16 out of 20 healthy participants were able to consume and enjoy the content (using arrows or just swiping), and five out of ten cognitively-impaired participants were able to swipe and read the content. The book metaphor was really well accepted by almost all of the users. This came as a positive result taking into account that the participants were using technology for the first time. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.16: These findings expand the previous work showing similar tradeoffs between the digital and analogue design approaches for interfaces (Garrett, 2010). Future work is needed to examine further metaphors, their effect on intergenerational communication, which metrics can be used for evaluating their effectiveness, and the process of designing them. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014