IPES Museum Learning Project: Continued prototyping and user study

The IPES Museum Learning Project prototype has been substantially improved and almost ready for the first deployment since the last update. We are preparing to use the prototype in the Florida Museum of Natural History for an observational user study. We will be exploring the ways that users interact with the prototype to discover ways to make a better interactive exhibit. The current prototype supports the standard touchscreen gestures: tap, swipe, rotate, pinch, zoom, etc. and displays information about ocean temperatures. The current visualizations show two different types of maps: a map depicting the baseline temperature of the world (as seen below) and a map depicting the differences from baseline. We have used observations collected at the Oregon Hatfield Marine Science Center (we’d like to thank the Cyberlab project under direction of Dr. Shawn Rowe) to create this initial prototype. The goal of our observational study is to learn more about general interactions from museum visitors and specifically, discover patterns that support further exploration of the content. From these observations, we can create design insights to support optimal interaction and better learning from large-scale displays in museum contexts.

I am a 2nd year Computer Science student at the University of Florida. I am thoroughly enjoying being able to work on the prototype and program features and gestures that will directly influence the way that users interact with the exhibit content. It will also be an exciting experience designing and running the user study, and I am looking forward to learning more about this aspect of research.

Click here for a picture of the visualization
Courtesy: NASA Earth Observations, Imagery processed in collaboration with Gene Feldman and Norman Kuring, NASA OceanColor Group.

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