Visitors of all ages flock to the Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley to engage with cutting edge science. So when this hands-on learning center asked the agency where I worked to reimagine their museum experience using location-enabled devices, I felt inspired. The challenge was to create an interactive and social experience that would occur in and out of the museum.
Who visits The Tech, and what do they expect from a museum? After an in-depth research phase that included stakeholder interviewers, competitive analysis and user interviews, I discovered that an interest in technology does not mean digitally savvy. Our product would have to be as intuitive to a young child on a field trip as it would be for a gadget-obsessed dad visiting from out of town.
Many of the museum's exhibits have interactive components that take photos, videos or monitor experiments, so our system would need to share visitors' activity. Through user research, we also discovered that visitors want to track group members and plan trips. To develop these features, I created two sets of prototypes on Axure: one for a responsive website and another for a kiosk touchscreen. I conducted user tests after every sprint and iterated on the findings.
Primitive Spark built a new interactive system for The Tech Museum, dubbed MyTech, that fully integrates a responsive website and kiosk touchscreens into a delightful, intuitive experience. The museum map highlights exhibits not yet seen and tracks friends in the museum using location-based RFID technology. Users can plan trips, schedule events and share itineraries to ensure maximum fun.