The medium for the research was an exhibition, at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, based on mediaeval manuscripts documenting the 100 Years War.
The central interest of this project is the process of designing for personalisation, especially personalisation of experience. To provide an environment for a social investigation, the team installed interactive "waypoints" in the exhibition which will help people attend to the narratives and forms of engagement that will suit them. Waypoints will recognise individual visitors, offer choices, record their decisions and actions to build up a record of the visit that will inform the next waypoint about that visitor's interests and guide them onward in their visit. We also looked at how the process can be set up to cause interaction between visitors, rather than just a private experience, most research in the past has investigated the individual experience of personalisation rather than its social dimension.
The research project had two main parts: A nine month creative design project to design and build the waypoints, including a programme of user testing that will support the design process itself and our thinking about the audience research that will be done in the second part.
This was followed by a six month programme of investigations in the exhibition itself, observing and interviewing visitors to the exhibition and setting up experiments in which different communication strategies are tested.
Contact: Serge Sharoff