The Elements of Visitor Experience in Post-Digital Museum Design

Marco Mason*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

How museums see digital has changed and, as a result, museum design practices have changed. In a world in which digital dimensions have become naturalized in our way of thinking, digital and physical dimensions are intertwining. Professor Ross Parry describes this key moment with the concept of the post-digital museum, defined as: a transformation that sees digitality becoming bounded into museums’ missions, structures, and practices. It is a new paradigm that does not separate the digital experience into something different from the overall museum experience. The term “post-digital” can be defined as a response to the entanglements of media, approaching the design of digital as indistinct from other, non-digital aspects. In the last decade the interest has increasingly shifted toward communication projects designed to enhance the museum visit through hybrid digital/physical experiences. This article takes part in the discussion by exploring how the integration of different design elements can support the design of museum information spaces in which digital and physical dimensions are intertwined. Through the analysis of exhibition projects, we propose a conceptual tool that integrates a series of design elements that are articulated by interrelated areas, which are located at different “levels of design”—from the more abstract level of experience design, to interaction design and information architecture and to the granular level of interface design. The contribution of the conceptual tool we propose lies in the fact that designing the visitor experience for hybrid exhibition spaces entails a complexity that requires the orchestration of different elements. By considering various design elements and their relationships, our framework can facilitate design decisions by systematically integrating analogical and digital dimensions through a common conceptual tool as a frame of reference for all the relevant elements involved in the design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalDesign Principles and Practices
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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