Scaffolding the Next Wave of Digital Visitor Interaction in Museums

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Over the last ten years the possibilities for engaging in dialogue and participation with museum visitors have been greatly improved by developments in digital technologies. Throughout the world museums are experimenting with inclusive and participatory digital projects that can enhance the museum visitor experience. Many of these projects are unique and creative in their use of cutting edge technology, and in their search for finding new ways to reach differentiated groups of users. However, building on insights from user studies at a Danish digital museum installation, this paper also suggests that when designing for user interaction and participation, museums must carefully consider the complexities of user participation with new technologies. If the design and conceptual frame becomes too complex, it can actually limit the intended visitor experience with the museum subject matter. By combining insights from communication and design theory with conceptual models for scaffolding the museum visitor experience, this paper uses a Danish digital museum case called the WALL created by the Museum of Copenhagen to consider the special implications of designing technology for museum visitor interaction, and suggests ways digital, interactive and participatory installations can be improved to support more meaningful museum visitor experiences.
TidsskriftThe International Journal of the Inclusive Museum
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)9-24
StatusUdgivet - 2013
Udgivet eksterntJa

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