Engaging families around museum exhibits: Comparing tangible and multi-touch interfaces

Michael S. Horn, Amartya Banerjee, David Bar-El, Izaiah Hakim Wallace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Over the last decade, large multitouch displays have become commonplace in museums and other public spaces. While there is preliminary evidence that exhibits based on tangible technologies can be more attractive and engaging for visitors than displays alone, very little empirical research has directly compared tangible to large multitouch displays in museums. In this paper, we present a study comparing the use of a tangible and a multitouch tabletop interface in an exhibit designed to explore musical rhythms. From an observation pool of 791 museum visitors, a total of 227 people in 82 groups interacted with one of the two versions of our exhibit. We share the exhibit design, experimental setup, and methods and measures. Our findings highlight advantages of tangible interaction in terms of attracting and engaging children and families. However, the two exhibits were equally effective at supporting collaborative interaction within visitor groups. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for museum exhibit design vis-à-vis visitor engagement and learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference, IDC 2020
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages556-566
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450379816
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 21 2020
Event2020 Interaction Design and Children Conference, IDC 2020 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 21 2020Jun 24 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference, IDC 2020

Conference

Conference2020 Interaction Design and Children Conference, IDC 2020
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period6/21/206/24/20

Keywords

  • exhibit design
  • informal learning
  • interactive tabletops
  • multi-touch displays
  • museums
  • tangible interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

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