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Exploring the Potential of Digital Lables

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Exploring the potential of interactive digital labels. We will present a case study of a project in the new IWM ‘A Family at War’ exhibition which uses digital touchscreens, mobile interpretation and an online presence to encourage audience interaction and debate. The project raises issues about incorporating visitor interpretations into object labels, curator moderation, multiple interpretations of objects, sharing message making with visitors and taking new approaches to exploring sensitive subjects. The speakers are particularly interested in hearing the delegates’ response to the project and its aims.

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Exploring the Potential of Digital Lables

  1. 1. Exploring the potential of interactive digital labelsVisitor voices, moderation and social interpretation Image: IWM Malindine E G (Lt) Cat no. TR 455
  2. 2. What is social interpretation?
  3. 3. Image: EPH 3268 Image: D 12847
  4. 4. Image: Art.IWM PST 8363
  5. 5. What SI does is change the dynamic between curators and visitors
  6. 6. How we did it at IWM
  7. 7. Give them something to talk about..
  8. 8. Title prompt: Is it a crime to be wasteful in a time of war?Object title: Squander Bug Air Rifle Target, EPH 4611Initial prompt: Propaganda is designed to make you behave in a certain way. Do you know when you are beingmanipulated?Extended text:This strange-looking creature was designed to make you think twice and feel guilty about spending money onthings you did not really need.The Squander Bug was a wartime cartoon character intended to discourage waste and over-spending. A hairy,evil-looking character, covered in swastikas and with a forked tail and a certain facial similarity to Hitler, theSquander Bug was created by illustrator Phillip Boydell, who worked for the National Savings Committee.From 1943 the Squander Bug featured heavily in the National Savings Committee’s poster campaigns. He wasoften shown whispering into shoppers’ ears, trying to persuade them to spend their money on luxuries andfrivolous purchases, rather than saving their money or investing in National Savings Certificates.The government wanted people to save their money rather than spend it on consumer goods, as this wouldhelp to keep inflation levels down. Higher inflation would make all of the materials which the country had tobuy to fight the war (suggest adding an example here as it’s not too clear, so ‘such as ...’) much more expensive.By 1943 there were nearly 300,000 savings groups in Britain and individuals were saving approximately aquarter of their disposable incomes. However, the popularity of saving was not only due to governmentcampaigns. Rationing and restrictions on the production of luxury goods meant that there were far less thingsin the shops for people to buy!
  9. 9. What works?• Planning it in• Make it easy to use• Tell your staff• Gardening
  10. 10. What didn’t work?
  11. 11. The challenges at IWM• Stakeholder buy in• Post-moderation is still scary• Expensive• Digital barriers• School groups• Tech issues
  12. 12. ..and content
  13. 13. Does it have to be digital?
  14. 14. Things to think about• Why digital?• Its not about the technology its about the experience• Cost benefit analysis• Know your visitors
  15. 15. The simple things..
  16. 16. Those Hints and Tips Again• Keep it simple• Know your visitors• Its only as good as the content you have.• Its not about the technology its about the experience
  17. 17. Jane Audasjane@janeaudas.com@ShelfappealClaire Rossclaire.ross@ucl.ac.uk@claireyross Image: www.shelfappeal.com