Designing a digital interface for M-Shed

My team and I were tasked with researching and developing an interactive digital interface for the M-Shed museum in Bristol.


Our design process

Initial research visit
We visited the museum to gather a list of what works well, use the technology, observe visitors interacting with exhibits. We took a behind the scenes tour of the museum and attended a talk on the future plans for the digital exhibits. We decided to focus on Bristol’s cultural graffiti scene.

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Thematic analysis
Using thematic analysis we were able to narrow our focus and come up with codes to make sure that everyone was on the same page. We realised that we needed to focus on:

  • Technologies
  • Space
  • People
  • Context

Body storming
We were taught how to perform body storming by Layla Gaye to help us learn how to communicate our ideas and put ourselves in the shoes of our potential users.

Design brief
After conducting research on the M-Shed we came together to create a design brief to make sure that we were covering:

  • A succinct project summary to make sure we are all on the same page
  • Look at the current situation in the M-Shed
  • Think about why our project is needed and what we hope to achieve
  • What is the problem we are trying to solve?
  • Who will our project impact upon?
  • What are the constraints? How will budgets, ethics etc impact our project?
  • How detailed do we want our final prototype to be?
  • What is our project schedule?

Personas and scenarios
To get a better idea of our target audience I put together a couple of proto-personas and different scenarios of them visiting the museum.

I wanted to make sure that I can cater to their individual needs, and help to bridge the gap between their age difference, while potentially collaborating on an art piece together. This was really helpful in moving forward with our installation design as we now had a use case to consider.

PACT analysis
Following our visit to the M-Shed I put together a rough PACT analysis to make sure that we were still focusing on the people, actions, context and technology within the museum.

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Initial prototype and bodystorm
To implement our final design we spent time researching different technologies and settled upon creating a digital graffiti wall. We then put together a lo-fi prototype so that we could conduct user testing to check that it would be easy to use and have the interactive and educational elements needed. A paper that I read found that museum visitors tend to prefer interactive exhibits with a tactile interface where they can create personal content. This led us to creating ‘graffiti’ cans.

During the bodystorm we realised that the interface worked well but did not feel innovative enough – something that we felt would be important to draw visitors.

Second prototype
To strengthen the connection between the M-Shed and graffiti in the city we re-created a miniature version of the St. Werburghs tunnel that could be placed inside the museum. Inside this representation the art from the real tunnel will be projected inside. Visitors would be able to walk in the miniature tunnel and learn about graffiti artists and add their own art without disrupting the existing art in the tunnel.

Final prototype
Testing our initial prototype we found a few issues that we would need to work (such as issues with the projection casting shadow when people stand in front of it) on and re-created our final prototype.Capture

Click here to visit our design documentation blog.

To view my individual report, group design brief and prototyping report click here.

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