The evaluation of museum engagement: User Centred Design principles and the development of audience-focussed interpretation
This AHRC-funded PhD studentship is based at the University of Warwick, in collaboration with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
The studentship will focus on the translation of product evaluation technologies developed within the fields of manufacturing and engineering to the evaluation of exhibitions, displays and engagement activity within museums and the broader culture and heritage sector. It will examine both traditional ‘glass case’ displays and digital technologies.
To date, very little work has been undertaken on the determination of best practice for a number of emerging technologies that look set to revolutionise the way that museums present their objects and materials to museum visitors. Such technologies, including 3D printing, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), are becoming increasingly common in museums as a novel way of presenting content to visitors, but little research has, to date, taken a rigorous approach to analysing how these technologies influence the museum visitor experience, how welcome they are, and their impact on learning for visitors.
The project thus has the capacity to develop and share best practice in relation to the application of User Centred Design to museum displays and exhibitions, and to ascertain best practice within emerging visualisation technologies.
The studentship will be jointly supervised by Prof. Mark Williams at WMG, The University of Warwick and by Prof. M Paul Smith at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.