Second community workshop

Food for thought...

All six Heritage Sandbox teams gathered together for the second work in progress sharing and community workshop last week. This meeting had a particular focus around audiences, modes of visiting and user experiences.

We kicked proceedings off with a short sharp burst of project updates, sharing progress to date and the concerns each team have looking ahead. Here’s a quick round up, but you can read updates in more detail on each project’s journal too:

As their journal entries demonstrate, the City Strata team have been focusing on defining the scope of their project: in terms of aestheticcontent and interface. Deciding to develop apps both for Whiteladies Picture House as a single site of interest and for the wider Castle Park area, rich with cinema heritage, will allow the team to interrogate all of three of these important areas and the tensions between them. I'm looking forward to testing the prototypes as Calvium's app furnace is pushed to the limits by Charlotte's self-diagnosed sense of 'unreasonable wonder.' 

The Ghosts in the Garden are fast emerging with tales of an Italian firework-maker (and his exploding wives), a wounded French Admiral and the local criminal underclass; Steve's archival research has been laid beautifully bare in their journal for us all to enjoy. Meanwhile Rosie has taken up residency in the Pervasive Media Studio and is developing the game dynamic and 'Georgian amplification device' integral to the project's success. With Steve's new-found blogging passion and Rosie's historical investigations there appears to be some serious knowledge exchanging going on. 

With radio interviews and a number of press cuttings, the Future Cemetery project has certainly caught people's attention. I guess that's because its an issue which has meaning for us all, from dinosaurs to Downing Street. The team themselves are brimming with ideas which they will refine through upcoming workshops around narrative development and possible technologies. The central question seems to be how to engage people in thinking about the reality of their own death without scaring them off. That, and what song would you have played at your funeral? 

The Memory of Theatre team update

The Memory of Theatre team have been busy exploring design for interfaces, with suggestions of a smart phone strapped on the participants’ heads as they navigate the venue as a mechanic for raising intrigue and interest in the project. Whilst Cliff Randell at Pyxis Design has been particularly pleased with his open source indoor location solution, which upon initial testing has been very accurate.

The Ivory Bangle Lady team update

Stephany Leach and Christopher Knüselpresented a detailed and insightful look further into the research behind the Ivory Bangle Lady’s burial and objects. With the exciting news that the Yorkshire Museum are clearing a special space to install the original burial stone in light of their excitement for this Heritage Sandbox project.

Meanwhile the Reflecting the Past team are concerned with triggering audience interactions and holding the viewers attention in front of their ambitious plans to build an augmented reality mirror for the Dining Lounge aboard the ss Great Britain.

Prof. Jon Dovey presenting on 'Magic Moments'

Project updates were followed by an energetic introduction to ‘Magic Moments’ by Prof. Jon Dovey, outlining the key constituent areas that need to be considered for Heritage User Experience Design.

After a quick recharge we split up into three groups for our workshop on audiences and user design. Here are some of the discussion points that came up in the three sessions:

Post-it note board

Dan’l Hewitt (Sandbox Advisor)- Online Audiences

- How to manage expectations around what is possible (technically) and feasible (time-wise) within this scheme?

- The layers of information- learning, knowledge and entertainment

- Appealing and compelling content and the mechanisms for games

- How to balance an existing audience’s expectations with an exciting new experience

- Is your outcome a product or a model to be licenced?

Redfront workshop: Service Users & Design


Jessica Monaghan & Rupert Goulding (National Trust)- Modes of Visiting 

- Who are the projects for?

- Demographics and personas the National Trust use to distinguish certain groups that visit their sites.

- Experience design for different groups, how to narrow down from A-Z to A-D

- The importance of getting to know your audience in person, on site

- Using volunteers and front of house staff as assets rather than obstacles.

Rosie Fairchild, Splash & Ripple

Phillippa Rose (Redfront)- Service User Design

- Testing and iterations and how the Sandbox process is essentially one big process of rapid prototyping.

- How to lead audiences from one point of (superficial) interaction to another (deeper) experience.

- Methods for identifying user journeys.

- The importance of mapping all of the physical, virtual and social spaces in which your users operate.