December 10 2014 // Education

Planning a Multi-Generational Interactive

We recently shared the stage with one of our clients, The National 19th Amendment Society, at the annual Iowa Museum Association conference. We presented about Creating Content and Interactives that Connect Generations, sharing our experience of working together to concept and develop a multi-touch table interactive for the Carrie Chapman Catt Girlhood Home and Museum.

The Carrie Chapman Catt Multi-Touch Table chronicles Ms. Catt's life, from her farm background through her relentless leadership in seeing the 19th Amendment ratified across the country. In support of the Society's mission to keep alive the story of women's struggle for the right to vote and participate in government, a primary objective for this exhibit was to bring Catt's incredible story to a wide range of visitors. We did this in three key ways:

  1. We chose multi-touch technology.

    Multi-touch technology is incredible in the way it can draw and hold the attention of audiences of different ages. We chose a multi-touch table for its visual impact as an emerging, unique presentation format. Younger audiences automatically gravitated to the table and begin to explore. For older audiences, once a museum staff member described the interactive as a large iPad, they dug into its content as well, thanks to today's proliferation of tablets and smartphones.

  2. We thought around the exhibit.

    The physical configuration of the museum is just as important to the interactive as the interactive itself. That is why we made sure there was ample floor space to allow multiple visitors to surround the table and interact with its content. From a messaging standpoint, the graphics and artifacts in the area were then designed to support and expand on the table's contents. Solid planning during the interactive's initial development allowed the phased expansion of content as funding became available.

  3. We worked together to build the experience.

    Applied Art has years of experience working with museum staff and content interpreters in the pre-planning stages of a project. In this case, the technology and configuration were determined to best fit the audience, the content, and the overall visitor experience as imagined by the museum staff.

Planning Your Multi-Generational Interactive

Interested in building an interactive exhibit? Applied Art & Technology can help you:

  • Identify your audience - if broad demographics, break content down into what's targeted to each group so it can be presented appropriately
  • Set clear communication/action objective(s) with timelines
  • Understand the type and amount of content anticipated to be available for the exhibit
  • Know the environment - Available space, adjacent exhibits, traffic patterns, infrastructure (electrical, network, sound patterns)
  • Establish your budget range
  • Generate creative options using today's technologies

Written By

Jeanie Jorgensen

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