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Understanding User eXperience aspects in Cultural Heritage interaction

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Understanding User eXperience aspects in Cultural Heritage interaction

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In recent years, User eXperience has became a rather popular research field for services or products development. To meet the high user expectations, designers tend towards bringing users into the design process on creating a new product or service, in an attempt to understand and then satisfy efficiently users' needs. This paper analyzes users' requirements, proposes methods to enhance user modeling and describe the interaction process between users and Cultural Heritage applications and products. Particularly, our research focuses on giving users the opportunity to develop a strategic and imaginative roadmap that can help them define their experience, in order to achieve exploitation and sustain-ability. To achieve this, we analyze the integration of new technologies to the whole lifecycle of cultural data in order to elucidate how important is the use and re-use of content destined to be "seen" to existing and new physical and digital audiences, hence open to all possible platforms.
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Understanding User eXperience aspects in Cultural Heritage
interaction
Markos Konstantakis
Department of Cultural Technology and Communication
Mytilene, Greece
mkonstadakis@aegean.gr
John Aliprantis
Department of Cultural Technology and Communication
Mytilene, Greece
jalip@aegean.gr
Alexandros Teneketzis
Department of Cultural Technology and Communication
Mytilene, Greece
alexandrosteneketzis@gmail.com
George Caridakis
Department of Cultural Technology and Communication
Mytilene, Greece
gcari@aegean.gr
ABSTRACT
In recent years, user experience has became a rather popular re-
search eld for services or products development. To meet the high
user expectations, designers tend towards bringing users into the
design process on creating a new product or service, in an attempt
to understand and then satisfy eciently users’ needs. The aim
of this paper is to analyze users’ requirements, propose methods
to enhance user modeling and describe the interaction process
between users and Cultural Heritage applications and products,
giving the latest the opportunity to develop a strategic and imagi-
native roadmap that will help them dene their vision and a map
for the future of how they’re going to achieve it, in order to achieve
exploitation and sustainability.. To this end, we try show the im-
portance to incorporate new technologies to the whole lifecycle
of cultural data in order to elucidate how important is the use and
re-use of content destined to be "seen" to existing and new physical
and digital audiences, hence open to all possible platforms.
CCS CONCEPTS
Human-centered computing
;
Human computer interac-
tion
HCI design and evaluation methods;
HCI theory, con-
cepts and models;
KEYWORDS
User experience, user interfaces, cultural heritage, user require-
ments,digital strategy, sustainability
ACM Reference Format:
Markos Konstantakis, John Aliprantis, Alexandros Teneketzis, and George
Caridakis. 2018. Understanding User eXperience aspects in Cultural Heritage
interaction. In Proceedings of 22nd Pan-Hellenic Conference on Informatics
(PCI’18). ACM, Athens, ATH, Greece , 5 pages.
1 INTRODUCTION
User Experience (UX) is considered a rather intriguing research
eld as a widely acceptable and universally recognized term in the
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Human - Computer Interaction but at the same time it lacks a clear
denition [23]. UX can be described as a multidimensional concept
that covers all the research on designing, studying and evaluating
the events that characterize user’s behavior during his interac-
tion with a service, a product or a system. UX is a consequence of
a user’s internal state (behavior, expectations, needs, motivation,
etc.), the characteristics of the designed system or product (com-
plexity, purpose, usability, functionality, etc.) and the context (or
the environment) within which the interaction occurs (e.g. organi-
zational/social setting, meaningfulness of the activity, voluntariness
of use, etc.) [18].
User Experience has gained increased popularity in recent years,
particularly due to the fact of the user-centered design, the tendency
to bring user into the design process on creating a service/product.
Understanding user needs and requirements is critical to the suc-
cess of interactive systems, with multiple benets to be derived
from users’ prole analysis, including increased productivity, en-
hanced quality of work, reductions in support and training costs,
and improved user satisfaction [27]. It is also important though
not to focus only on the service we intend to design, but take into
consideration the interaction method and the work environment
that hosts this interaction around.
In the following sections, we describe user experience aspects, such
as interaction and evaluation, and we focus on Cultural Heritage
applications. Furthermore, the semantic representation of user’s
prole is being introduced, while also we analyze user’s interac-
tion in 3D environments, regarding Virtual and Augmented Reality
applications (VR/AR).
2 RELATED WORK
MultiMatch project [29] presents a detailed user requirement anal-
ysis which will provide input for the denition of the functional
specications of the MultiMatch system prototype. One hundred
person-to-person interviews were conducted with domain experts
in order to collect their opinions and needs. The interviews were
conducted mainly in a face-to-face mode using a questionnaire, and
backed-up by a set of scenarios and a vision document in order to
give the respondents an idea of the proposed system functionality.
The nal result was a subset of those requirements which seemed
to represent the major needs of the user groups studied and which
also matched the project vision.
PATHS [14] is exploring the use of "paths" or trails as a way of
PCI’18, Nov. 2018, Athens, Greece Konstantakis et al.
enabling users to navigate their way through large and complex
collections and the use of a range of visualization techniques to
enhance their experience of using digital libraries. A mixture of
methods was used to gather information about potential users of
the PATHS system and their requirements including an online ques-
tionnaire, face-to-face interviews with expert users and workshops.
In ToARist [33] a novel and functional tourism app requirements
analysis conducted through a synthesis of domain analysis, tourist
observation and semi-structured interviews. Through four rounds
of iterative development, users test and rene the app. The nal
product evaluated by 20 participants, who engage in a tourism
task around a UK city. Users regard the system as usable but nd
technical issues can disrupt AR.
3 CULTURAL USER EXPERIENCE AND
REQUIREMENTS ANALYSIS
User requirements research methods are great at producing data
and insights, while ongoing activities help get the right things done.
Notwithstanding some enthusiastic catalysts for progress, a lack of
understanding and a fear of change in the status quo from some, has
the potential to block ambition and hinder positive developments
in the future. Ongoing URS activities can make everyone’s eorts
more eective and valuable.
At every stage in the design process, dierent URS methods can
keep product- development eorts on the right track, in agreement
with true user needs and not imaginary ones. User research can be
done at any point in the design cycle. The evaluation of the cultural
visitors’ experience is a crucial part. In recent decades, studies in
cultural spaces have been revolutionized by the change of direc-
tion and the methods used to study the cultural spaces themselves.
There are various methodologies available to support such research:
qualitative, quantitative, experimental, grounded theory and many
others. The choice of methodology to be used in every research
project is based on the scope and aspects of the research itself.
In addition, the choices of the methodology used must also be in ac-
cordance with the components that will be evaluated. To date, there
are various evaluation methods available for museum educators,
researchers and curators, such as formative evaluation, summative
evaluation, and front-end evaluation [21].
Hassenzahl and Tractinsky suggest that user experience, in contrast
with usability, put emphasis on positive human factors (such as
positive emotions) as an outcome of interaction with the system. In
addition, they have identied three primary aspects that distinguish
between usability and user experience [18], as illustrated in the
Figure 1.
According to Hassan [17], neither usability nor user experience
alone can determine if the product meets user’s needs and goals or
can guarantee good and satisfying user experience as well as win-
ning user’s loyalty to keep using the product. They argue that these
three classications of the relationship between user experience
and usability (1) usability is a part of user experience, (2) usability
is a user experience measure, and (3) usability and user experience
complete each other, all can describe the relationship between the
usability and user experience. In summary, usability can be seen as
a subset of user experience and we consider it as the heart of user
experience. Usability and user experience complete each other as
Figure 1: Usability and UX aspects.
shown in the below gures, in which we summarize the relation
between usability and user experience.
Figure 2: Usability and UX relationship summary.
4 USER MODELING AND SEMANTIC
REPRESENTATION
Cultural institutions are primarily about conservation and preser-
vation of art and artefacts, which communicates a proprietorial and
prohibitive sense of ownership. In contrast, several newer galleries
explicitly disavow this impression of private property, and insist
on communality. Furthermore, they seek to convert their cultural
heritage information in forms that can be displayed, exploited and
highlighted widely. To achieve this, they opt to construct forms of
structured data and linked them to the Semantic Web. Structured
data can benet both the institution and the wider community by
expanding the semantic web and establishing an institution as a
trusted source of high quality data [28]. They have many drawbacks
though, as the heterogeneity of cultural heritage data and the inter-
connection of dierent sources around the world are considered
challenging.
Ontologies are used to describe shared and common understanding
of some domain that can be communicated between both people
and application systems [16]. In general, ontology can be dened
as a linguistic artifact that denes a shared vocabulary of basic
concepts for discourse about a piece of reality (subject domain) and
Understanding User eXperience aspects in Cultural Heritage interaction PCI’18, Nov. 2018, Athens, Greece
species what precisely those concepts mean [20]. CIDOC CRM is
the leading ontology on Cultural Heritage domain and museums
that facilitates the integration and exchange of heterogeneous cul-
tural heritage information [13], while also it has been the base for
extensions development in order to meet the needs of specialized
elds and tasks [30]. To make the most of this opportunity, key
questions need to be answered about what you’re trying to achieve
and the impact that you want to make.
Meanwhile, user prole and interests are considered crucial for a
constructive Cultural User eXperience (CUX). Cultural institutions
seek to lter the increasing amount of their data in order to display
the most appropriate, thus exploiting their CH information in the
most advantageous way for each of their visitors. An accurate rep-
resentation of a user’s interests, generally stored in some form of
user prole, is crucial to the performance of personalized search or
browsing agents [32]. A semantic representation of user’s prole
and needs could lead to more ecient and accurate user modeling
methods, which then combined with the structured data of the CH
institutions, would result to more complete and substantive person-
alized user experience. This strategic thinking needs to be shared
with sta and delivered through tangible actions and decisions. At
the end of the day, this is a way to build a successful brand, to
translate art into stories and myth, in order to accumulate meaning
through consumption by the audiences and succeed sustainability.
5 ADAPTATION AND PERSONALIZATION
One of the major drawbacks that guides and applications face in
Cultural Heritage is the problem of overwhelming users with a vast
amount of data, an issue that is known as information overload
[31]. With the extensive use of handheld mobile devices that feature
limited resources (small screen, low capacity battery) and at the
same time the integration of new technologies that increase the
available data for users, such as the Semantic Web, the information
overload has escalated and new methods that lter data have been
proposed. One of the most ecient ways to handle this issue is by
ltering information based on user prole and interests.
The use of personalization technologies has become very com-
mon in cultural institutions, which provide users with personalized
guides that enhance their cultural experience [25]. Personalization
of cultural heritage information requires a system that is able to
extract the features that characterize each user, such as prior knowl-
edge, interests, purpose of visit and personal information, as well
as contextual aspects, then adapt the available information to the
above aspects and deliver it in the most suitable way [
1
]. However,
multiple issues like the cold start problem, the diversity of the vis-
itors (each user could be a unique persona) and the ineciency
of personalization in case of a group of visitors, are still yet to be
addressed eectively [22].
6 USER INTERFACES AND 3D INTERACTION
User interface (UI) is the layer through which users can commu-
nicate with the computers. The UI layer translates user’s inputs
and actions to equivalent and unique commands for the computer,
which then displays the outputs / results in a way user can under-
stand and interact with them. User interfaces based on the tradi-
tional WIMP metaphor (windows, icons, menu, pointer), which uses
Figure 3: Usability and UX relationship framework.
two-dimensional input devices (mouse, touch screen) and output
devices (monitors, tablets), has dominated the past decades and
users are intimately familiar with the functionalities of these UI
components. But recent years have seen the development of mod-
ern UIs adapted on spatial input in a physical three-dimensional
(3D) context, as classic input devices cannot support the interaction
in 3D environments that state-of-the-art Mixed Reality (Augmented
and Virtual Reality - AR/VR) applications require.
3D Interaction is a Human - Computer interaction (HCI) in which
user’s tasks are performed directly in a real or virtual 3D spatial
context [5]. Interfaces which allow 3D interaction can be gesture-
based, motion-controlled, direct, controller-less, or natural, with
all of them being characterized by the spatial input on a 3D en-
vironment [4]. Classic devices like mouse and keyboard are now
replaced by sensors and devices that track user’s movement on 6
DOF (degrees of freedom, three position values (x, y, z) and three
orientation values (yaw, pitch, roll)) in real world, and translate
these inputs to commands on the 3D UI. Users can communicate
with the 3D environment via hand gestures, speech recognition,
head movements, tangible interfaces, or a combination of the above.
Although the 3D interaction seems to be much more demanding
and dicult to learn for users, this scientic eld is still at its in-
fancy and new interfaces and interaction methods can be designed
and implemented to fully the potential of the 3D interaction and
help users get familiar with the new UI components.
7 AUGMENTED REALITY AND 3D
INTERFACES IN CULTURE
The increasing performance of computational and graphics hard-
ware on mobile devices on recent years have resulted in the incred-
ible growth of Augmented Reality applications, as modern smart-
phones are now equipped with multiple sensors like the depth
camera, which that can track the spatial movement and positioning
of user’s body (usually hands, ngers and feet), using this data for
virtual object manipulations in the AR environment [2, 34]. Mobile
AR (MAR) applications present many advantages regarding the 3D
interaction, such as the absence of additional cumbersome devices
like head-mounted displays or gloves that may annoy users, and
the constant and easy swapping to the real world that facilitate
a collaborative interface, supporting an immersive viewing mode.
While MAR is continuously showing us its great potential, current
PCI’18, Nov. 2018, Athens, Greece Konstantakis et al.
applications have still a long way in front to meet users’ increas-
ing demand for more intuitive interaction [9]. Multiple interaction
modalities are needed to enhance user experience, with the com-
bination of gesture and speech recognition to be among the most
powerful, ecient and natural way of communication [26]. As mo-
bile devices become more powerful, methods like the above, which
enhance naturalism and deliver intuitive and eective interaction,
are promising for mobile devices as built-in sensors can be used
without resorting to additional devices or sensors, thus enabling
the development of natural user interfaces (NUI) that would not
obtrude the user experience and are natural to learn [24].
Cultural Heritage (CH) is one of the scientic elds that have been
widely inuenced by the emergence of AR applications. AR tech-
niques can be used to "animate" archaeological sites, "repair" statues
and cultural artifacts that have been damaged, "construct" monu-
ments that have been lost over the years and give museums the
ability to "talk" to their visitor and present him additional informa-
tion about their exhibits. Cultural institutions have taken advantage
of this rather new technology, designing and producing cultural
applications that accompany their users during their visit. Typical
examples are mobile applications that guide the user in the museum,
three-dimensional representations of monuments and objects that
have been damaged or deteriorated [35], and digital storytelling
that turns the museum tour into a narrative of a story tailored to the
prole of each visitor [19]. These applications augment the users
view with relevant cultural information without becoming the main
focus of her attention, which stays focused on what really matters,
the real world and its buildings, monuments and landscapes [6].
Interaction in MAR applications in CH align with the techniques
exploited in other elds, thus enhancing user’s experience through
natural interaction. Many cultural applications display additional in-
formation or digitally reconstructed parts of cultural artifacts using
tablets or user’s mobile devices through the AR browser interface,
allowing user to interact with the 3d content by manipulating clas-
sic input devices like touch screen and keyboard [8]. Furthermore,
touch less (or freehand) interaction requires additional equipment
such as binocular see-through glasses or head mounted display to
display digital information but to provide additional services and
data to users with minimum eort and using their own natural
skills [6, 7]. Finally, body tracking and gesture recognition can also
be applied to cultural AR applications by using depth cameras and
sensors [3], while also new interactive methods (metaphors) can
be learned easily and entertain users by imitating casual actions to
interact with the 3d content ("open window to the 3d world") [15].
8 CULTURAL USER EXPERIENCE
EVALUATION
Cultural Heritage represents a worldwide resource of inestimable
value, attracting millions of visitors every year to monuments, mu-
seums and art exhibitions. It has been playing an increasingly im-
portant role in the cultural fabric of society; in the current rapidly
changing and globalized world, museum collections, ancient ruins,
and artifact exhibitions represent at the same time sources and
instruments of education that should be available to a wide range
of people. Indeed, achieving a wide fruition of a cultural space and
its objects that are eective and sustainable, is necessary in order
to enhance visitors’ experience during their interaction with cul-
tural institutes [10]. It remains to be seen if technology will be a
valuable part of cultural exhibitions enhancing user experience in
order to connect the physical space with the digital world. However,
another factor that aects user experience besides the wide range
and diversity of the cultural objects, is the cultural background and
prole of the individual user. Each user has its own cultural char-
acteristics, learns and interacts dierently with a certain artifact
and nally obtains a unique cultural experience. The interaction
between dierent cultural objects and user’s cultural backgrounds
denes the cultural user experience (CUX) as "The unique produced
knowledge and experience from dierent cultural identities" [11].
The rst vital gist of CUX is understanding and consequently meet-
ing the cultural heritage users need. Secondly, it will lead to the
simplicity and elegant attributes of a cultural product or system
that creates positive experience such as joy to own and to use [36].
The methods of evaluating the UX are distinguished:
- In terms of their emphasis: on usability assessment methods and
design methods.
- In terms of data they collect, analyze and present: qualitative and
quantitative.
- As far as the place is concerned: in the lab, in the eld and online.
- In terms of user interaction time, in evaluations: expected use,
appreciation, experience in interaction, and time-based experience.
User-experience research methods are great at producing data and
insights, while ongoing activities help get the right things done.
Ongoing UX activities can make everyone’s eorts more eective
and valuable. At every stage in the design process, dierent UX
methods can keep product-development eorts on the right track,
in agreement with true user needs and not imaginary ones. User
research can be done at any point in the design cycle [12].
9 CONCLUSION - DISCUSSION
To sum up, new technologies are vital not only to enrich the cultural
experience but also to the sustainability of cultural organisations.
It has to be examined the new European digital cultural policies
and business policies of cultural organisations in order to develop
digital strategy, increase the visibility, create online and physical
communities, manage, edit and enhance cultural goods in a digital
manner, as well as open and reusable content, and bring together
experts from various elds of cultural management in a participa-
tory process.
Last but not least, understanding User eXperience aspects, muse-
ums can full another main principle, that of equity and inclusion
which asserts facilitating access to participants with disadvantaged
backgrounds and fewer opportunities compared to their peers. With
the user-experience research the museum’s sta will have the op-
portunity to engage with issues of limited accessibility and reect
upon them, as well as become more active in contributing to society
inclusiveness.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The research work was supported by the Hellenic Foundation for
Research and Innovation (HFRI) and the General Secretariat for
Research and Technology (GSRT) under the TRACCE: TRavelogue
with Augmented Cultural and Contemporary Experience project
Understanding User eXperience aspects in Cultural Heritage interaction PCI’18, Nov. 2018, Athens, Greece
(T1EDK-02146) and under the HFRI PhD Fellowship grant (GA. 234).
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