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Adding Culture to UX: UX Research Methodologies and Applications in Cultural Heritage

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Abstract

For more than a decade, User eXperience (UX) has grown into a core concept of Human--Computer Interaction (HCI) and has been widely disseminated and accepted in the HCI community. At the same time, Cultural Heritage (CH) has been a favored domain for UX research, while the visitor is able to exploit CH material before, during, and after the visit, having different goals and requirements in each phase. Thus, CH organisations need to carefully explore the potential of investing in UX, as visitor satisfaction and intention to return and spread positive word-of-mouth is closely linked to the destination's overall success. A multitude of methods for UX analysis exist, but a clear overview of the current state of the available UX research methods in CH is missing. Recent studies [Othman 2012; Roussou 2018] have successfully developed frameworks to measure UX in cultural spaces, but most of them still lack understanding about how visitors interact with new technologies and simultaneously with the exhibits. In this article, a survey that describes the conceptual frameworks, models, research methodologies, and paradigms of incorporating Cultural User eXperience (CUX) in applications is reported, as well as the overall interaction between UX and CH and the related aspects that are influenced by the CH application domain and the parameters leading to optimization of the CUX. The outcome of this survey lays ground for understanding and defining the concept of UX research in CH, while current challenges and issues for future work are discussed.
... The most recent CUX studies [3][4][5][6][7][8] show that users of applications and services of cultural content tend to carry their own cultural characteristics and preferences when visiting destinations of cultural interest, learn and interact differently with cultural content, thus obtaining a virtually unique cultural experience. To cope with this tendency, cultural spaces need to search for novel ways of providing more personalised experiences to their visitors [4,9,10]. ...
... The most recent CUX studies [3][4][5][6][7][8] show that users of applications and services of cultural content tend to carry their own cultural characteristics and preferences when visiting destinations of cultural interest, learn and interact differently with cultural content, thus obtaining a virtually unique cultural experience. To cope with this tendency, cultural spaces need to search for novel ways of providing more personalised experiences to their visitors [4,9,10]. To that end, various research efforts have been made to identify different profiles of cultural visitors based on their background and preferences, and classify them into distinct visitor types [9,[11][12][13][14][15][16] . ...
... A bibliographic search conducted on existing typologies of cultural visitors shows that the great majority of them assume that destinations of cultural interest correspond to single visitor profiles (rather than multiple) [3][4][5][6][7][8][9][11][12][13][14][15][16]. For example, according to Gibson's typology [8], climbing or ski-jumping correspond to the Thrill Seeker profile, who is interested in extreme sports, but not to the Explorer profile, who is also bound to enjoy such activities. ...
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The modern cultural industry and the related academic sectors have shown increased interest in Cultural User eXperience (CUX) research, since it constitutes a critical factor to examine and apply when presenting cultural content. Recent CUX studies show that visitors tend to carry their own cultural characteristics and preferences when visiting destinations of cultural interest, thus obtaining a virtually unique experience. To cope with this tendency, various research efforts have been made to identify different profiles of cultural visitors based on their background and preferences and classify them into distinct visitor types. In this paper, we proposed the ACUX (Augmented Cultural User eXperience) typology for classifying visitors of cultural destinations. The proposed typology aims to provide the multi-profile classification of cultural visitors based on their visiting preferences. Methodology-wise, the ACUX typology was the output of a harmonisation process of existing cultural-visitor typologies that base their classification on visiting preferences. The proposed typology was evaluated in juxtaposition with the harmonised typologies from which it was derived through an experiment conducted using a recommender and a dataset of TripAdvisor user responses. The evaluation showed that the ACUX typology achieved a more accurate profiling of cultural visitors, enabling them to reduce information overload by directly suggesting content that is more likely to meet their diverse preferences and needs.
... Therefore, the basic function of the CHATS personalization module is the definition of the user's requirements and characteristics by defining his profile. Most similar surveys have used the questionnaire to categorize users according to their answers [39,40,9,41]. Viewing a small questionnaire with simple but targeted questions about the user's profile and interests at the beginning of the CHATS application is a common and effective method in corresponding cases of personalized information to gather the necessary information about the user profile. ...
... CUX applications and digital storytelling over the last decade[9]. ...
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Storytelling is widely used to project cultural elements and engage people emotionally. Digital storytelling enhances the process by integrating images, music, narrative, and voice along with traditional storytelling methods. Newer visualization technologies such as Augmented Reality allow more vivid representations and further influence the way museums present their narratives. Cultural institutions aim towards integrating such technologies in order to provide a more engaging experience, which is also tailored to the user by exploiting personalization and context-awareness. This paper presents CHATS, a system for personalized digital storytelling in cultural heritage sites. Storytelling is based on a tangible interface, which adds a gamification aspect and improves interactivity for people with visual impairment. Technologies of AR and Smart Glasses are used to enhance visitors’ experience. To test CHATS, a case study was implemented and evaluated.
... Digital storytelling is the evolution of traditional oral narration using multimedia and interactive elements (Balaman, 2018;Nguyen, 2017;Towndrow & Tereira, 2018). It provides the opportunity for students to get in touch with digital media by creating and producing their own stories in an experiential way, acquiring a positive attitude towards technology (Konstantakis, 2020). In addition, digital stories make the educational process entertaining and creative and free it from all kinds of passivity and conventionality (Sadik, 2008). ...
... They are most SECTION B: applications, experiences, good practices, descriptions and outlines, educational activities, issues for dialog and discussion 24 often a form of simulation of the real world, with various processes, presenting the feel and appearance of a game. Their goal is to activate the player's interest and immerse the player in a safe and fun learning environment (Konstantakis, 2020). Scratch is another digital tool used to create interactive stories, games, simulations, presentations, animation and many other programs (Resnick et al., 2009). ...
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This paper refers to the implementation of a weekly online teaching scenario that took place in the school year 2020-2021 (March 2021) at the 5th Public Kindergarten of Argostoli, based on the tools of digital storytelling, serious games, and the Web 2.0 Padlet tool. The aim of the study was to highlight good practices of distance education in preschool education meeting the needs of the pandemic. A key issue in this pursuit is the exploration of the appropriate open digital tools and paradigms for its implementation. A further concern is the dissemination of all those good practices and suggestions to the rest of the educational community, but also mainly to the end users of the projects, who are children. After the evaluation by the children of the educational tool through appropriate evaluation methodologies, eleven (11) kindergarten teachers were asked to use online questionnaires through Google forms to evaluate the scenario, before being used in the digital classroom, in order to adapt and improve them. The findings of the study showed that the changes that have taken place in the educational process due to the pandemic have brought the modern school to face new challenges that it will have to meet in order to harmonize with the requirements of the modern digital age.
... Participant responses provide an insight into users' experience of the exhibition, its value as a research tool and as an educational resource. This choice of experimental and analytical method was informed by a close reading of Konstantakis and Caridakis (2020) who note that questionnaires are a particularly well established method for measuring User Experience (UX) in AR applications due to their ease of use, efficiency, accessibility and lack of required expertise from participants. ...
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... Numerous projects and initiatives focus on the learner and aim to facilitate a more personalized learning experience. Personalization has been a central theme in research and practice in mobile learning, even if it has not always been labelled as such [3,4]. ...
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In today's world, the ability to communicate in a foreign language is more highly prized than ever by prospective employers, which results in more options and possibilities for students, both academically and professionally. As a result of this tendency and the need for new communication methods, language instructors are driven to include cutting-edge language teaching approaches , resources, and materials in their classroom instruction, such as using ICT, or information, communication and ubiquitous technologies. In this paper, we introduce learning scenarios based on two mobile learning apps that facilitate language learning through interesting, interactive settings in a more personalized way based on children's age. The writers' emphasis will be on demonstrating interactive activities devised in their classrooms and on providing examples of student work in two languages, English and Spanish. Through this paper, we examine a range of educational tools and determine that Mondly Kids and Language Drops-Kahoot are the best acceptable teaching materials. On the basis of this assumption, we created three distinct groups of students, and the outcomes from the assessment technique show that mobile language learning enhances children's experiences and increases their willingness to learn a new language. Additionally, students can use mobile applications to improve their speaking abilities and critical thinking skills throughout a language learning session.
... Research in human-computer interaction has long reported on the design and development of museum and cultural heritage technologies, primarily with the aim of engaging visitors during in-person visits [20,41]. However, much work remains to understand the digital visitor experience, which includes interaction with digital tours and collections [55,67], storytelling and serious games [46], social media engagement [22], and virtual community building [26]. While many museums had to swiftly react to unexpected closures and lingering unpredictability, the initial months of the confinement period nevertheless presented a unique lens through which to consider the long-term implications for museum digital strategies and design best practices for online interactivity. ...
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The novel coronavirus spurred a keen interest in digital technologies for museums as both cultural professionals and the public took notice of their uses and limitations throughout the confinement period. In this study, we investigated the use of digital technologies by museums during a period when in-person interaction was not possible. The aim of the study was to better understand the impact of the confinement period on the use of museum technologies in order to identify implications for future museum experience design. We compared museums across four countries-France, Japan, Luxembourg, and the United States-by conducting an international survey in three languages on the use of digital technologies during the early phase of the pandemic. Additionally, we analyzed the Facebook activity of museums in each country and conducted a series of interviews with digital museology professionals in academia and the private sector. We found that despite a flurry of online activities, especially during the early phase of the pandemic, museums confronted a number of internal and external challenges that were often incongruent with their ability to offer new forms of digital engagement. In general, digital solutions served only as a temporary substitute for the museum experience rather than as an opportunity to usher in a new digital paradigm for cultural mediation, and many cultural professionals cited a lack of digital training as a limiting factor in robust ICT implementation. We also argue that the most successful digital engagement came from those activities that promoted a sense of community or an invitation for self-expression by visitors. We conclude with a framework that describes a 'virtuous circle of museum participation', aiming to support public engagement with museums through the development of content that builds on the interconnectedness of on-site and online interactivity.
... They therefore need to make their "product" more appealing and attractive to a variety of audiences, while attaching additional attributes to it that combine educational and entertainment aspects. Digital storytelling is one of the "vehicles" they have on hand for enriching their offer (Konstantakis, 2020). Another interesting and useful mechanism is gamification. ...
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The aim of this paper is to present a thematic English lesson to be delivered on a weekly basis to 12–13-year-old students learning English as a foreign language. Each week a different culture will be selected and presented to the students with the help of some digital tools. The tools used are digital storytelling, animation, serious games - created on the TinyTap online platform - and gamification achieved through the kahoot platform. The aforementioned tools are combined with historical and cultural elements from all over the world in order to simultaneously achieve the learning of English vocabulary but also the learning of English as a foreign language. This lesson plan will be implemented once a week to make the distance learning process more enjoyable and efficient. Once the course has been completed, students will be asked to evaluate this course through questionnaires distributed to them via Google forms to provide feedback regarding the improvement of the teaching procedure.
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Thesis
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ARticular: An augmented reality game concept for a museum setting. This is a project I did for my Master of Communication Studies degree; an exploration into the use of game design and augmented reality in creating interactive experiences for museum visitors. In this practice-led research project, the creative work undertaken focuses on the design of an augmented reality puzzle game for a museum, envisioned to be installed in a children's discovery centre. It is designed to facilitate creative engagement and social interactions among visitors as well as teaching anatomy.
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An increasing number of interactive systems aim to enhance the user experience (UX) of visitors at museums, archaeological places and cultural sites. This paper presents a review of empirical evaluations of interactive systems in cultural heritage (CH) based on a systematically selected sample of 53 publications from 2012-2016. Empirical evaluations examine the degree an interactive system satisfies user goals and expectations and are inherently complex activities that require careful planning and selection of methods. The review reports on (a) interactive systems of CH in terms of: purpose, technology, cultural content and location of interaction and (b) methods of empirical evaluation in terms of: dimensions of UX, general approach, data collection and participants. The paper provides discussion, critique and outlook on issues including: extending the evaluation dimensions towards the cultural value and the essence of interactivity; placing more consideration on CH professionals; identifying new evaluation methods that balance qualitative results to evidence-based approaches.
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Chapter
Purpose – The chapter explores the development and impact of the Museums Victoria’s exhibition World War I: Love & Sorrow, which aimed to present an honest, graphic and challenging account of the experience and effect of World War I on Australian society. The paper describes the exhibition content and uses a range of methodological approaches to study its emotional and other impacts. Methodology/Approach – A range of evaluation methodologies are used: visitor observation and summative evaluation collected in the months after the exhibition opened, and quantitative and qualitative studies produced in 2017. Comparative assessment of a large sample of visitor comments cards was also undertaken. The more recent evaluations focused particularly on emotional impacts. Findings – The research finds that emotion is central to the success of the exhibition: underpinning the exhibition concept, guiding the research process and selection of interpretative approaches, and shaping visitor response. Originality/Value – The emotional aspects of museum work have received relatively little attention, and few studies focused on the evaluation of visitor emotions have been published. The chapter uses a case study to highlight the role of emotions in museum exhibitions and historical interpretation, argues for more central place for emotions in historical enquiry, and addresses concerns about subjectivity, authenticity and evidence.
Chapter
In applying MR (AR/VR) technologies to cultural heritage sites, the design and implementation of mobile MR applications have mostly lacked a holistic and systematic approach in the viewpoint of retrieving existing content and providing personalized experiences to visitors on the fly. To address this issue, we designed and implemented the KCTM application in which various types of content from different databases are brought together and reorganized by a newly proposed metadata schema that assigns spatio-temporal information to them for the purpose of visualizing them in MR environments. According to the user evaluation, most of the participants expressed strong interest in touring the heritage sites augmented with various related content.
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This work describes the design and evaluation of an augmented reality experience using storytelling techniques, aimed at visitors to a literary museum and city tour focused on the famous Italian novelist Italo Svevo, who lived in Trieste between the 19th and the 20th century. The project was initiated by the Svevo Museum's management in order to augment the space of the small museum, increase the accessibility of its collections and to enhance the experience of the visitors, who are mainly adults and senior people. The project provided the opportunity to explore different research questions. In particular, this paper focuses on the impact in the development process of introducing an AR authoring tool which is accessible to cultural heritage experts. It also explores the relationship between AR technology and storytelling and the feasibility of using AR in literary museums with adult and senior people having little experience in the use of AR technologies.