Interactive gallery touchscreen

As part of a new gallery opening at the British Museum we designed and delivered a touchscreen interface.  This would allow users to view information on over 1000 objects in the new Percival David Gallery.

The interface

This gallery would contain so many objects it would not be possible to label them all clearly.  This interface was designed to allow gallery visitors to enter an object number and to find more information and images about that object.

The interface was designed with:

  • Keypad: to enter the object number
  • Text information: academic text on the object
  • Large image: to allow users to easily identify the object
  • Thumbnail images: Other images of the object that use can click on.  This would then replace the large image with the chosen thumbnail

On the large image you can zoom in and move the image around to look at close details of the Chinese ceramics.

User-driven design approach

Multiple stakeholders were involved in approving the design and interface.  To ensure the usability of the interface was not compromised an iterative user-driven design approach was used to manage the design and development process.  This included comprehensive user testing.

This interface was then integrated to a back end system coded by the British Musuem’s Information Services team.

Technology

The interface is built using HTML and Javascript (using the jQuery framework).  The image zoom facility was prototyped in Flash but the final version uses Silverlight.

Response

We have received excellent feedback and responses from museum stakeholders and gallery visitors.

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