Scaffolding the Next Wave of Digital Visitor Interaction in Museums

By Maja Rudloff.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Over the last ten years the possibilities for engaging in dialogue and participation with museum visitors have been greatly improved by developments in digital technologies. Throughout the world museums are experimenting with inclusive and participatory digital projects that can enhance the museum visitor experience. Many of these projects are unique and creative in their use of cutting edge technology, and in their search for finding new ways to reach differentiated groups of users. However, building on insights from user studies at a Danish digital museum installation, this paper also suggests that when designing for user interaction and participation, museums must carefully consider the complexities of user participation with new technologies. If the design and conceptual frame becomes too complex, it can actually limit the intended visitor experience with the museum subject matter. By combining insights from communication and design theory with conceptual models for scaffolding the museum visitor experience, this paper uses a Danish digital museum case called the WALL created by the Museum of Copenhagen to consider the special implications of designing technology for museum visitor interaction, and suggests ways digital, interactive and participatory installations can be improved to support more meaningful museum visitor experiences.

Keywords: Interactive design, Digital communication, Museum Visitor Experience, Scaffolding

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.9-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.267MB).

Maja Rudloff

PhD Fellow, Institute for Literature, Media and Cultural Studies, University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Maja Rudloff currently holds a position as associate professor at Roskilde University, Denmark (2013-2016). She has a Masters degree in Art History from the University of Copenhagen (2005) and a PhD in media and cultural sciences from the University of Southern Denmark (2013). During her doctoral research she has been associated with the national research centre DREAM (Danish Research Centre on Education and Advanced Media Materials). Her research concerns the ways in which digital media influence the museum visitor experience and ultimately how it alters the character of museum visiting itself. She has previously worked with communication and project management in different cultural institutions and museums in Denmark including the Museum of Copenhagen, the Palaces and Properties Agency, and the National Gallery of Denmark.

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