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Research and Design

Research and Design

Browse featured research on technology and education, white papers, articles on exhibit and application design, and the results from the Open Exhibits survey on technology use.


Building a Better Collection Viewer: Part 2

Profile picture for Jim Spadaccini

by Jim Spadaccini
Director Ideum

October 3, 2011

Last month I wrote a post about our plans for developing a new and more robust Collection Viewer. Since then we've met and discussed the design of this new software with our museum partners from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, and the Don Harrington Discovery Center. We've also involved exhibit developers from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center to get their take on this. 

We refined our designs from the initial one we posted last month and focused on a set priorities for features. First off, everyone agreed that the ability to browse was more important than searching. Again, remember this is for a multitouch, multiuser exhibit for the museum floor, so (temporarily) dropping an onscreen keyboard and the ability to search while focusing on browsing makes sense.

The number of potential "thumbnail" views in dock was also reduced to one primary view to start; one with larger thumbnails with short titles. Again, our partners felt that titles, even if they were truncated, were very important include.

The biggest change was adding some ability to view "sets" of images. This feature will allow museum visitors to pull out related images or to view a "narrative" associated with a series of images.

Finally, we added the ability to hide and show the browsing dock and you'll notice some other refinements. We're not done yet, but you should see that things have progressed nicely in the designs below. (You can see high resolution versions of these files on the Open Exhibits Flickr site.)

The latest design of the Collection Viewer. 


The image above shows how collections can expand and contract. All of the Collection(s) and Category information will be extensible.

An example of how "Sets" might look in the new Collection Viewer.

Another look at "Sets." 

We will begin programming the Collection Viewer in the next month. We welcome your feedback.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number Division of Research on Learning in formal and informal settings #1010028. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Open Exhibits was developed by Ideum, makers of GestureWorks. Open Exhibits SDK is free for non-commercial use.

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