Museum Secrets interactive site

Some simple but effective  interactive learning going on at the Museum Secrets show site. Not pushing Flash to new functional limits, but a solid, curiosity-satisfying,  attractive presentation. The site as a whole has a good ‘my discoveries’ aspect which is essentially a list of deep links a user can collect from throughout the site content. What you might notice is the same recurring exploration interactive methods such as: “Choice and Outcome”, “Timeline explorer”, and “Hotspot Explorer“, and “Slideshow”. This demonstrates that modularity and variations on a theme can make for deeper, more  engaging interactive content.

Each museum ‘discovery’ has a different level of content depth and while some explorers would prefer to simply find ‘all interactives’ or ‘all video’, the interface is designed instead to compel the users to dive into each topic. A ‘related artifacts’  dynamic link set adds a method of keeping an ‘interest track’ without strictly adhering to hierarchical site navigation.

As pointed out by the show staff (nice work keeping an eye on the buzz the show is getting and keeping in touch with your audience!), one of the interesting interactives, using hotpots is “Napolean’s Lies”. showing the difference between historical truth of an event and it painted depiction.  By displaying  an ‘alternative’ reality version of the painting as the user explores, interaction and exploration are rewarded with more than just text and additional images, but with the chance to alter the artifact.

The strengths:
Elegant, immersive design of a hybrid flash site, good use of sound effects, good leveraging of easily understood interactive modes, a few great examples of ‘choice and outcome’ role playing, effective balance between content access and encouraging exploration, effective deep linking for sharing. Also, plenty of information about why interactives were made and requests for feedback on the site. Good server architecture for fast loading and streaming, plenty of web-only exclusives to attract views and an interesting Blog that takes an interest in the viewer.

What could be built on:
Make specific interactives or the My Discoveries feature sharable on Facebook as well as Twitter: “Facebook: Jufa wants to give you a personalized tour of the Museum”, more open-ended interactives with simulation or game-like interfaces like “Cross Bow Defender” would be persuasive reasons for users to revisit and link value of the site. Option to explore content by the type of interaction, like “All Hotspots”, “All Minigames”.

This site, overall, demonstrates good balance between breadth and depth of content with particular focus on getting visitors to watch the show while meeting now-necessary ‘societal improvement’ goals by sparking a deeper interest in museums and their mission.

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