The Digital Experience Design Principles are our guiding kaupapa when working on digital experiences at Auckland Museum and have been informed by international standards and local values.
Digital as an enabler
Digital technology is only used when it serves a specific need and not merely for technology’s sake. It is only used when it is the best way to tell our stories at a specific time or context, either by providing novel ways of storytelling, inspiring engagement through technology, or creating empathy and providing a genuine interpretive solution for the gallery whilst supporting audience-centred objectives.
A tool for learning
Digital experiences encourage learning for formal and informal learners and all visitors by supporting them to construct knowledge through exploration and inquiry and by catering for different learning styles.
Auckland Museum refers to the VARK model for learning styles.
The four sensory modalities are
- Visual learning.
- Auditory learning.
- Read/write learning.
- Kinesthetic learning.
Digital as opt-in, for everyone
Visitors are never forced into a digital experience but always have the option to opt-in. No digital experience should act as a barrier to our content or alienate visitors in any way, regardless of their physical abilities, age or technical aptitude. In this way, digital should be inclusive and meet accessibility standards (see Inclusive Design and Accessibility).
Enabling our visitors to participate
Motivated by our audience’s needs, harness digital technologies and experiences to enable participation and empower our visitors to do so confidently. Participation can happen along the entire continuum of engagement - from ‘likes’ to citizen science - without an inherent expectation of ongoing storage or use.
An exemplary digital vision
Our digital and organisation strategies ensure our galleries feature beautiful, fit for purpose digital interactives that meet (and exceed) our visitors’ expectations of unique and unusual experiences they can’t see and do elsewhere. Digital experiences are purposefully applied to peak and sustain interest, attention and curiosity and to provide additional interpretive choices beyond objects and text.
A coherent digital experience
Digital experiences harmonise across all of the Museum’s galleries and exhibitions, resulting in a unified and coherent digital museum experience for our visitors. The Museum’s digital products and services are perceived as seamless and integrated. They are easy and intuitive to access and evenly distributed / paced throughout the entire building.
Objects have a digital dimension
Wherever possible, objects on display have corresponding digital content on the Museum’s website, complementing their stories and providing opportunity for further inquiry and engagement. On the flipside, digital experiences function as a prompt to engage with physical objects.
Open anytime, anywhere
Visitors can have a digital museum experience from wherever they are in their visitor journey.
Sustainable, future proof, modular, disposable
Where possible, content is created in a modular and endpoint-agnostic way, building on existing backend systems, APIs, and infrastructure. Siloed, ‘black-box’ experiences are avoided. A plan for regular testing, evaluation and improvement of the digital experience is in place. System and hardware upgrades are scheduled.