Museums and the Web 2005
Sessions: Abstracts
Photo Credits

Speakers from around the world present their latest work at MW2005.

Museum As Ecology: A Case Study Analysis Of An Ambient Intelligent Museum Guide

Ron Wakkary, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Dale Evernden, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Session: Handhelds

This paper explores the usefulness of the ecology concept as an analytical framework for designing interactive technology in museums. We aim to describe and evaluate an ecological approach to understanding museums and to examine information and cultural ecologies as analytical tools for guiding the design of interactive systems. We focus on two related concepts of ecology, cultural ecology (Bell 2002) and information ecology (Nardi and O'Day 1999). Utilizing each of the two frameworks, we analyze observational and interview data we collected during the research for an ambient intelligent museum guide. We also discuss the design implications of our analysis. In this paper we found that an ecology framework is highly appropriate for representing the complexities of activities, relationships, technologies and people connected to museums. We also found the information ecologies framework to guide design decisions in the creating of our interactive prototype.