Introduction

Welcome to the website for the Davis Experience Tangible User Interface, an application developed on the Microsoft Surface by Wellesley undergraduates MaCherie Edwards ('11), Lia Napolitano ('10) and Helen Wu ('11). You can find herein information about the problem we sought to address with our application, our conceptual design process and artifacts, and our functional prototype with implementation details.

Problem Statement

The Davis Museum is a hub of artistic and cultural opportunity on the Wellesley campus, granting community members firsthand access to world-class art. However, an unusual trend has been noticed by members of the staff and the student body: when not required or rewarded with food, museum attendance is surprisingly low.

Over the course of last semester’s CS349: Tangible User Interfaces, we investigated how multi-touch platforms might enhance the Davis Museum experience for visitors. As we researched the cutting-edge implementations of other museums and emergent techniques of enhancing experiences, we created a Surface Application for use in the lobby of Wellesley's Davis Museum. Its purpose is to allow users to prepare themselves to engage with the works in the museum, and allow them to debrief afterwards in a social manner.

In the application, users can choose works of art from the collection and respond to selected prompts by sketching over the artworks themselves, and saving them to the database. These responses can also be retrieved by placing a "responses token" on the Surface, which will populate some of the most recent responses on the screen. This style of interaction is geared towards allowing users to collaboratively engage with the museum's works without replacing the museum viewing experience itself.

Testing and refining last semester’s solutions has shown that success on these platforms is not guaranteed. However, we have confirmed their potential to increase personal and social engagement with the Davis, benefits which we hope to bring to the Davis Museum within the year.

- MaCherie Edwards ('11), Lia Napolitano ('10), Helen Wu ('11)