Loving the low-tech interactives!

October 3, 2010


How often do we see computer-based interactives in museums with ‘out of order’ signs on them? The museums I’ve visited in Great Yarmouth don’t necessarily have huge budgets, but they’ve made an effort to provide  interactives for all the family that won’t break down.

When thinking about visitor experience, it is important to think about different learning styles and means of interpretation. Interactive elements in displays provide visitors with a break from reading and a chance to interact with each other as well as the display. Museums in Great Yarmouth provide examples of relatively low-cost and low technology ways of helping people to engage in all sorts of ways with the stories that the museums are sharing.


At Time and Tide, six of the museum's artworks have been printed onto the blocks and visitors are invited to complete the jigsaw puzzles

Adults and kids alike can take some time out from the serious stories being told in the Tollhouse Museum and enjoy the game.

Elizabethan House Museum: in a display about Elizabethan food preparation, there were bags of spices to touch and smell.

The Nelson Museum has a whole section about Nelson's leadership and strategy. Visitors can try out their own strategy playing the giant game at the back of the Museum

In the section about leadership, visitors are invited to test their own leadership decisions with real situations and see how they compare with those made at the time. Some interesting results! Public humiliation not so acceptable nowdays!


6 Responses to “Loving the low-tech interactives!”

  1. Catherine Says:

    A good reminder that sometimes the simple things work best. What I want to know is do they refresh their spices regularly?

  2. Jill Says:

    I love the giant game outside at The Nelson Museum- allows museum visitors, particularly young museum visitors, the opportunity to move about and be active in the museum environment. Great idea!

  3. Pauline Cockrill Says:

    Yes I think sometimes we go overboard trying to be keep up with all the new multimedia approaches to exhibition design when there are some very simple, much cheaper options. There’s nothing worse than going to a museum where there are ‘Out of Order’ signs on so many of the displays. Does the museum have an inhouse designer or are these educational ideas contracted out? Can’t wait to share some of these ideas.

    • Hi Pauline,

      I gather that there is a design team that works regionally, but I suspect that most of these interactives were put together when the museum opened.

      I agree – I can’t wait to see some more of these ideas in use when I get home.


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