BEYOND is a museum experience built on mixed-reality goggles and catered for Gen Z, which offers an immersive and engaging journey rooted in multisensory interactions involving voice and hand gestures. The design is to empower museums to connect with younger audiences and enhance museums' presence on social network.
In a bid to align with the expectations of Generation Z for museums, which are interactive and engaging, the BEYOND experience encompasses two key elements: 1) A gamified museum experience that actively engages with Gen Z and 2) Participatory social interactions that bolster the social media presence of CMNH. Additionally, The experience has been meticulously crafted to be based on hand gestures, enabling visitors to interact with digital objects in a seamless and intuitive manner and immerse themselves in an enjoyable augmented learning environment.
BEYOND represents not only our belief in making museums a exciting and enlightening weekend destination for Gen Z, but also our vision for the future of museums. We believe that incorporating multi-user cooperation and interaction will be valuable, as many people visit museums as families or on school trips. The future of BEYOND is expected to provide an environment for players to learn and collaborate, and to easily share emotions, ideas, and opinions during the museum visit.
User Journey | Discover
User Journey | Experience
User Journey | Learn
User Journey | Collect
User Journey | Reflect
User Journey | Share
User Journey Map
Museums have long served a dual purpose of preserving culture and history while educating and bringing people together. However, they are facing the challenge of declining interest from younger generations and becoming less relevant to society. According to Ubimo, Generation Z (born 1996-2010) feel less connected to museums, with a frequency of visiting that is 23% lower than the national average.
We believe it is crucial to reestablishing the connection between museums and Generation Z. This not only strengthens the sense of community through in-person interactions, but also allows museums to maintain their relevance and continue their legacy mission of preserving culture and history. BEYOND is such a design solution that empowers museums to connect with younger audiences and enhance their presence on social media through the use of technology.
We recognize the importance of involving both museums and Generation Z in our mission. To gain insights into the challenges faced by museums, we conducted expert interviews and observations. Our interview with a CMNH curator revealed a rapid decline in museum visitors, particularly among the younger generation. This can be attributed to museums relying on static, text-heavy interactions to convey educational messages, which can be unappealing to visitors. On the other hand, we also conducted interviews with members of Generation Z to understand their lack of interest in visiting museums. These interviews indicated that Gen Z prefers museums to be interactive, experiential, and shareable on social media rather than being static, quiet, and academic.
The findings set a cornerstone for our design, which leverages mixed reality to deliver what Generation Z desires from museums - interaction, enjoyment, and social media shareability.
After putting on goggles, visitors are first drawn to virtual animals and plants following other museum-goers around, serving as an invitation to an augmented scavenger hunt. It calls visitors to collect their own digital animals and plants in the museum and creates a game-like, fun, and stress-free learning environment. Before collecting, visitors are prompted to complete games with educational stories embedded, such as global warming. Once completed, visitors can then choose to wear their collections and showcase them as a part of their personal style in a virtual setting. Lastly, the museum mobile app, as a post-museum touchpoint, encourages visitors to review and share what they learn on social media in the form of AR filters, which visitors can design and customize using their unique collections. Such sharing increases museums' social influence in the young community and brings more of the young to the museums.
Gestural Interaction Design
To ensure a seamless and effortless experience, we decided to leverage gestural interactions. Given that this interaction modality is not yet widely adopted, ensuring its accessibility was a top priority for us. To achieve this goal, we put significant effort into iterating and simplifying gestural commands, as too many complex gestures will make the learning curve steep and difficult to learn in a short amount of time. For example, we borrowed the design of a watch for the gestures "Raise the wrist" and "Pinch and collect" to reduce friction for first-time users. Additionally, we addressed the potential issue of false activation due to palm-down by adding an anchor point on the admission tag for more accurate detection. Furthermore, we redesigned the admission tag as a wristband to reinforce the watch affordance.
In terms of visual style, we meticulously crafted the visual elements to appeal to Gen Z. The use of a vibrant green and orange color scheme conveys a playful and youthful vibe. The low-poly, multi-faceted 3D objects were chosen over a more realistic and pedantic style, making BEYOND shareable on platforms like Instagram and TikTok and positioning museums as a desirable destination for Gen Z.
We are thrilled that BEYOND is born on the foundation of research with the goal of fostering a connection between museums and the younger generation. We hope you share in our excitement!