Digital history & historiography

Virtual Masterpieces: Innovation through Public Co-creation for Digital Museum Collections

In this study, we describe the results of a series of co-creation workshops in museums with the goal of designing future digital cultural collections. Ranging from exhibition teasers to comprehensive virtual galleries, digital collections are an increasingly prominent feature of many museum websites but remain a largely unexplored facet of the visitor experience. Building on research in museum experience design, which suggests that involving the public in the development of on-site museum spaces and technologies supports better engagement, we investigated how this translates into digital-only contexts. We invited members of the public (N = 12) to the Luxembourg National Museum of History and Art for a series of design jams to investigate how non-experts envision the future of digital interactivity with museums through a series of ideation and rapid prototyping activities. Our analysis of the workshops and resulting prototypes reveals the design space of digital collections across three continuums of experience: individual/social, creation/consumption, and complementary/standalone. We conclude with design implications, namely how museum professionals can apply these dimensions to the design and implementation of digital collections.

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