Title:Sharing Museum Experiences: An Approach Adapted for Older and Cognitively Impaired Adults
Authors:Galena Kostoska, Denise Fezzi, Beatrice Valeri, Marcos Baez
Publication:MWA2013: Museums and the Web Asia 2013

The paper describes the design process and a preliminary study of a novel interface (digital booklet) for facilitating sharing of museums experiences and specifically for helping older adults to participate remotely to museum visits done by friends or relatives. We design in particular for people that for cognitive, physical, or logistic limitations are not able to visit museums, or for which it is very challenging to do so. We performed a user study with a total of 30 older adult participants, 21 in care home (10 of which with significant cognitive decline), and 9 participants in daily center (all of them without degenerative health problems). Our main hypothesis was that given the right set of tools for supporting the visitor during and after the visit we could increase sharing and reach wider audiences, including older and cognitively impaired adults. We compared the performance between healthy and cognitively impaired older adults on four tasks: open the booklet, browse the booklet, zoom in/out a picture, close the picture after being zoomed in/out. Our results showed that the booklet metaphor was well accepted by almost all the participants and they were able to consume and enjoy the content; the more complex and less intuitive functions like zooming and closing a picture were found to be more difficult for the the cognitively impaired group of participants. Our results can contribute the ongoing research in the field of interfaces for older adults and the challenge of intergenerational communication.