A museum requires an automated information system for use by visitors which helps them locate items in the museum and to find out more about items which are on display. The system is intended for use in a computer museum which contains many old computers, modern machines running simulations, books and audio recordings of pioneers of computer development. Factors which must be taken into account in the design are:
- The system must be a ‘walk up and use’ system for visitors who have no training whatsoever in computer system use.
- You will need to be able to manage a floor plan of the museum and the location of items on that floor plan. Information about specific items should be accessible by indicating their location.
- The system will have to manage multi-media information – sound, images and video.
- It must be possible for museum staff to change the information in the system and to add information about new exhibits.
When you give people information about where to find an item, they respond best to simple instructions made with reference to prominent landmarks rather than maps which they often find difficult to read.