[This success story is adapted from an article originally published in the April 2022 edition of Inavate - Asia Pacific - in article entitled "Leap Forward", found on page 30 - and a companion article written by the creative agency responsible for delivery of the project, Art of Multimedia.]
The Sydney-based Rocks Discovery Museum (RDM) was first established in 2005, designed by 3D Projects in collaboration with The Rocks heritage team, and implemented by the creative agency, Art of Multimedia. Located in a small heritage constrained space, the museum needed to deliver the majority of its artefact collection and stories in an interactive and layered fashion, which is why interactive digital displays were crucial. It was one of the first museums to use extensive multimedia to interpret the multi-layered history of The Rocks, including a selection from the thousands of artifacts from the local Big Dig archaeological site. The museum was a Heritage Tourism Winner in the 2006 National Trust Awards and Awards Excellence Winner in the 2010 Interpretation Australia Awards.
Good design lasts, so when the museum finally received some funding from the NSW Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment to refresh it, Art of Multimedia were asked to update the multimedia with new content as well as to add First Nations stories to provide an Aboriginal perspective. While the digital exhibits still looked good and worked well - Art of Multimedia had even retained the original assets - software and hardware had advanced so significantly in the intervening 15 years that the existing technology could not be used. The multimedia needed to be redeveloped using modern technology and redesigned to fit the existing cabinetry while catering to larger screens and additional interpretive content, which the RDM team wanted to include.
AOM utilized the Intuiface platform to create most of the exhibits as it significantly reduced the amount of custom programming required. Beata Kade, Art of Multimedia's Managing Director, shared, "There are not a lot of tools out there for programming custom logic and authoring multimedia quickly. Intuiface allowed us to not have to build every component from scratch which adds on to the time and cost."
Using Intuiface enabled the AOM team to focus on enhancing the visitor experience and visual design to meet the needs of contemporary audiences for the next decade. According to Jason Stevenson, Art of Multimedia's Creative Director, "Intuiface borrows key concepts from the traditional digital signage realm and infuses them with more of a multimedia authoring software system approach. The real switch for us was to move from a 'build it from the ground up' coding approach and moving into a no-code environment."
Intuiface Analytics was included, enabling the museum to collect insights about their visitors’ interactions with the digital displays, including frequency of use and dwell time. The software permitted museum staff to continually add new stories and even make structural changes to the exhibits if required. This enabled better utilization of the same hardware and available space.
Natalie Gedeon, who project managed the update had this to say: "The Museum was looking tired after 15 years in operation, the digital displays and hardware needed an update, along with a review of all our content and our desire to incorporate more Indigenous stories of the area. The addition of the touch table featuring the interactive map of The Rocks and its attractions has been a highlight in the museum. Visitors are enjoying the ability to explore the buildings at a touch of a finger, they can download the history onto personal devices with the QR software and explore images showing the changes that have happened over each decade."