Situated play in a tangible interface and adaptive audio museum guide

Ron Wakkary, Marek Hatala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the design issues of situated play within a museum through the study of a museum guide prototype that integrates a tangible interface, audio display, and adaptive modeling. We discuss our use of design ethnography in order to situate our interaction and to investigate the liminal and engagement qualities of a museum visit. The paper provides an overview of our case study and analysis of our user evaluation. We discuss the implications including degrees of balance in the experience design of play in interaction; the challenge in developing a discovery-based information model, and the need for a better understanding of the contextual aspects of tangible user interfaces (TUIs). We conclude that learning effectiveness and functionality can be balanced productively with playful interaction through an adaptive audio and TUI if designers balance the engagement between play and the environment, and the space between imagination and interpretation that links the audio content to the artifacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-191
Number of pages21
JournalPersonal and Ubiquitous Computing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

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