Making Everyone a Winner: Universal Design of Multimedia

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From a session at the American Association of Museums 2008 Annual Meeting.

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Making Everyone a Winner: Universal Design of Multimedia

  1. 1. Dana Allen-Greil New Media Project Manager National Museum of American History allen-greil@si.edu “Making Everyone a Winner: Universal Design of Multimedia,” American Association of Museums Annual Meeting, April 29, 2008
  2. 2. Topics <ul><li>Making the case for universal design </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Project to create guidelines </li></ul>Photo: Visitors interact with the “America on the Move” exhibition at the National Museum of American History.
  3. 3. MAKING THE CASE Best practices and selected statistics to help you make universal design part of your institutional culture
  4. 4. Universal Design is a Process <ul><li>Involve stakeholders in decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Include media in interpretive planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Be realistic and consider ROI. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for sustainability. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Universal Design is for Everyone <ul><li>Diversity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Audiences to consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing number of older adults </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growing disabled population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-generational social groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many more! </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Audience: Older Adults <ul><li>In the next 20 years, we will see an unprecedented increase in the number and proportion of older adults. </li></ul><ul><li>Proportion of older adults (65+) may double. </li></ul>Sources: 2030 Vision: Anticipating the Needs and Expectations of Museum Visitors of the Future, Smithsonian Office of Policy and Analysis, 2007; The State of Aging and Health in America 2007 .
  7. 7. The U.S. Population in 10 Years 17 and under TBD Generation Z 2000+ 18-37 80 million Generation Y/ Millennials , larger than the Baby Boomers 1981-2000 38-53 46-50 million Generation X , about half the size of the Baby Boomers 1965-1980 54-72 76 million Baby Boomers , 1/3 of current adult population 1946-1964 In 2018 will be… Size Generation Born
  8. 8. Trend: Growing Disabled Population <ul><li>About one in five people in the United States has a disability or impairment that causes limitations in activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Socioeconomic trends and other factors have contributed to the growth of a disabled population: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rising obesity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical advances that prolong life </li></ul></ul>Sources: “Change in Chronic Disability from 1982 to 2004/2005,” PNAS 103, no. 28 (2006); “Disability Status and the Characteristics of People in Group Quarters,” Feb. 2008. U.S. Census Bureau. National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey. “Change in Chronic Disability from 1982 to 2004/2005,” PNAS 103, no. 28 (2006).
  9. 9. Audience: Multi-generational Groups Source: Results of the 2004 Smithsonian-Wide Visitor Survey. Smithsonian Institution Office of Policy and Analysis.
  10. 10. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES Issues to consider when implementing multimedia devices in your museum
  11. 11. Multimedia Opportunities <ul><li>Digital multimedia can provide: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved access to artifacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic approximation of the real </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased mobility of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customization to user preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribution to multiple platforms and media types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio for the visually impaired </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Captions and ASL for the hearing impaired </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Mainstream technologies are not designed for museum visitors as a primary audience. How are museum visitors impacted when we adopt technologies from the marketplace? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adopt/adapt responsibly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology-specific standards and integration with assistive technologies </li></ul></ul>Use of Mainstream Technologies
  13. 13. Case Study: iPods <ul><li>Challenge: iPods and other MP3 players are meant to be heard (ideal for people with visual impairments), but often require good vision to use them effectively. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity: Add audio and/or voice menus, audio metadata for tracks, audible controls (feedback when control is clicked) </li></ul></ul>Source: “iPod accessibility,” Simply Blog, July 30, 2006. http://web.mac.com/simplytom/iWeb/SimplyTom/Home.html
  14. 14. Challenge: Complexity <ul><li>Devices will continue to get more complex to operate. This is especially a problem for people with cognitive disabilities and people who have cognitive decline due to aging. </li></ul>Source: &quot;National Council on Disability Explores Emerging Technology Trends and Provides Strategies for Change,&quot; December 27, 2006. Photo: (left) Philips 1500 VCR; (right) Philips DVD Remote.
  15. 15. Challenge: Size <ul><li>The shrinking size of products is creating problems for people with physical and visual disabilities. </li></ul>Source: &quot;National Council on Disability Explores Emerging Technology Trends and Provides Strategies for Change,&quot; December 27, 2006. Photo: (left) Dr. Martin Cooper, father of the mobile phone (fcc.gov); (right) “Zoolander” (2001).
  16. 16. Challenge: Touchscreen controls <ul><li>Increased use of digital controls (e.g., push buttons used in combination with displays, touch screens, etc.) is creating problems for people with blindness, cognitive, and other disabilities. </li></ul>Source: &quot;National Council on Disability Explores Emerging Technology Trends and Provides Strategies for Change,&quot; December 27, 2006. Photos: (Top) Microsoft Surface; (Bottom) McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum interactive
  17. 17. Challenge: Handheld devices <ul><li>New/unfamiliar technology for visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance concerns (content and hardware) </li></ul><ul><li>Social isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Hands are occupied </li></ul><ul><li>Can distract from exhibition and artifacts </li></ul>Source: &quot;Museums in Transition: Emerging Technologies as Tools for Free-Choice Learning.&quot; Science Museum of Virginia and Gyroscope Inc., November 2006. Photo: sign language presentation for Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. .
  18. 18. PROJECT TO CREATE GUIDELINES Results of a June 2007 study on the state of guidelines for universal design of digital interactives
  19. 19. Digital Multimedia in Museums <ul><li>Number of Exhibitions with Computer-Based Interactives </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Digital Interactives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(136 respondents) </li></ul></ul>Source: Allen-Greil, Dana. Survey Report: “Guidelines for Designing Computer-Based Interactives in Museums,” 2007.
  20. 20. What Should Guidelines Do? <ul><li>“Guidelines should aim to both set standards for accessibility, and inspire creativity in curators, developers, and media designers.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>survey respondent </li></ul></ul>Source: Allen-Greil, Dana. Survey Report: “Guidelines for Designing Computer-Based Interactives in Museums,” 2007.
  21. 21. State of Guidelines in Museums <ul><li>Only10% of museum practitioners have implemented guidelines for computer-based interactives. </li></ul><ul><li>A slightly more promising 17% of exhibition or multimedia designers that serve cultural institutions reported having adopted such guidelines. </li></ul>Source: Allen-Greil, Dana. Survey Report: “Guidelines for Designing Computer-Based Interactives in Museums,” 2007 Photo: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, America on the Move exhibition..
  22. 22. Concerns about Guidelines Source: Allen-Greil, Dana. Survey Report: “Guidelines for Designing Computer-Based Interactives in Museums,” 2007.
  23. 23. A Call for Collaboration <ul><li>Working together we can create and share best practices, examples, and guidelines that will encourage practitioners to create multimedia experiences with a universal approach to design. </li></ul><ul><li>Please contact me at allen-greil@si.edu with questions, good examples of universal design in multimedia, or other comments. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Selected Resources <ul><li>American Association of Museums Everyone’s Welcome </li></ul><ul><li>Association of Science and Technology Center’s Accessible Practices http://www.astc.org/resource/access/ </li></ul><ul><li>Center for Universal Design http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/ </li></ul><ul><li>Center for Applied Special Technology http://www.cast.org </li></ul><ul><li>CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media http://www.wgbg.org/ncam </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Interactives Guidelines Project www.digitalinteractiveguidelines.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Disabilityinfo.gov </li></ul><ul><li>Museum of Science Access web site, http://www.mos.org/exhibitdevelopment/access </li></ul><ul><li>National Center for Accessible Media. http://ncam.wgbh.org </li></ul><ul><li>National Park Service http://www.nps.gov/access/ </li></ul><ul><li>Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design (1996) http://www.si.edu/opa/accessibility/exdesign/ </li></ul><ul><li>Trace Research and Development Center http://trace.wisc.edu </li></ul><ul><li>United Nations enable Project http://www.un.org/disabilities/ </li></ul>

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