Journal article Open Access
Damala, Areti; Hornecker, Eva; van der Vaart, Merel; van Dijk, Dick; Ruthven, Ian
With the advent of digital museum interactives as a widely available learning offer in all types of museums, including history of art and archaeology museums, an ongoing debate has been established: Do these - usually screen-based - museum interactives assist visitors in focusing on museum objects and artefacts? Or do they distract and take away the attention from the real museum objects on display? We present the Loupe, a tangible Augmented Reality prototype in form of a magnifying lens, which allows museum visitors to get information in context about museum artefacts. We detail the design and content creation process that was employed in order to create a thematic tour for the Greek Gallery of Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam. An evaluation study with 22 adult participants was carried out, using both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods, so as to explore the utility and usability of the Loupe as well its learning and affective impact. Our findings suggest that the acceptance of the Loupe as a museum interactive and learning resource, was related both with its qualities as a tangible as well as with the structure of the content and the narratives revealed.