Lightmaker were commissioned by The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh to create an innovative new touchscreen experience to be housed in their redeveloped gallery. The gallery was opened to the public in November 2011.
The client identified digital media as playing a significant role in the re-opening of the gallery with the brief being to create the ‘Faces & Places’ application. This application consists of five sections (Faces, Places, Timelines, Collection & Gallery) which allow the visitor an open-ended, self-directed exploration of the galleries collection.
The objective of the ‘Faces & Places’ application was to drive visitors to the venue, enhance their visiting experienceand maintain engagement after their trip through an integrated online experience. It also needed to provide not only different levels of interpretation, and ways into the collection but also a compelling and fun learning experience.
The touchscreen application also needed to be directly connected to the supporting website and deliver a gripping, interactive experience to encourage visitors to discover, learn and explore a wealth of information. After an extensive technical strategy, user research, scoping and wire-framing process Lightmaker embarked on the design and development of the multi-touch, gesture-based kiosk application which features the galleries’ entire collection as well as a series of interactive experiences. Users are also able to save their activity and continue their journey on the website for which Lightmaker also created new sections.
One of the challenges was how to connect the kiosk experience to the website and encourage people to continue their exploration online after visiting the gallery. This was achieved through the ‘My Face, My Place’ activity whereby gallery visitors can select a portrait that best matches the attributes they choose to describe themselves. This portrait is then made available in an online painting application where they can create their own version of the portrait and submit it for inclusion in an online gallery. This approach encourages visitors to participate in a more engaging experience of portraiture.
The application was built to run on Adobe Air using a combination of Flex with a Flash Professional authored library and .Net CMS.