The Kresge Art Center at Michigan State University is home to many examples of student artwork that are sporadically spread across the building. Locating examples of specific student artwork within the building can be difficult to visitors who are unfamiliar with the building’s layout. The maps presented near the stairwells show only a representation of where specific rooms are located and leaves out where the artwork is located in relation to these rooms.
Working as a team, we wanted to develop an interactive prototype that would be easily accessible to visitors and would inform them of where student artwork is located within the building. We brainstormed ideas for a possible solution and decided that a map of the building superimposed with symbols identifying where the artwork is located would achieve our goal of helping visitors find what they are looking for.
Low Fidelity Sketches
We began the process by walking through the building and identifying where each piece of artwork is located within the context of the building. I wrote a brief description of the art, such as “red painting”, in order to return to the project and recall which photograph of the art is associated with each location.
High Fidelity Map
The next step in the process was to create a digital version of the map. I did this by tracing the map using the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator. When tracing the map, I made it as detailed and as similar to the map as possible so that users could easily understand their location within the building.
The final step in the process was to add a paint palette to each location on the map where artwork is situated. The paint palette was selected so that users would easily identify the symbol as a designation of where artwork is. My partner uploaded the map to UX Pin to make it interactive. In the final product, when a user selects a paint palette, the associated artwork will display in a box with the artwork’s title, description, and artist’s name.
Situating the Prototype
I created a video using Camtasia to show how a user would interact with the prototype within the Kresge Art Center. The video shows a user (myself) walking in to Kresge’s main entrance and locating the interactive display on the central wall in front of the door. She then taps through the touch interface of the display to see examples of student artwork. When the artwork she wants to see is decided on, she then walks to the location of the artwork to view it.
This project involved creating an interactive display that shows proof of concept, scale, interactivity, and location within a large context. In order to create an interactive prototype, a variety of technologies and fidelities are necessary for the prototype to be useful and accessible. Utilizing the affordances of these different technologies allowed us to create a prototype that meets the criteria of showing concept, scale, interactivity, and location.