Requirements for an In-gallery Social Interpretation Platform: A Museum Perspective

Marcus Winter

Abstract

This paper reports findings from expert interviews discussing in-gallery commenting systems with museum professionals. Its main contribution is an exploration of museum perspectives on critical aspects of commenting platforms including content moderation, comment metadata, access and openness, ownership and reuse of comments, backend requirements, deployment and maintenance. The paper relates findings to system requirements and flags up a number of design tensions between visitors' attention to exhibits and their engagement with interpretive resources; visitors' communication behaviours and their contemplative needs; museums' requirements for content moderation and visitors' user experience when submitting comments. The findings will be useful to researchers and practitioners developing in-gallery commenting systems and other platforms collecting and displaying visitor comments in museums.

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