“Our Neighborhoods” featured in Nov./Dec. 2014 Museum Magazine

In its November/December 2014 issue, Museum Magazine honors award winners who “stand out from the crowd.” One of the featured winners is “Our Neighborhoods,” an interactive we designed for the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)’s new, state-of-the-art facility that opened in December 2012. This activity won the 2014 Gold MUSE Award for Interactive Kiosks at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM)’s 2014 Annual Meeting that took place May 18-21 right here in Seattle, Washington.

“Our Neighborhoods” features an interactive map of Seattle’s quirky areas, highlighting the history and the unique attributes that make each community a great place to call home. Funky graphics, retro music, and pop culture icons from the past situate the activity in its historical context: the postwar era when people began moving to the suburbs and creating new enclaves within Seattle’s sprawl. We connect the history of of the Central Puget Sound’s neighborhoods to the present by offering visitors a detailed quiz that catalogs what they look for in a community and recommends an area that might be a great fit for them – and one that may not be.

The judging panel for the Interactive Kiosks category remarked of “Our Neighborhoods”: “This kiosk is recognized for it excellent use of design, multiple ways to explore. The addition of multimedia components such as the incorporation of local music is highly effective.” We felt honored that the judges recognized the depth with which we explored the topic of Seattle’s distinctive areas and delighted that they appreciated our use of multiple modes of interaction.

The Museum Magazine feature of “Our Neighborhoods,” found on page 30, lists the MUSE Award win and shows a photo of a visitor interacting with the touch screen pop-up window. Using this window, visitors can view information about a neighborhood, leave a comment, read other visitors’ comments, or play a quiz to find their ideal neighborhood. Other visitors can move and scale the map while a visitor has a pop-up window open, and two visitors can use pop-up windows simultaneously, making this experience ideal for interpersonal interaction and group commentary.