Auckland Museum

UI Design

Auckland War Memorial Museum (AWMM) is the holder of a military medal collection of over 3,500 medals dates from the Napoleonic Wars through to the present day. Previously only a fraction of the collection was on public display, with the rest stored in an off limits armoury.

As the first stage of a 10 year museum redevelopment programme, He Pou Maumahara was envisaged as a place for visitors to research & make personal discoveries about New Zealand servicemen & women.

An overarching theme of ‘behind every medal is a story’ was developed & became the governing principle for the project.

We proceeded to envision a contemporary digital experience that strongly connected to the Online Cenotaph project but in the physical museum context, enabling visitors to research, learn, discover, reflect and contribute to the Museum’s database on New Zealanders’ service in war.

Additionally, the digital installation needed to fit seamlessly into the contemplative physical space & enhance the holistic museum experience.

We leveraged a rigorous user-centered UX design process with extensive use of interactive prototypes and user testing to ensure that the digital interactives were intuitive & easy-to-use.

To address visual inconsistency & poor quality archival medal image assets, over 100 medals were curated, art directed & photographed beautifully in ultra-high resolution.

Anecdotally, the exhibition has been a huge success and there have been multiple examples of visitors discovering familial connections with the medals collection.

The primary users are independent adults/adolescents from early teens to 75 plus. The behavioural & motivational considerations for these users included medal researchers, people with familial connections & people with little or no connection or knowledge of medals.

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