Gifting as a Novel Mechanism for Personalized Museum and Gallery Interpretation

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9146)


The designers of mobile guides for museums and galleries are increasingly concerned with delivering rich interpretation that can be personalized to meet the diverse needs of individual visitors. However, increased personalization can mean that the sociality of museum visits is overlooked. We present a new approach to resolving the tension between the personal and the social that invites visitors themselves to personalize and gift interpretations to others in their social groups. We tested the approach in two different museum settings and with different types of small group, to investigate how visitors personalized experiences for one another, how the personalized experiences were received by visitors, and how they worked as part of a social visit. We reveal how visitors designed highly personal interpretations for one another by drawing inspiration from both the exhibits themselves and their interpersonal knowledge of one another. Our findings suggest that the deep level of personalization generated by our approach can create rich, engaging and socially coherent visits that allow visitors to achieve a balance of goals. We conclude by discussing the broader implications of our findings for personalization.


Museums Galleries Personalization Interpretation Collaboration 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.School of HumanitiesUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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