Open Exhibits Blog



Comparing stay time and social behavior at multitouch interactives

One potential of the multitouch table that we’ve been really interested in exploring is whether the table as a format is more social experience for visitors than the same content if it were shown in a multitouch vertical environment, i.e. hanging on a wall. We tested this hypothesis at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science late last year, asking visitors to interact with the devices and comparing their behavior and stay time.

The median time spent at the different devices was similar; however, the range of use time was greater for the Wall. The sample at the Wall also demonstrated a lower minimum and higher maximum use time, i.e. there were a greater ranges of time spent at the Wall.

Participants at the two devices also demonstrated similar behavior. While in this study, there were slightly more social behaviors on the Table over the Wall, independent t-tests found no statistically significant difference between the number of those social behaviors, or in participants’ ratings of how interesting the content on the devices was.

The majority of participants in both samples indicated that they had learned something from using the display. Interestingly, a larger proportion of the Table sample thought there was a main message to the content on the display. However, chi-square tests indicate that there was no difference between wall and table users’ perceptions of a main message or learning (ps>.05).

We believe that the lack of these differences might vary by type of content. The content test here was an open-ended fossil collections-viewing activity. A game, time-line or map-based interactive may or may not produce the same results, we hope to continue testing different forms of content.

by View all posts by Kate Haley Goldman on June 5, 2013