Our categories at OMSI have changed and evolved since we first started the project. We began using most of the categories Children’s Museum of Houston (CMH) used in their App (What do I do? What happens if…? Big questions, Do this at home! Dig deeper!). As we moved deeper into our own content development and visitor testing we modified, combined and removed some of the categories.
1 – What do I do? – This was a straight forward choice as it is where we put the instructions.
2 – Changed “Try this!” to “Challenges”…and then changed back to “Try this!” – When we first changed “Try this” to “challenges” it was to make the section more exciting – get the user engaged! – and see if wording of categories affected the experience. It did and does! We had numerous visitors who tried the App tell us that the challenges sections either wasn’t challenging enough or there weren’t enough of them. After this we returned the category heading to “try this!” and labeled appropriate posts specifically as challenges and the rest as things simply to try. The responses we received after the change improved and it has remained since then.
3 – Combined “Big questions” and “Dig deeper” – Initially “Big questions” was the category where questions directly related to the exhibit were put (why did it do that, how does it work?) and “Dig Deeper” was where the more detailed or tangentially related questions went (newton’s 3rd Law, buoyancy, etc.). We decided after hearing feedback from visitors and discussions amongst ourselves that these two categories weren’t different enough to warrant separate sections. By combining them we reduced the number of places to look for content and made the appearance better (no longer needed to scroll through categories)
4 – Added a “Real Life Applications” section – We decided to add a section that showed how the science related to the exhibit is applied to the real world. We felt that this could be a great section to help people understand why it is important to know this information and how it affects their everyday life. We also asked for people to make their own suggestions to add to this category using the comments section. We will see if it is utilized as more people are able to use the App.
5 – Changed “Do this at home!” to “Try this…at home!” – This was a cosmetic change that hasn’t thus far shown to either positively or negatively affects the visitors experience with the App.
So far the categories we have now seem to be working well. The only complaints have been in regards to the format of the app itself, which we can’t control during the testing.