How content is presented is just as important as what the content is. As I gathered information to use as content I also looked at how I should format it. Should I put long detailed text blocks in? Short simplified pieces? Should I use picture, videos, or audio as well? During the evaluations I used many formats to see what worked and what didn’t.
Pictures vs. Videos vs. Audio
While developing the content for our App I created several videos and audio files in addition to pictures. I initially thought that people would like the videos a lot and use them and the audio. It seems my prediction is wrong. Based on the feedback from evaluations so far visitors using the App do not use the videos or audio and focus mostly on the text and pictures. I have collected only limited information about home use of the App so far, so I don’t know if the non-use of video/audio is purely a function of being at the museum or if people simply don’t use that option in an App like this.
During the next Cycle I will be asking visitors about this to try to find out:
1) Do they use videos/audio? Why or why not?
2) Was the format of the App affecting this?
3) What would make visitors more/less likely to use these options?
Figuring out if people want video/audio, and what format they want it in will go a long way towards allowing us to make a great App that people want to use.
Formatting of text in posts
The evaluations results have shown me that HOW content is presented is just as important as WHAT the content actually is. During Cycle 1 when I was still in the process of developing the bulk of the content for the App there was a mix of posts; some with large texts blocks and some with less text and additional images/videos/audio. It became clear from the responses of visitors that the large text blocks didn’t work. Since then I have found that the following points work best:
1) Shorter, simpler explanations are preferred to large technical ones.
2) Accompanying images were very well received. There hasn’t been a preferred layout of the combination text/images to emerge.
3) Equations, especially large complicated ones, are a no no!
4) As mentioned in the picture/videos/audio section, it is unclear whether or how video/audio is used by visitors in the App.