Making Dinosaurs Dance: A Toolkit for Digital Design in Museums takes the reader behind the scenes to learn how the American Museum of Natural History innovates visitor digital engagement, highlighting design techniques used both there and at museums around the world. Based on the author’s six years at the landmark institution that inspired the Night at the Museum franchise, the book introduces The Six Tools of Digital Design - user research, rapid prototyping, public piloting, iterative design, youth collaboration, and teaming up – then applies them through case studies across a range of topics:
In addition, the book explores related topics at institutions in Greece and France, and from Washington, D.C. to California.
Barry Joseph is a driving force at both the strategic and the tactical level in digital engagement, youth development and digital learning. At Global Kids, Inc. then at the American Museum of Natural History, Barry oversaw the design and implementation of over 100 new digital learning youth programs. He worked for over a 15 years with museums to innovate visitor-facing experiences through iterative design, with a focus on prototyping and evaluating cutting-edge visitor-facing experiences. As VP of Digital Experience at the Girl Scouts of the USA, he used tools of user experience to make complexity accessible and drive new membership. He is a co-founder of the Games For Change Festival.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Enter the Museum
Chapter 2: Designing Guided Adventures
Interstitial: Hall of Ocean Life: 8:59 a.m.
Chapter 3: Designing Game-based Learning
Interstitial: Car no. 9
Chapter 4: Designing Augmented Reality
Interstitial: A Room With a View
Chapter 5: Designing XR
Interstitial: About Time
Chapter 6: Designing Science Visualizations
Interstitial: A Gem of a Hall
Chapter 7: Exit the Museum
Appendix: Design Reading List
A wonderful guide to the kind of agile, experimental, responsive operational strategies needed in the museum of the future.
Personal and engaging, this book reveals the opportunities and surprises of working directly with museum visitors in designing new digital experiences. Refreshingly honest and practical it offers even the smallest museum insights into how to design things that visitors - even teenagers - will enjoy.
Making Dinosaurs Dance is a delight. Joseph provides readers with a clearly articulated and robust framework then bases each chapter around specific digital projects that demonstrate what those tools look like in practice. It has something for emerging professionals looking to equip themselves with digital design tools while offering those already-emerged a great example of the benefits of reflecting on their practice.
Making Dinosaurs Dance gives readers an incredible behind-the-scenes view into the pathways and processes that have driven many innovative, digital projects in museums. Each case study - showing what the Six Tools for Digital Design look like in action - provides readers with relatable scenarios and a more realistic view of what it means to effectively use these tools to advance your own digital design projects."
This book is relatable and accessible, offering an honest look at working in a museum. Based on real genuine experience, reading it was like having a charming conversation with the author. And this isn’t just me being a nice Canadian!
Barry has created an accessible and deeply practical guide to designing digital experiences in Museums. Drawing on detailed case studies from his work at American Museum of Natural History with warmth and candor, Barry illustrates a core framework for implementing a broad range of technologies in a variety of Museum contexts. This book is part how-to guide, part seminar workshop, and part magical mystery tour of Barry's time at the Museum--an essential introduction to how digital technologies can (and can't!) transform the visitor experience.
This book feels like a baton that is being passed, a baton that will open up possibility spaces for the next round of innovation.
An impassioned look into the many ways Joseph has used digital design to transform museums and visitor experiences. Joseph describes his pioneering work through vivid case studies and insightful interviews, offering a framework and tools for utilizing his uniquely qualified approach.
Barry Joseph is one of the foremost experts on digital design, youth learning, and innovation. If you're interested in these spaces there is no better place to look.
Barry Joseph is a force of nature. Few can match the impact that he has had in pulling digital museum education into the 21st century.
The publication is an important record for digital design at an important moment in museology.