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Mobile heritage practices. Implications for scholarly research, user experience design, and evaluation methods using mobile apps.


Mobile heritage apps have become one of the most popular means for audience engagement and curation of museum collections and heritage contexts. This raises practical and ethical questions for both researchers and practitioners, such as: what kind of audience engagement can be built using mobile apps? what are the current approaches? how can audience engagement with these experience be evaluated? how can those experiences be made more resilient, and in turn sustainable? In this thesis I explore experience design scholarships together with personal professional insights to analyse digital heritage practices with a view to accelerating thinking about and critique of mobile apps in particular. As a result, the chapters that follow here look at the evolution of digital heritage practices, examining the cultural, societal, and technological contexts in which mobile heritage apps are developed by the creative media industry, the academic institutions, and how these forces are shaping the user experience design methods. Drawing from studies in digital (critical) heritage, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and design thinking, this thesis provides a critical analysis of the development and use of mobile practices for the heritage. Furthermore, through an empirical and embedded approach to research, the thesis also presents auto-ethnographic case studies in order to show evidence that mobile experiences conceptualised by more organic design approaches, can result in more resilient and sustainable heritage practices. By doing so, this thesis encourages a renewed understanding of the pivotal role of these practices in the broader sociocultural, political and environmental changes.AHRC REAC

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This paper was published in Open Research Exeter.

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