Testing Week

This week we attempted to test some of the LoDo Destinations in real time. We were able to view a couple of the buildings augmented through our smartphones and see where we need to do some tweaking (resizing of images, image placement, etc.) We did run into a hurdle while doing this, but everything is up and running again! We will continue to test the locations over the weekend as well as next week.

Additionally, we are now in the process of creating our presentation of our learning experience with augmented reality and its relevance to history. We aim to show how history through augmented reality can entice the public, allowing for history to be preserved and valued.

LoDo History Full Proposal

After touring the Lower Downtown area with Historic Denver’s Sophie Bieluczyk, we have narrowed down two opportunities to improve their venue with augmented reality. The first is a proposed guided walking tour of LoDo Historic Denver is planning on for the summer months. The second is an unguided walking tour that tailors to the visitor or new citizen of the Denver Metro area.

In our discussion, both opportunities will use many of the same concepts, such as visual timelines and historic text, but the content will be as different as the audience. The guided tour will be based on Historic Denver’s previously published guidebook and will focus on the dates and historic information they consider to be important about each location, while the unguided tour will be more freeform, allowing for increased information, visuals and tools.

Guided Tours

  • For an audience that is visiting the city and is on an official tour with a guide. These concepts will complement that experience, rather than be stand-alone apps.

Concept 1 Visual Timeline

  • This timeline will be more image based, emphasizing change over the past decades. A tour guide will highlight important milestones of the area or building while the visuals add to the historic value.

Concept 2 Image with Text and Link

  • This concept would focus on sites that haven’t changed as much, therefore, wouldn’t benefit from a timeline-based sequence of change. The guide on the tour will go over main points for these sites and point out their importance while the app adds “fun facts” here and there to add to the experience.

Concept 3 Audio and Video

  • If and when we discover some audio and video clips we wish to incorporate, these will be featured in this style of app. Again, complementing the experience of the tour, these clips will add speeches or music from the era. For these types of media, we will pull from YouTube, SoundCloud and the Denver Public Library.

Unguided Tours

  • For the audience that visits the city without any fixed tours or for those who already live here that don’t know the history of the area they live.

Concept 1 Visual Timeline

  • This timeline for the unguided tour would be more image based, less information based. Some tidbits of interesting facts would pop up, but not an entire textbook of history. It functions more as a slideshow, a quick look into the past for casual observers on the street.

Concept 2 Picture links to text/video/audio

  • These images will pop up with a caption and a link to more information. Depending on the amount of and relevance of the topic, a different link or several links could be connected to each picture such as: audio recordings of music, video documentary, text with dates and important events.

Concept 3 Scavenger Hunt

  • This template is more of a game-based app. Each image or building you find gives you a badge and a collection that ultimately leads to a badge for collecting all the buildings in LoDo. This is more game based, not as much room for teaching and giving all the information we have to give since it’s more light-hearted. You can link to Twitter and Facebook with this game and maybe “compete” with friends to collect all the buildings.

In conclusion, our group wants to ultimately enhance a LoDo visitor’s experience. Our biggest challenge in the guided tour, is finding the best pictures to use for each local that matches with their text. Within the unguided tour, the biggest hurdle is making sure the app is fun enough that word spreads.

There is little to no marketing/promotion available from Historic Denver to let people outside their tours know the app exists. So, it’ll be paramount that the app itself helps in that job. We’ll do this be enhancing the visitor experience through engaging texts, rare archived visuals and interactive components.   We’ll rely on people’s tacit knowledge that LoDo is a historic district and using GPS push technology draw them to explicit knowledge of the buildings and events that made it a part of history.

There is nothing like this current at play in LoDo, so we have a wide-open field to create in. It should be an exciting project.

For a visual representation of the different concepts, click here > LoDo Proposal

Modes

Are these genres ill-suited to sustain other modes of visitor engagement?

The primary genre of this venue is visual in the form physical signage in the form of street signs, building signs and historical markers. While the street signs and building signs work well for guiding a visitor to their location, they do not do much to educate and/or inform the visitor to the history of the building. Historical markers can do that, but as small, sporadic and hard to see, especially if destination orientated.

What other modes of engagement would be desirable for the venue?

Augmented reality can make use of all three of the genres by adding another layer of information, being it picture, text or video. It would allow for even destination-based visitors to access historical knowledge while on the move.

-David

Effectiveness

The plaques don’t call attention to themselves, not attracting new audiences to the venue. The current audience is sustained by the newsletter – physical or electronic – but the actual buildings themselves don’t draw people to their historical significance in the formation of Denver.

The website available is disorganized. It’s decent, but doesn’t highlight their social media or their access to a plethora of information. The link to the story trek, one of the greater influences in their goal of spreading history, isn’t easy to do find and the separate link itself is not visually appealing or engaging. The signage for the trek is scattered as well, hard to figure out it’s purpose in a greater scheme.

 

-Brittany

Audience Engagement

Each of the genres currently present in the physical location are signage for navigation and posters/sandwich boards serving as advertisement for restaurants/boutiques and in some cases events. These are designed to facilitate navigation, whether for consumers to find their way around the area, or find their way into businesses. There are also plaques on some of the buildings that are designed to inform people of the history of the buildings. But not only are these plaques hard to find but they are also not affiliated with historic Denver. They’re designed to facilitate knowledge but are ineffective.

 

-Miranda

Archetypes

As we said in our presentation, there was very limited well… everything. It seemed as if the Lodo History book she had focused solely on the architecture and design of early Denver. There are plaques and other small signs that explain and point out historic landmarks, but none seem to be very noticeable. The book featured pictures of the original building or landmark, then it had about 500-1000 words worth of an explanation. The excerpts explained classic design and its significance. There was no audio, or video. They really don’t even have Social Media that’s accessible.

 

-Brett

Primary Genres

The primary genres/forms of media occupying the venue are limited to plaques on the sides of some historic buildings and mainly advertisements on the sides of posts. In addition, “Historic Denver” can be found at the top of some of the street signs.

 

-Taylor