UNESCO Chair on Digital Cultural Heritage MNEMOSYNE
at the Cyprus University of Technology

Enriching user experience via user-centered design: digital applications on underwater cultural heritage


CAA 2021


K. Efstathiou, A. Tourtas, A. Chourmouziadi, M. Ioannides, Z. Anthis


Submitted, under review

AbstractThe ERA Chair MNEMOSYNE project seeks to define holistic documentation “pipelines” for various CH objects, aiming at increasing outreach (awareness, participation and engagement) to specific user communities. Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) is a rapidly evolving field of digitally assisted management of Cultural Heritage (CH). A substantial number of digital applications are being designed and promoted every year in various parts of the world to facilitate research, enhance protection strategies and promote interaction between UCH and the public. As in any case of digital development, for them to be successful, there is the need to understand the motives that drive these endeavours and the context within which they are going to be used; in other words, to understand the users. Most often, every developing project is focused on the study of the users involved, seeking information to cover mostly practical issues that derive from the special underwater environment involved and the impediments it produces to CH management. However, a holistic approach to the matter of user experience (UX) in the creation of digital applications for UCH can provide a wider view on the subject and elaborate more on the theoretical aspects of this procedure. Introducing a discussion that confronts theoretical issues on the content, the overall interaction of the public with this unique cultural capital and of course the various aspects of Digital Cultural Heritage (DCH) theory, this presentation will provide a general theoretical framework for approaching UX in the context of UCH.

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