Mar 29, 2024

In the words of a tester : “By touching, you participate in the experience!”

Tactile Studio is preparing to install six new sensory devices at the  Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MUCEM) in Marseille. They will be part of the collection for five years.

A blind person discovers the objects in the showcase on Algeria. Credit TS.

The interpretation team wanted to test two station prototypes in order to verify the design choices beforehand: one on the Venus d’Arles, the other on a showcase of objects linked to Franco-Algerian colonial history.

User tests carried out by Tactile Studio at Nantes University‘s XP lab involved six testers from the public institute Ocens.

They validated the importance of providing a bas-relief display (preferred by blind people) enhanced by a relief interpretation (preferred by visually impaired people) for the sculpture of the Venus d’Arles. On the display of objects linked to Algeria, it was confirmed that audio should be used to explain the subject and detail the description of this rather complex composition.

Prototype of an interpretation device dedicated to the Venus d'Arles, with a bas-relief completed by a relief interpretation. Credit TS.

These sessions were instructive for the final design of inclusive devices, and proved to have an impact in human terms. Testers expressed their gratitude for being able to access content more easily. Among them, Abdoulaye, 60, had this to say after discovering the bas-relief of the Venus d’Arles: “By touching, you participate in the experience. It’s not just the others [sighted people] who talk about it.”

By being able to touch, you gain access to something that goes beyond the sensory experience: you’re able to speak out on the subject, take part in the debate – in other words, you have a full place in society.

Find out more about the MUCEM

Museum website: here.

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