Interactive exhibit – National Maritime museum

In 2012 I worked on concepts for an interactive exhibit for the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London. In one corner of the main hall there is a collection of painted wooden figureheads that were once attached to the prows of various sailing ships. At the time the museum had a static display about the figureheads but they wanted to make the exhibit more interactive and attractive to visitors.

As well as detailing the history of the figureheads, the plan was to allow people to create their own special figurehead from parts of the real ones and then allow them to save their creation as a papercraft model and either send it to themselves via email or print in the museum. These figureheads could then be constructed and even attached to the prow of a model ship purchased in the museum shop.

I worked on UX flows and concepts for the exhibit, which included a touch-screen drag and drop figurehead creation tool. One of the challenges was making sure the exhibit appealed to museum guests of all ages and also catered to those who just wanted to learn about the figureheads (not make their own). A proposed solution to this was an attract screen that had a clear incentive to younger guests but didn’t deter others.

Unfortunately the exhibit implementation was delayed for various reasons and ultimately never happened.

Figureheads in place

UX flow - Figureheads

Navigation details

The creation tool

Selecting a ship

Complete the process

Printing details

Figureheads timeline