I'm a Digital Media Specialist at The University of Melbourne and Science Gallery Melbourne. I have a keen interest in investigating democratic use of technology in public space. I conduct design research to uncover the design parameters that stimulate activation, participation and engagement with technology, particularly media architecture and immersive interactive spaces.
This paper presents the results towards the evaluation of content on public displays, and in particular of the impact on its 'users'. In an attempt to gather the reactions from local citizens on an existing urban display, we deployed four different research methods, i.e. contextual interviews, card ranking, interactive content demonstration and postcards. Our analysis has identified a wide range of methodological issues, including social barriers, time constraints, shallow responses and the difficulty in eliciting on-site creative thinking. As a potential solution to overcome these findings, we describe the initial results of a pilot case study involving a radically new approach, in which we allowed citizens to experience content creation and curation on a public display first-hand.