Computer History Museum Visit

IMG_0044To be able to be where the foundations of the computer revolution was made is such an honor. The technological world as we know it today was pretty much invented here, created here and manufactured here.

As you arrive at the museum, you see the future, being used in the present time – the Tesla Recharging Stations. Electric cars have made it to stores and very very soon, self-driving cars will also be available for general use. The future is arriving faster and faster.

During our guided visit, we were asked to choose a person we knew well and look/experience the museum as they would – as a learner – so that we could then reflect upon how we could make the experience better.

I was thinking of my father since he’s always fascinated with how fast things are advancing and how humans are able to discover new things and build upon them. Here are my thoughts:

  1. Noise – the museum is quite noisy and there were several other groups being led by the staff making it quite hard to hear what our guide was saying.
    • An App could solve that – you connect to your guide’s audio and put on your headphones. Along with that, the App could show relevant and additional information about what we were looking at.
  2. Interactivity – or the lack of it – I felt there was too much reading to be done and very few charts, diagrams, animations or videos explaining what we were seeing
    • I would suggest quick videos demonstrating the computers in action, showing what they were meant to do or even touch screens to simulate use, speed or any other characteristic of the machine.
    • For each area I would also create some introductory content to help contextualize what the visitor is about to see. For those with little knowledge about the history and evolution of computers, most of it might seem meaningless; they might not able to appreciate the impact and importance of what is being displayed.
  3. Software – we are all now very familiar with Apps, user interfaces and so on… I felt that there was little towards showing how the old computer’s screens looked like, presented information and accepted user input.
    • I believe that would’ve made the experience a lot more informative as well as showing just how much the UI and UX has evolved.