As part of our research into usability, we were able to meet with Peter Mason and Bill Hardiman, representatives, respectively, of the Lustleigh Community Archive and the Moretonhampstead History Society. Tom Cadbudy, RAMM’s Curator for Antiquities, who had organised the event, brought some objects from RAMM’s collections that would feature in Moor Stories. Seeing the boxes reminded me of what Moor Stories is about: to see what is in these boxes; make items available, if only digitally, to the public; engage with these items by telling their story, or our story, in relation to them; think of them in situ, i.e. where they came from; take the museum outside of itself…
We discussed the website and app, and handled some beautiful flints. Both Peter and Bill offered us invaluable help in understanding how local history societies would use Moor Stories. Their feedback had a huge impact on how the design of both the app and website was revisited, and we are hugely grateful to them, and to REACt’s Gabriel Gilson who helped us to make final decisions.
First, like the schools we talked to, Peter and Bill suggested that Moor Stories should become a resource and link to other important sites, such as the Devon Record Office, the Westcountry Library, the Dartmoor Archive, Dartmoor National Park Heritage Gateway etc Additionally, Moor Stories should connect with a number of local history society websites. This made us think about how we could offer an interface that allowed local history societies to see themselves on our map and we decided that we would show the stories by parish. So we completely redesigned the interface and used the map as a navigational tool. Bill and Peter also said that they wanted to be able to distinguish quickly between fact and fiction. We already knew that schools wanted to be able to identify stories from a particular moment in history, so this influenced the way we organised the stories thematically. As most of our users don’t have the resources to moderate, we maintained our decision to use social media for user generated annotations. The next stage is to see what a designer will do with our wireframes, and then see what our experts on usability will make of that.