Below you will find four downloadable step by step guides for how to build your own digital interactive for an exhibition.
Wiltshire at War: Digital Armistice Stories was a National Heritage Lottery Fund funded partnership project, led by us at South West Museum Development, working with Wiltshire Council’s Museum Development Officer. This project brought together a group of volunteers from six museums and heritage organisations in Wiltshire, to explore local and national First World War stories from the Armistice era (1918-1919).
- To develop new skills and interpretation practices using affordable technology – tablets.
- Deliver a programme of digital skills support.
- Support museum personnel to research, interpret and share Armistice era stories from their collections.
- To display these stories in their exhibition spaces using digital kiosks.
- Aldbourne Heritage Centre
- Amesbury History Centre
- Athelstan Museum
- Chippenham Museum
- Pewsey Heritage Centre
- Purton Museum
If you would like to know more about this project then get in touch and select digital in the drop down and let us know how we can help.
Building your Touchscreen Interactive
The following will demonstrate how to create three different types of touchscreen interactives that can be built with PowerPoint.
- Standard interactive e.g. information about a particular exhibit
- Quiz Game
- Map & Video interactive
There are five steps to help you build the interactive:
- Building Your Touchscreen Interactive
- Advanced Touchscreen Interactives: Quiz and Map with Videos
- Choosing your Equipment
- Automating the Interactive Start-up
- Protecting the Equipment
Creating a Standard Museum Interactive
The content for this project could either be the sharing of museum-wide content (possibly using what is already on your website) or you could focus it around a single exhibit. The below example is based on the gallery layout within Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Building a PowerPoint slideshow
Your first step is exactly the same process that you would use to build a standard presentation. The first page will be your main menu page – below we have used images to function as buttons. The subsequent pages will be where these ‘Image Buttons’ link to.
- Open PowerPoint, write your chosen heading in the title box
- Insert your chosen images images (these will be the buttons to click through to each subsequent gallery page): Insert > Picture > Select the image from your files.
- Add a new slide to create the content for the first gallery page (see image below for example format).
- In the top right corner insert a ‘back to main menu’ text box as in the below example.*
- Once you create one gallery page then you can copy and paste this format for the following pages and just change the image and text.
Aspect Ratio Advice: You will probably need to set the resolution of your touchscreen monitor to be compatible with Power Point:
Design tab > Page Setup and change Slides sized for to On-screen Show (16:9)
Converting your Slideshow to an Interactive
To ensure that clicking on an ‘Image Button’ on the main page will take us to the corresponding page:
A) Disable forward advancement
On your Main Menu slide > Transitions tab > untick Advance Slide: On Mouse Click
Start your presentation again and confirm that clicking on the screen does nothing. You can still move through your slide deck with the arrow keys.
Once that is working repeat this process on all your Gallery Page slides.
B) Convert images into hyperlinks (turning the main menu images into buttons)
- Main Menu > right click on the first image that you would like to link up.
- Select Hyperlink from the pop-up menu to bring up the Insert Hyperlink box.
- On the left chose Place in This Document.
- This will bring up a list of all your slides. Select the slide that you want to link to and click OK.
- Start your presentation again and confirm that clicking on your ‘Image Button’ takes you to the chosen slide. You should also double-check that clicking other locations on the Main Menu does nothing at all.
- You can repeat this process for all the ‘Image Buttons’ on the main menu
Implement the ‘back button’ functionality
Use the same process as above to link the ‘back to main menu’ buttons on each Gallery Page to take users back to the Main Menu.
*Note: To save you doing a hyperlink multiple times it is possible to set up the ‘back button’ link on the first gallery slide before copying and pasting new gallery pages (back to page 1, section 1, no.4).
Congratulations – you have a working Museum Interactive!
Start it again and have a play and ensure that all the buttons work.
Quality images, fonts and design will make a difference to how well the overall exhibit looks and is received by your audience. You could always look for an existing PowerPoint Template from that matches the style you want to create.
PowerPoint also has lots of features to create smoother interactions. A quick improvement could be the use of slide transitions. It’s generally advisable to use the subtle effects for a professional feel e.g the Fade transition.
Click on the Transitions tab > choose the Fade transition > click Apply To All button.
- Restart the presentation to see the effects.
- Try out some other transitions which you can find in the preview window.
- You can change the Duration to speed up or slow down the transition.
- You will find that each transition has some customisation e.g. which direction the transition starts from. You’ll find these in Effect Options