Jorvik Viking Centre

Today I took my wife and our children to visit the Jorvik Viking Centre in York.  York was the main Viking settlement in the UK and the Jorvik Viking Centre is a museum attraction that features archaeological artefacts, historic information and reconstructions of life in Viking occupied York.

I visited the centre on a primary school trip and I have not been back since, so I was excited to see how it may have changed.  The purpose of my visit was to get inspiration and information for my application, to observe my six year old son’s reactions to the centre and its features and to have a good old family day out.

The Jorvik centre provided me with some good inspirations and knowledge that will undoubtedly filter in to my application, it was very interesting to look at some of the archaeological finds as they will be good reference points for my digital recreations, for example Jorvik has an original Viking shoe on display and I now can draw a more accurate representation of Viking shoes in my application;  this may seem like a minor aspect but they devil is in the detail or so they say, so all information is useful to me.  I was very interested in the touch screen interactive that the Jorvik Viking centre has, I have previously designed two heritage based, touch screen, interactive kiosk applications during my B.A and it was interesting to compare my own work to the ones featured in a very popular heritage visitor attraction.

My son seemed to naturally gravitate towards the touch screen kiosks, this may be due to his love of computer games but he found the ones at the centre to be quite frustrating.  I was not surprised by this as I had the same feeling of frustration in my initial explorations of the kiosks; the information on the kiosk is displayed extremely well in my opinion and there are some nice interactive features like maps and ship building, but there were consistent usability issues across all of the interactive kiosks that caused frustration, followed by boredom for my son, this highlighted the need for my application to be easy and instinctive to use.

Whilst at the centre I picked up a Jorvik Viking Centre Guidebook and some Viking literature that hopefully will help me with my application (see below)

My son enjoyed the visit and he came home with his own mementoes of the visit (see below)

Overall my visit to the Jorvik Viking Centre was interesting and useful and we had a very enjoyable family day out.


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