The Rocks Discovery Museum (RDM) Refresh involved improvements and innovations to the way we present our heritage information, and an expansion on the Aboriginal interpretation of the area. We also developed a new website to extend the reach of the Museum to the public, and better enable remote access for those exploring the heritage of the broader Rocks precinct using mobile devices.

Located in a relatively small, adapted stone warehouse space, the museum needed to effectively deliver its artefact collection and stories in an interactive and layered fashion, which is why the digital displays were crucial.

Software has undergone so much transformation in the last 15 years and the existing multimedia needed to be redeveloped using modern technology. Art of Multimedia (AOM) had developed the digital platforms in 2005, and fortunately still had the original data files. This enabled them to extract the content for the current exhibits, while our museum team concentrated on the addition of many First Nations stories and perspectives on the colonial history of The Rocks, in relation to European settlement/invasion of NSW as a whole.

The Intuiface platform was used to create most exhibits since it significantly reduces the amount of custom programming required and provides analytics about the use of our digital exhibits. This enabled Art of Multimedia to focus on enhancing the visitor experience and visual design to meet the needs of contemporary audiences while fitting into existing cabinetry with minimal alterations.

The Rocks Discovery Museum now has 14 expanded and 3 new interactive multimedia exhibits equipped to add more stories and collect data. We can see an average of 4100 stories per month are being accessed, how long they are interacted with, which exhibits are most popular, what time of the day, weekly & monthly activity trends and more.

The analytics thus gives our museum team the opportunity to understand what stories resonate with our audiences, and guide our future storytelling in the museum, on our website and within The Rocks precinct itself.

One new addition is a large multi-touch table, which features a beautiful, illustrated map of The Rocks which is now made interactive and acts as a site-based menu. All significant heritage buildings are available for exploration with their names, addresses and descriptions, archival images of their changing use over the years, which can all be enlarged and rotated and extracts of their Conservation Management Plans. Full CMP documents can be accessed by the interested visitors by scanning a QR code and shared or forwarded.

Our dedicated storytelling website has already proved invaluable in connecting us with over 7,000 online visitors, who viewed 19,000 pages of stories, museum history and event information.