Date of Award

June 2019

Degree Type





Donald W. Carr


engaging, gamification, Generation Z, history museums, mobile application

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


The museum is a cultural place for people to broaden their horizons and it is also an essential environment for informal learning. However, due to our fast-paced lifestyle and diverse forms of entertainment, needs are increasingly varied, and museums face many challenges. Many people, especially young people like Generation Z (a group of people who were born between the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s), are not interested in static exhibitions with tedious and wordy interpretations. Therefore, building the connection between Generation Z and making history museums more engaging is crucial. The goal of my project is to identify the engaging elements for Generation Z and apply them to a design intervention for building connections between Generation Z and history museums. According to my literature review, online survey, and a walking interview, there are three key findings which can drive my design intervention: (1) Gen Z thinks that use of heavy text and lack of interaction are disengagement elements. They believe that creating memories related to history can help them to generate empathy and increase their interest in history. (2) Gen Z is active on social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and they enjoy watching “stories,” which is a visual scrapbook of videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours. (3) Gamification (a method to incorporate the elements of a game into a non-gaming environment) can help individuals to learn and absorb knowledge. Rewards, self-expression, altruism, storytelling and visual communication are crucial gamification elements which can make individuals feel more engaged in the learning environment. I developed three generation prototypes and had participants interact with them to gain feedback from my target group. Finally, the overall design outcome is a location-based mobile application called MUZE which can collect historical stories in daily life. The app has three features: the ability to collect historical stories, the ability to share feelings and thoughts about the history in the form of a short video, and the ability to redeem virtual or physical rewards related to the history museums.


Open Access



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