University of Padova



Over the years, new information and communication technologies (ICT) are playing an increasingly important role in tourism and cultural heritage. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) increase the enjoyment of the experience of non-expert visitors, without hindering accessibility and information acquisition. In the literature, there are several studies related to the experience of visitors through AR and VR, but the naturalistic field is still little explored.

The objective of the project “Questo (non) è solo un albero” is to realize interactive prototypes that, with innovative technologies of AR and VR, allow visitors to get in touch with the plant and animal world through engaging narrative paths in a naturalistic site. The project takes place at the Botanical Garden of Padua (UNESCO heritage site), in collaboration with the Department of Biology and the Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture, and Forestry.
To realize this immersive, recreational and educational experience, the design, realization and evaluation phases of prototypes are based on the user-centered approach to personalized visitor needs.

With these goals, co-design activities (e.g. brainstorming, focus group, affinity diagram) are carried out involving both partners and final users. Furthermore, to understand the needs and preferences of the users of the Botanical Garden (e.g. experts, tourists, children) a series of questionnaires were administered. In addition, during prototype design, field observations are conducted. After the prototypes’ development and installation in situ, field tests will be carried out to evaluate aspects related to usability (e.g., ease of use, usefulness, efficiency) and user experience (e.g., pleasantness, amusement).

Project Date: September, 2018
Project Duration: 12 months

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