Hero images

The hero image you use for your interactive is the main star of the interactive. It's the first thing visitors will see. It's super important it's as good as it can be so here are some tips:

  • It's best to use .jpg files and to make sure they are large in file size - a few Megabytes is a good sign (up to 10Mb). That means visitors will be able to zoom in on the detail of the image. 
  • Make sure it's a good quality image - if it's a single object it should be well lit and just contain the object itself. (You could always crop the image to help that)
  • It's probably best if it doesn't have a border or anything around it, just the image itself.

The best uses for overviews

Overviews are additional buttons that appear on the main menu of your interactive. They're in addition to your highlights, but they are not related to a specific detail. 

You don't have to have any overviews, so only add them if they enhance the experience. 

Great uses of overviews can be:

  • More about the creator, artist, owner, etc. If you can shape these to be relevant to THIS object or image, that would make it even better. 
  • Information about the era, the style, or generic context that gives the visitor more to appreciate about what they're seeing. 
  • Associated media, such as a poem or a song that belongs with the image or objects and helps you look at it in a new light. 
  • Other languages or perspectives. It could be used to offer a specific cultural perspective, or even a story in another language.
  • Adding accessibility. Using an overview for something like an audio description of a painting for a blind person to listen to, is another great way to broaden your audeince and easily cater for a variety of needs. 

Once again, less is more, every overview adds a button to your main menu. 

Keep the names of your overviews to one or two words, so they make a good button size, and are clear indicators to the visitor or what's behind this button. 

Overviews are a great way to add context. 

Overviews are a great way to add context. 

When to have a title

First of all, you don't need to have a title. So, only have one if you need it. Sometimes, an image on its own, is an interesting enough way for a visitor to simply start exploring, and discover your stories for themselves. 

A title can be used to simply flag name of the object, image or document. 

You could also add a logo or exhibition title, if that's what is needed. 

Keep it short, this is not the place to say anymore other than the main heading. 

Making great highlights

A great highlight is one that lets a visitor zoom in and discover a story that makes them take a second look at the object. It'll get them thinking, exploring, and it will likely be the story they take away with them and tell others about. 

It answers, succinctly, the question: "What's so great about this?"

First, find the details of your object or image that have the very best stories, those ones that visitors find the most interesting. 

Add these highlights to your hero image, and think about the best media to bring them alive. Our top recommendation is audio. To a visitor, hearing an expert, or someone with a special association with an object or image, talk about what's so special about it is the most engaging experience. It's like having an expert right beside you. Read our tips page on how to make the best audio recording. 

You can also add images to your highlights which can be there to enhance the story, as well as text. 

Some don'ts:

  • Don't repeat a highlight. Even if there are two things the same, or two places to tell the same story, make a new highlight for each one and offer another perspective. If a visitor clicks a highlight and hears the same content they had on another highlight, then they will feel lost. "I've been here already". Otherwise, tell a story well, and tell it once. 
  • Brevity is your friend. Use of both audio and text should be kept to an easily digestible length. No one wants to read an essay, or listen to a lecture in this environment. Keep it short, and get to the most interesting bits as quickly as you can, that will keep your visitor fully engaged.
  • Don't overcrowd it. It's so easy to add highlights, but consider your visitor. Any one of those highlights could be the first thing they click on - will it be their last, or is it interesting enough to get them exploring more? Less, but brilliant, highlights are better than too many. It's ok to leave them wanting more. 
Highlighting the most interesting parts of an object can really bring it to life. 

Highlighting the most interesting parts of an object can really bring it to life. 

Recording Audio

Audio is a brilliant way to tell a stories in Curio. Here's our tips on how to record great sound bites for your interactive:

1. Be focused - imagine a visitor has asked "what is so special about this object?" and you only have a few seconds to intrigue them. 

2. Record it as an interview - The best way to make a recording is to literally conduct an interview with your chosen expert(s), where you ask questions about specific parts of the hero image, as if you were a visitor, "what's this here?" and let them answer. (You'll have to stay quiet in the background!)

3. Recording equipment - you can use a specialist recorder, if you have one, or attach an external microphone onto your smart phone, or even the smart phone's built-in microphone. We've got a specific Tips page on this, that will let you hear the difference between these approaches. 

4. Choose a quiet space - ideally you would record in an audio studio, but not everyone has access to one of those. A quiet room, with some soft furnishings (close the curtains), will do.

5. Keep the sound bites short - choose the most interesting point, one at a time, and stay focused on that one. If you or your interviewee can tell the story in 30 seconds - 1 minute, that's probably the sweet spot for most visitors. 

6. Use a prop - have the object, or a print out of the hero image, with you. Then you can focus in on the detail, as the visitor would. (You could also record right in front of the real object, if it's quiet enough)

7. Don't read a script - certainly work out what you, or your interviewee, are going to say, but record the audio more like you would an interview. Tell the story as if you are talking directly to a specific visitor.

8. Editing the audio tracks - even the most polished speaker will need some editing, just to take off the gap at the start (the audio needs to start straight away) and the end. You can use professional software (like Adobe Audition) or there are free programmes you can download. We've got a specific tips page on editing audio, to help you with this.