A persuasive souvenir system (PSS) to increase Namibian museums turnout using RFID technology.

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Namibia University of Science and Technology


i DECLARATION I, Ndinelago T Nashandi, hereby declare that the work contained in the thesis for my Master in Computer Science, entitled ‘A Persuasive Souvenir System (PSS) to increase Namibian museums turnout using RFID Technology’ is my own original work and that I have not previously in its entirety or in part submitted it at any university or other higher education institution for the award of a degree. I further declare that I fully acknowledge any sources of information used for the research in accordance with the rules of the Institution. Signature: NNashandi Date: 20/01/2020 SIGNATURE OF THE SUPERVISOR I, Prof Hippolyte N Muyingi, herewith declare that I supervised this thesis. Signature: ______HNMuyingi_______________ Date: ___20/01/20________________ ii Abstract An advance in information technology has seen many museums in the world embarking on extensive and continuous developments that can be used to improve visitor experience. The extensive and continuous developments are done by creating an interactive environment that attracts more visitors to museums and sustains their role of imparting knowledge and cultural education (Busch & Sieck, 2015). There are abundant possibilities in addressing low museum turnout. The possibilities range from simple a written guide to a virtual and augmented reality; the increase of handheld devices is more used to enhance visitors’ experience within the museum (Hsi, 2004). Initial observation of turnout at Independence Memorial Museum suggests that very few Namibians, compared to foreign visitors, visit local museums. This information is based on statistical data provided by the Independence Memorial Museum, generated from 2015 to 2018, and data from an online questionnaire that was conducted in this study. The data shows that very few Namibian visits museums or do not repeat their visit to museums. Independence Memorial museum, whose impressive multi-story building was inaugurated on the 20th March 2014, revealed that statistics of local museums visitors are low or approximately equal to the number of foreign visitors. Windhoek city has the highest number of inhabitants in the country, with a population of approximately 400 000 (City of Windhoek, 2016). Only 5% of 400 000 Windhoek population visits the museum yearly, making it a worrisome number. The number of students’ trips to museums, organised by schools, is also low, with figures dropping from 5 583 learners in 2015 to 3 290 in 2018. This proportion is low, considering the fact that Windhoek has the highest number of schools in Namibia. This shows how Namibian citizens are far away from attaining knowledge that is preserved therein. This also threatens the sustainability of cultural institutions, including museums, as well as their mission of educating the society about their Namibia cultural heritage. This study proposed a possibility of solving this problem through persuasive technology by developing a Persuasive Souvenir System (PSS) that could attract and retain more visitors. The study posits that visitors will spend more time viewing the most attracting or interesting artefact in a museum. Thus, marking iii up this experience through a souvenir of the most visited artefact can be a trigger to attract the visitor to revisit the museum. Alternatively, by sharing the experience, the visitor would get friends or close relatives becoming interested to also visit. The system for Namibian museums was developed using C# programming language, and it makes use of identification and tracking technology, which aims to promote and boost the numbers of visitors to local museums by rewarding them with a souvenir card, consisting a photo of them, coupled with their most attracted or interested artefact and description. This system has been successfully developed through a prototyping methodology, and it has also been evaluated. However, due to limited time trial, and taking into account that there is a possibility of visitors taking longer time to decide whether they should visit the museum again or not , the study could not prove if the PSS is indeed able to convince visitors to revisit the museum or new visitors to start visiting the museum. The persuasive component evaluation is part of suggested future works, and it will need to be tested in a long term.



Museums, Persuasive souvenir, Persuasive computing, RFID technology, Location-based systems, Museums visits


Nashandi, N. T. (2020). A persuasive souvenir system (PSS) to increase Namibian museums turnout using RFID technology. (Unpublished Masters thesis). Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek.