Creating an interactive experience at Aerospace Bristol Museum

Newicon, Aerospace Bristol and UWE recently came together to create an interactive app, giving families a more engaging and fun way to explore the museum and learn more about the history of aviation. This blog takes a look at how the app came to be, and what exactly it does.

George Barnes

Content Marketing Manager
·2 min read (659 words)
The aerospace adventure app on the screen of a smartphone, designed by Newicon for Aerospace Bristol

Aerospace Bristol —  the fantastic aerospace museum in Filton, Bristol - has just released a brand new interactive experience — one that we’ve been working with them to create for the past year!

Titled “Alfie & Amelia’s Aerospace Adventure”, the new technological feature of the museum is an interactive game that helps children and families engage with the exhibits and get more from their visit to the museum.

This was a truly exciting project for us to work on, so we thought we’d share the story of how it came about.

Creating a truly interactive experience in a museum setting

The journey began when Dr Lisa Brodie from UWE (who we had previously worked with to make the Newicon Innovation Kit available to engineering students at the university), approached us to see if we could help develop some solutions to help Aerospace Bristol (of which she is a trustee) get a headstart as it made its way out of the pandemic and lockdowns.

To conceptualise the creative direction, and produce these solutions, we’d be working with students from UWE, who were being paid to take part in the project. 

Mark, our CMSO, interviewed the candidates and picked two developers and a UX designer. (The UX designer was Donata Lesiak, who the eagle eyed might recognise as someone who has recently joined the Newicon team as a full time team member. Yes, she impressed us that much we just had to bring her into the Newicon family!) 

Together, Mark and the team of students took a tour of the museum while it was closed during lockdown. From there they came up with a selection of ideas for how to get the public excited and more engaged with the exhibits. 

The primary areas which were identified included gamification — fun ideas to incentivise people to progress through the museum and stay engaged — so we introduced a points system and a leaderboard to put users’ knowledge to the test; helping with knowledge retention and learning. We also introduced an interactive map so users could explore the zones and follow the route, ensuring exhibits were less likely to be missed in those more remote corners of the museum. 

And finally, we added a spin the wheel for additional bonus points to add an element of gameshow pizzazz. (Future ideas include flying a plane and other arcade style activities!) 


After the tour and following an innovation workshop with Newicon, the students and Aerospace Bristol decided on a technical direction to take - and we landed on Alfie & Amelia’s Aerospace Adventure. 

We evolved Donata’s designs and refined the UX/UI then developed an initial Proof of Concept  with the two student developers. Once we had a working prototype, Newicon were later commissioned to produce a more polished commercial app using modern Javascript-based web technology so the app performed effectively and could scale to handle many visitors using it at one time. The interactive technology was ready for when the museum reopened its doors to the public.

A royal meeting

After playing a major role in designing the user experience of Alfie & Amelia’s Aerospace Adventure, Donata even got to meet HRH The Princess Royal when she visited the museum to open a new Conservation in Action Workshop

During the meeting, Donata even had the chance to show HRH The Princess Royal the app!


Take the family for a visit

Alfie & Amelia’s Aerospace Adventure is now available to use for anyone with a smartphone, and is a guaranteed way to help your kids get more out of their experience of the museum. Simply point your camera at the QR code to launch the experience and away you go on your adventure. So if you’re near Bristol and are looking for something to do with the kids this weekend, why not head over to Aerospace Bristol!
Find out more about the museum, buy tickets and read more about the app on the Aerospace Bristol website.

I'm George Barnes

Content Marketing Manager at Newicon

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