Mayflower Stamps: A Mayflower treasure trail

The Mayflower Stamps was a project that was developed out of DATA Play 6 by NudgeUp that proposed creating a simple, playful method of encouraging exhibits interactions backed by behaviour change research for the Mayflower 400 event.

Leigh Cooper (@leighcoopa) talks about how the project came about, what’s happened with the project and what he hopes the project will deliver.

The inspiration

The Mayflower 400 is an event that tells the monumental trip of the Mayflower and its crew from Plymouth to the New World. The city of Plymouth will be one of the major hosts for the Mayflower 2020 event. Due to this, Plymouth will be displaying a variety of attractions to do with the history of the Mayflower and the city itself. From this, we propose a project that will intend to complement these attractions and enhance visitor experience.

The project

We want to ensure that all the exhibits exude and encourage user interaction. Therefore, we propose an innovative collection-based activity, called ‘The Mayflower Treasure Trail’, that combines technology with traditional playful methods.

Each visitor will be given their own Mayflower stamp card to fill with each exhibit containing their own tailored stamp dispenser. Once visitors have collected their stamps, they can scan their Mayflower stamp card at the ‘stamp terminal’ to see their progress (for example how many exhibits they have visited) and to calculate their ‘score’. This playful approach is designed to encourage families to go back and ‘explore’ activities or exhibits that they may have missed.

This progress will be represented by an animation of the Mayflower’s journey. The more stamps collected by the visitor the further the Mayflower will get along the journey; encouraging the visitor to collect all the stamps and in turn visit all of Plymouth’s attractions. There are even ‘golden stamps’ planned to be scattered around Plymouth; that will unlock special awards for the visitor when they scan them.

Enhancing visitor experience

We believe that this project will increase the visitor’s positive experience with the Mayflower 2020 event in Plymouth and complement the planned attractions. This is due to the added value of play associate with this project. We are taking a traditional and well-loved activity, collecting, and synergising it with updated technology whilst infusing it with educational stories about the Mayflower’s history.

Looking ahead…

The ‘stamp terminal’ 3D animation has been planned and is in a state of development. Currently the animation will display the Mayflower ship leaving Plymouth and travelling across the sea. It will stop at various ‘treasure chests’ located in the ocean if the visitor has collected the corresponding stamp. Upon reaching the Mayflower’s destination, a progress screen will then pop-up to display to show the visitor their progress. The number of stamps collected directly affects the Mayflower colonies success in the new world – encouraging visitors to collect them all!

Other versions of this project are also currently being planned to help it be more cost-effective. For instance, a similar version of the original project is being planned but without the need for the technology. This version will incorporate a more ‘offline’ feel that will use volunteers/staff at pop-up tents. They will collect the visitors stamp cards and exchange them for physical rewards.

3 May 2019


About the author: Leigh Cooper is the founder of NudgeUp – a team of researchers, psychologists and designers that all share the same vision – to create design that helps using a cutting-edge method, taken from the behavioural sciences, that can alter an individual’s choices by changing the design and layout of their environment.