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Overall Interpretive Framework

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Presenting a working model for planning and implementing museum interpretation that satisfies a wide array of audience types and internal stakeholders. Based on the work of John Falk, a set of guidelines is offered that can be used to determine the type of content to be created, for whom, and for what purpose.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Overall Interpretive Framework

  1. 1. GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE PARTICIPANTS Surface swimming Snorkeling Scuba diving An Overall Interpretive Framework ©2012 Douglas Hegley @dhegley Wading The majority of our audiences do not come to us with deep prior knowledge. In order to engage as many of them as we can, it is our responsibility to deliver content that meets multiple and varied needs.
  2. 2. CONTEXT Introduction Basic Interpretation What is this? Why does it matter? CONTENT Narratives & stories, connections, tours Bridge from surface to complex What’s behind all of this? What’s the insider story? EXPERTISE Deep, rich, facts Data, scholarly research The foundation must be built upon solid scholarship What are all of the details? How can they be verified? GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE INFORMATION PARTICIPANTS Invite, welcome Inspire, delight Inform, Teach Snorkeling Scuba diving Provide Layers of Information ©2012 Douglas Hegley @dhegley Surface swimming Wading This is not, and never will be, “dumbing things down”. Instead, this is opening as many doors as possible, and meeting our audiences where they are, with respect and enthusiasm.
  3. 3. GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE PARTICIPANTS Snorkeling Scuba diving Participant Identities Based on John Falk, Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience, (2009) • Each identity will have participants from all three categories (although not in equal proportion) • Any given person may inhabit any of the identities, based on each visit motivation 1. Explorer 2. Facilitator 3. Experience Seeker 4. Professional/Hobbyist 5. Recharger ©2012 Douglas Hegley @dhegley Surface swimming Wading
  4. 4. GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE Snorkeling Scuba diving Explorers Context, Introduction • Why is this important? • What makes this unique? • What important thing did I not know before? Content, Narrative • What is surprising? Why? • What is the inside story? Expertise, Data, Facts • Unseen connections • The hidden is revealed Goal visitor comment: “It was fascinating, I really satisfied my curiosity” Content Layers by Participant Type ©2012 Douglas Hegley @dhegley Surface swimming Wading
  5. 5. GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE Snorkeling Scuba diving Facilitators Context, Introduction • Big questions • Discussion points • Familiarity & relevancy Content, Narrative • Who were these people? • How did they relate? • Connections? Expertise, Data, Facts • Biographies – artists, models • Depicted: What is that? • Family histories Goal visitor comment: “My friends had a wonderful time, we can’t stop talking about it” Content Layers by Participant Type ©2012 Douglas Hegley @dhegley Surface swimming Wading
  6. 6. GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE Snorkeling Scuba diving Experience Seekers Context, Introduction • What is this? • Is this a highlight? • Is this famous? • Is this cool? Content, Narrative • Highlight tours • Comparisons: Biggest? Best? • Most-famous • Most brag-worthy Expertise, Data, Facts • Famous names • Surprises, shocking scandals Goal visitor comment: “I saw the first-ever painting by my favorite artist, and I didn’t realize that he hung out with the Beatles” Content Layers by Participant Type ©2012 Douglas Hegley @dhegley Surface swimming Wading
  7. 7. GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE Snorkeling Scuba diving Professionals/Hobbyists Context, Introduction • Introduction to theme(s) • Invitation to deeper layers Content, Narrative • History, and lots of it • Socio-cultural environment • Quizzes, tests of knowledge Expertise, Data, Facts • Research databases • Full access to working data Goal visitor comment: “I was able to see and compare the newest acquisitions, and read that the provenance was solid” Content Layers by Participant Type ©2012 Douglas Hegley @dhegley Surface swimming Wading
  8. 8. GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE Snorkeling Scuba diving Rechargers Context, Introduction • Limited summary text • No sound, no video Content, Narrative • Spiritual themes & references • Connections to greater good • Meaning and purpose Expertise, Data, Facts • Tombstone info in galleries • Details on website, if interested Goal visitor comment: “I felt a sense of pure wonder, I was swept away to another time and place” Content Layers by Participant Type ©2012 Douglas Hegley @dhegley Surface swimming Wading
  9. 9. Challenges/Opportunities • Commitment to an informed approach for interpretation based on research • Can we establish a set of centralized interpretive themes that will apply across the physical space, different collections, cultures, etc.? • Can we build layered, in-gallery experiences to please each type? • Can we integrate in-gallery content (text, interactives, sound, video, etc.) with the goals of tour guides, docents, education? • Who are the MIA participants? What percentage of each? • Can we effectively apply agile methodology? Can we act on feedback in an efficient manner? • How can we use web/mobile to enhance: Pre-visit, during visit, post-visit, and virtual-visit-only? ©2012 Douglas Hegley @dhegley

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