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4 Alex Burch denmark 2014

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4 Alex Burch denmark 2014

  1. 1. We Are Not Visitors Alex Burch Director of Learning Science Museum Group
  2. 2. Role of Audience Research • Happens before, during and after development • Identifies gaps between visitors’ needs, wants and expectations – and those of the Museum • Work with teams to implement interpretation/learning strategies
  3. 3. Different motivations for visiting Sharon MacDonald • A day out – a leisure activity, spending time with the family • Life-cycle – a visit was something you did at a particular life- stage. • Place – one of the ‘things to do in London’, a destination • Education – to learn something new
  4. 4. John Falk • Explorers – Curiosity driven, with generic interest in the museum’s content • Facilitators – Socially motivated, visit primarily focussed on enabling the experience and learning of others • Professionals/Hobbyists – Motivated by a desire to sarisfy a specific content-related objective. • Experience seekers – Motivated to visit because perceive museum as important destination • Rechargers – seeking contemplative or restorative experience.
  5. 5. Why Important? As Falk states: ‘…visitors’ entering motivations appear to have a particularly strong and important influence on both in-museum experiences and learning’ In Understanding Museum Visitors’ Motivations and Learning. Museums Social Learning Spaces and Knowledge Producing Processes.
  6. 6. Credit: Dave Patten Credit: Scott Gunn Credit: Scott Gunn
  7. 7. Credit: Sarah Sosiak
  8. 8. Why Important? Visitors have a script That script is about the place This profoundly influences expectations, behaviours and visitors’ approaches to content
  9. 9. We assume they spend a long time Who Am I? • 14 object cases • 50 interactives • 1000 sq m floor area • Av. dwell time: 21mins. • Max. time: 103mins
  10. 10. Beverly Serrell The study: • 8,507 visitors, • 110 exhibitions • 62 museums Longest dwell time • 128 mins, • 1% ≥ 1 hour. • ≤ 20mins most common • On average, visitors at only 1/3 of the exhibition elements.
  11. 11. We also assume… • That visitors start at the beginning • That they know the title of the exhibition • That what is iconic to us is to them • That they understand the themes of an exhibition • They read the text
  12. 12. How visitor background and behaviour impact Mechanical Brides • ½ the audience understood the curatorial themes Influencing factors: • Gender & college education • Intentional visitors • Encountered adverts Image courtesy of www.historyworld.co.uk
  13. 13. What are we asking visitors to do?
  14. 14. Value/cost model • Steve Bitgood – ‘attention-value’ model • Capturing attention is influenced by a number of variables including the size, isolation and location of exhibit elements. • Perceptual distractions are the most serious threats to sustained attention to exhibition elements. • Higher value objects receive the most attention. – As the number of objects in the visitor’s visual field increases, visitors will become more selective in that they will attend to a decreasing proportion available.
  15. 15. We assume visitors have the same understanding as us
  16. 16. Credit: Royterp
  17. 17. And we assume … • They understand history • And that adults know more than children
  18. 18. Visitors want more information… and less text • Why is it here? • Who made it? • How did it affect people’s lives? • How does it work?
  19. 19. New types of exhibition
  20. 20. New forms of interpretation V&A British Galleries Concerns: • Distracting, intrusive, anachronistic, patronising Research showed : • Deepened engagement with the object providing context, animation, insight and information • Equal no. of adult and child users
  21. 21. New Platforms • At Science Museum: • 80% smartphone • 50% tablet • 6% another internet enabled device • 2/3 are using this technology in the Museum Not using • to download our apps • access more content Are using: • Practically • creatively • socially
  22. 22. • Image Science Museum/Santiago Arribas-Pena
  23. 23. • Participants value viewing familiar objects in new ways • Value seeing human behaviour from an outside perspective “[The costume] made me think more about life; see myself in the third person.” (adult)
  24. 24. Thank you/Tak

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