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Results from the National Visitor Motivation Survey Online: MCN2016

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In 2015-16, cultural organizations across the United States, joined by partners in Canada and Australia, banded together to better understand museum website visitor motivation. This was not just a research study, but a community of museums looking to better understand their online audiences. The survey comprised a single question about what motivated users in going to the website that day. Focussing on identity-related motivations (rather than demographics or behaviors), the survey responses aligned with museum researcher John Falk’s Predictive Model for Museum Visitation—Explorer, Facilitator, Professional/Hobbyist, Recharger, and Seeker. Led by Sarah Wambold, Director of Digital Media at the Clyfford Still Museum, and Marty Spellerberg, of Spellerberg Associates, the project culls more than 16 weeks of data across 23 different museum websites. This is the first survey to utilize Falk’s framework online, the first focused primarily on small- and medium-sized organizations, and the first in the US to view the data in aggregate. The study provided representatives from participating museums the opportunity to discuss their findings, highlighting patterns that emerged across the various institutions. In order to facilitate those exchanges, professionals from each institution have met online using Slack, asking questions and sharing knowledge. In this forum we will bring this dialogue to life and the voices of MCN attendees into the conversation.

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Results from the National Visitor Motivation Survey Online: MCN2016

  1. 1. National Museum Website Visitor Motivation Survey PROFESSIONAL FORUM
  2. 2. Marty Spellerberg Consultant MCN 201602
  3. 3. Explorer The need to satisfy personal curiosity & interest in an intellectually challenging environment Facilitator The wish to engage in a meaningful social experience Experience Seeker The aspiration to be exposed to the things and ideas that exemplify what is best and most important within a culture or community Professional or Hobbyist The desire to further specific intellectual needs in a setting with a specific subject matter focus Recharger The yearning to physically, emotionally, & intellectually recharge in a beautiful and refreshing environment
  4. 4. Art21 ○ Art Gallery of Ontario Aspen Art Museum ○ Chicago Architecture Foundation Chinese American Museum Los Angeles ○ Clockshop Clyfford Still Museum ○ Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis de Young Museum ○ Hammer Museum Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston ○ Illinois Holocaust Museum Legion of Honor ○ The Menil Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Denver Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University Nasher Sculpture Center ○ Portland Art Museum Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History ○ Warhol Museum Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
  5. 5. Tricia Robson Assistant Director of Web & Digital Production Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco MCN 201607
  6. 6. de Young Museum, San Francisco
  7. 7. Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco
  8. 8. famsf.org Overview Fiscal Year 2015–16 Sessions: 4+ million Pageviews: 14+ million Pages/Session Avg: 3.30 Avg. Session Duration: 00:02:28 Visitation trends: Most highly trafficked sections of site include: Visit pages, Ticketing, Exhibitions pages, and Calendar pages High visitor drop off rate & not a ton of deep engagement
  9. 9. Visitor Motivation Survey Goals 1. Institutional benchmarking 2. Test assumptions based on web analytics 3. Internal project support / buy-in
  10. 10. Visitor Motivation Survey Overview Time frame: February 22–June 19, 2016 (17 weeks in total) Response rate: ~2,500 total sessions, with ~11,500 pageviews
  11. 11. Visitor Motivation Survey Results What is the primary motivation for visiting our website?
  12. 12. Visitor Motivation Survey Results “Planning activities for friends/family” was cited as the primary motivation for ~60% of visitors to famsf.org (Facilitator category).
  13. 13. Visitor Motivation Survey Results Pageviews show high visitation rates for Facilitators, but actual engagement remains shallow / highly focused. Pageviews # % Explorer 2,103 18.39% Facilitator 6,742 58.95% Professional 1,565 13.68% Recharger 845 7.39% Seeker 182 1.59% TOTAL 11,437 100.00%
  14. 14. Visitor Motivation Survey Results Which visitors show the most prolonged engagement online?
  15. 15. Visitor Motivation Survey Results Highest engagement rates amongst “Explorers” and “Professionals.” Pages/Session # % Explorer 5.79 24.88% Facilitator 4.39 18.87% Professional 7.45 32.02% Recharger 3.28 14.10% Seeker 2.36 10.14% TOTAL 23.27 100.00%
  16. 16. Visitor Motivation Survey Results Highest engagement rates amongst “Explorers” and “Professionals.” Avg. Session Duration Minutes/Seconds Explorer 00:05:46 Facilitator 00:03:46 Professional 00:07:42 Recharger 00:02:58 Seeker 00:01:22
  17. 17. Visitor Motivation Survey Results How do different motivation categories impact visitation trends online?
  18. 18. Visitor Motivation Survey Results Homepages received high visitation rates for all categories, but Facilitators were most likely to purchase tickets. de Young homepage Legion of Honor homepage Tickets All Users 2,133,154 (37.28%) 739,232 (12.92%) 1,645,286 (28.75%) Facilitator 3,815 (56.59%) 1,313 (19.47%) 1,160 (17.21%) Explorer 1,181 (56.15%) 321 (15.26%) 133 (6.32%) Professional 335 (21.41%) 119 (7.60%) 0 (0.00%) Recharger 517 (61.11%) 210 (24.82%) 63 (7.45%) Seeker 112 (61.54%) 14 (7.69%) 0 (0.00%)
  19. 19. Visitor Motivation Survey Results Facilitators and Seekers had higher visitation rates on Visit pages. Professionals and Explorers most likely to shop online. Visit pages (de Young) Exhibition pages (de Young) Shop All Users 157,138 (2.75%) 186,614 (3.26%) 403,312 (7.05%) Facilitator 245 (3.63%) 196 (2.90%) 35 (0.52%) Explorer 7 (0.33%) 42 (1.99%) 419 (19.92%) Professional 7 (0.45%) 14 (0.89%) 943 (60.26%) Recharger 0 (0.00%) 14 (1.65%) 0 (0.00%) Seeker 14 (7.69%) 0 (0.00%) 7 (3.85%)
  20. 20. Visitor Motivation Survey Results Facilitator user paths centered primarily on homepages, exhibitions, ticketing, and visit pages.
  21. 21. Visitor Motivation Survey Results Explorer user paths centered primarily on homepages, exhibitions, shopping site, and learn/events pages.
  22. 22. Visitor Motivation Survey Results Confirmed many of our website data assumptions Offered a platform to evaluate data against peer institutions Helped garner support for upcoming web refresh project
  23. 23. Web Refresh Project Goal & Outline Goal: Evolve the FAMSF websites with a new responsive, user-centric design to elevate the de Young and Legion of Honor’s respective personalities while keeping consistent, systematic layouts and structure. Outline: Time-sensitive style refresh focused on creating style themes and page templates for key landing pages.
  24. 24. Web Refresh Project Approach
  25. 25. Web Refresh Project Key Focus Areas Homepages (de Young, Legion of Honor, FAMSF) Exhibition pages (special, general) Visit page Collections landing page Give & Join page Navigation
  26. 26. Web Refresh Project Initial Discovery
  27. 27. Visitor Motivation Survey Takeaways
  28. 28. Jessica Warchall Communications Manager The Andy Warhol Museum MCN 201630
  29. 29. Visitor Motivation & A Website Redesign Photo © Abby Warhola
  30. 30. Photo © Abby Warhola
  31. 31. warhol.org August 1, 2015 – July 31, 3016 Sessions: 1.16 million Pageviews: 2.62 million Average session duration: 1:38 Pages / session: 2.4 Among our most visited pages are the collections page and visit pages. Average time on pages are :49 and 2:06, respectively.
  32. 32. Why participate in VMS? 1. To confirm our assumptions about who is visiting warhol.org 2. Gather data to inform our 2016–17 website redesign Photo © Abby Warhola
  33. 33. VMS on warhol.org Duration: November 2015 – May 2016 Sessions: 1,386 Page views: 7,877
  34. 34. VMS Results Nearly 39% of visitors were motivated to visit warhol.org “to plan an activity for my family/friends.”* Nearly 22% of visitors were motivated to visit warhol.org "for professional reasons.”* *Based on sessions
  35. 35. VMS Results Visitors planning an activity had the most pageviews, but professionals had deeper engagement with warhol.org. Pageviews # % Explorer 1258 15.97% Facilitator 2820 35.80% Professional 2338 29.68% Recharger 1114 14.14% Seeker 347 4.41% Total 7877 100.00% Pages / Session # % Explorer 5.20 18.68% Facilitator 5.23 18.79% Professional 7.85 28.20% Recharger 4.74 17.03% Seeker 4.82 17.31% Total 27.84 100.00%
  36. 36. Where are these visitors spending time? Collection Facilitator 105 Professional 337 Calendar Facilitator 740 Professional 509 Education Facilitator 72 Professional 149 Visit Facilitator 807 Professional 165 Pageviews
  37. 37. Implementation Phase I Communications tool Target locals and tourists planning a visit to The Warhol or looking to attend one of its programs. Focus on robust calendar, ticketing, visitor information, and exhibitions pages. Phase II Online destination for Andy Warhol Target scholars and researchers looking for information about Warhol. Focus on collections, education resources, and biography pages.
  38. 38. Jacques Haba Digital Media Manager Nasher Sculpture Center MCN 201641
  39. 39. Nasher Sculpture Center | Dallas, TX
  40. 40. Overview - All Traffic | Dec 1, 2015 to Apr 30, 2016 Sessions: 119,420 Pageviews: 568,582 Pages/Session Avg: 4.76 Average Session Duration: 1 min 54 sec Context: Nasher Prize (International Sculpture Award) Spring Break District Block Party The Great Create (Fundraising event) Dallas Art Fair
  41. 41. Visitor Motivation Survey | Dec 1, 2015 to Apr 30, 2016 Sessions # % Explorer 117 11.14% Facilitator 486 47.51% Professional 309 30.21% Recharger 81 7.92% Seeker 30 2.93% 1023 100%
  42. 42. Facilitator - What do they tell us about our content? Facilitator holds true to Falk’s entry motivation Planning a leisure activity Texas daytripper planning a museum visit Some plan towards a specific event Quick logistical planning - admission & parking Not discovering additional resources helpful to planning Low visitor loyalty
  43. 43. Facilitator - Who makes up the majority? Female 60% Male 40% 25-34 year old on average 30% more spend 20% less time in a session 18-24 year old 40% less than average
  44. 44. Facilitator - “Successful” Demographic 45-54 year old woman slightly less sessions but more engagement 20% more time on site women spent 3 min longer per session more goal conversions Google Analytic Goal Examples: Admission ticket purchase | Contact Us | Email signup | Resource download
  45. 45. Facilitator - What interests them across the Internet? Potential Interests (Affinity) Movie Lover TV Lover Travel Buff Technophiles News Junkies (Entertainment) High Interests (In-Market) Travel/Hotels & Accommodations Travel/Air Travel Real Estate / Residential Properties Employment Education / Post-Secondary Education Entertainment | Travel | Education
  46. 46. Facilitator - Local, National or International? Expection: More national and international traffic Discovery: A majority are within Texas Predominantly in Dallas/Ft.Worth area
  47. 47. Facilitator - Are they aware of our brand? 26% of traffic has some awareness awareness from Direct traffic, Email campaigns and Facebook Facebook traffic more event-centric planning Referral traffic (excluding social media) predominantly from local media DFW Child, Dallas Observer, CBS Local(DFW), DMagazine Landing on the homepage
  48. 48. Facilitator - What content does the majority view? 60% of traffic planning visit to Nasher Sculpture Center 2nd interaction: Visit section - Hours & Admissions 4th interaction: Traffic drops below half 3rd interaction: 27% traffic drops off with remaining split between Visit section - Directions, Maps & Parking Art section - Exhibitions and On View artworks 1st interaction: Begins on the homepage
  49. 49. Facilitator - What content do others view? 20% of traffic planning visit to specific event 1st interaction: Begins in Engage section 2nd interaction: Drop off after one interaction or Stay within Engage section Subsequent interaction: Specific events til midnight at the Nasher (March 18, 2016) Soundings: New Music at the Nasher (April 29, 2016) Target First Saturday (March 5,
  50. 50. Facilitator - Future Plans Consolidating logistical content - increase visitor value Encourage deeper-dive in planning - time on site with knowledge layer Expand our reach - reevaluate marketing & social media campaigns Tailor content to gain visitor loyalty Surveys - pair quantified data with qualified data Benchmarks - compare & learn with other cultural institutions
  51. 51. Contact Me - More insights Want to talk about Google Analytics or benchmark metrics? Jacques Haba jhaba@nashersculpturecenter.org @jacqueyewokey
  52. 52. Susan Edwards Associate Director, Digital Content Hammer Museum @jolifanta MCN 201655
  53. 53. Why Join VMS? ● Benchmarking ● Understand online visitors ● Mini-redesign ● Parallel project using Falk Types
  54. 54. VMS Numbers TIME FRAME February 23–June 9, 2016 13 weeks, 3 days RESPONSE RATE 1,751 sessions 1,695 users 9,458 pageviews
  55. 55. TIME FRAME February 23–June 9, 2016 13 weeks, 3 days RESPONSE RATE 1,751 sessions = 0.7% of all 1,695 users = 0.84% of all 9,458 pageviews = 1.6% of all VMS Numbers
  56. 56. TIME ON SITE Survey takers averaged 4:52 - 5:29 All users averaged 1:28 → Survey takers are very engaged VMS Numbers
  57. 57. VMS Numbers
  58. 58. Visit Exhibitions Made in LA (subset of Ex) Programs Collection About Us Home Explorer 6% 25% 5% 29% 4% 3% 12% Facilitator 13% 24% 3% 30% 3% 1% 15% Professional 7% 27% 7% 13% 5% 11% 13% Recharger 13% 25% 4% 22% 8% 2% 16% Seeker 9% 36% 10% 17% 7% 5% 17% % of all sessions for each type VMS Numbers
  59. 59. METHODOLOGY In-person interviews Design Thinking process / develop user types modeled on Falk Types Survey of members in free program A question about motivation to visit (similar to VMS) mapped to user types. A Parallel Study
  60. 60. Interview Visitors Goal = Empathize with visitors and Define their needs when visiting Empathy Map Point of View Statement A Parallel Study
  61. 61. Rechargers Cultural Enthusiasts Passersby Explorers Pilgrim Third-place Seeker Status Seeker Professional Facilitator Culture Mom A Parallel Study
  62. 62. SURVEY 2,403 people received the survey January–February 2016 347 responded to the survey = 14% A Parallel Study
  63. 63. Why do you come to the Hammer? ● I am curious and want to learn about art. ● want to share an experience with others. ● My children enjoy it and it is also culturally interesting to me. ● To gain proximity to artists, curators, and contemporary thinkers. ● I like to hang out in the space. ● I want to get away from the noise of my everyday life. ● To research works of art. ● It’s a place to see quality art. ● To attend a lecture, talk, or film screening. ● To earn a point towards a Participate-level membership
  64. 64. Falk Types Explorers Professionals Rechargers Facilitators Experience-Seekers Motivation to earn a point
  65. 65. Free Member Survey VMS Web Visitor Survey
  66. 66. Interviews & Survey = no Experience Seekers Website = 7% Experience Seekers → Our biennial is a draw for Experience Seekers. → Knowing this, can we target these audiences? We do have “destination” programming. Insight #1
  67. 67. Interviews & Survey = Facilitation not primary motivation for visiting. BUT many of interviewees were visiting with others. Website = Facilitators → Facilitation may be a strong SECONDARY motivator. → What do facilitators need from us? We need to consider Facilitators. Insight #2
  68. 68. On-site and online visit motivations are different. Insight #3 Interviews = Explorers & Rechargers Members = Explorers, Rechargers & Professionals Website = Facilitators & Professionals → The website is a different place than our physical space. → What is the relationship between these experiences? → We need to survey our larger visiting public.
  69. 69. Alli Burness Digital Designer, ThinkPlace Previously Digital Producer, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences MCN 201676
  70. 70. VMS at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences aka The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Alli Burness @alli_burnie
  71. 71. Recharger Facilitator Explorer Seeker Professional Falk’s Segments Essence Release Stimulation Enrichment Expression Affirmation Entertainment Perspective Predictive Descriptive Which segments to use at MAAS? Culture Segments
  72. 72. Two MAAS Websites: New One… 66% Facilitators
  73. 73. Two MAAS Websites: Old One… 66% Professionals
  74. 74. I enjoy the meditation of spending time with historical objects and telling their story. I have an interest in history beyond my work. I like connecting with the items and personal stories. Visitors researching a topic also want to be inspired Interviewing MAAS Online Collection Users
  75. 75. Jobs Stories for MAAS Online Collection Professional or Hobbyist When I want to explore an object I want to see all aspects So I understand the depth of knowledge surrounding it Recharger When I want to create or make something I want to look at the MAAS online collection So I get inspired
  76. 76. User Flows
  77. 77. Social onsite Research online Falk’s Visitor Motivations at MAAS Museum Collection
  78. 78. Jonathan Munar Director of Digital Media and Strategy Art21 MCN 201685
  79. 79. WHY PARTICIPATE IN VMS? Art21.org redesign Was already preparing RFP Art21 is not a museum But our mission/audiences/challenges overlap
  80. 80. Visitor Sessions Pages / Session Avg. Session Duration Bounce Rate Dismiss 6,173 9.73 0:11:15 6.92% Professional 204 10.45 0:12:21 6.86% Explorer 164 7.07 0:08:36 7.93% Recharger 91 10.19 0:13:02 8.79% Seeker 47 15.91 0:14:31 8.51% Facilitator 16 6.62 0:10:48 0.00% DATA: ART21.ORG, DECEMBER 2015–APRIL 2016
  81. 81. VMS TAKEAWAYS Art21’s role in relation to museums Art21.org is primarily a resource and destination for content (Most) museum websites are primarily visit-planning tools* *But also have lots of great content!
  82. 82. VMS TAKEAWAYS Better facilitate Educators Improved production and placement of educator-focused content Develop tools for classroom use (playlists, watchlists, etc.)
  83. 83. VMS TAKEAWAYS Encourage content discovery Improve relationships between related content Design video pages as content paths as opposed to dead ends Design artist pages as robust indexes
  84. 84. VMS TAKEAWAYS Respondents are highly engaged
  85. 85. Visitor Sessions Pages / Session Avg. Session Duration Bounce Rate Dismiss 6,173 9.73 0:11:15 6.92% Professional 204 10.45 0:12:21 6.86% Explorer 164 7.07 0:08:36 7.93% Recharger 91 10.19 0:13:02 8.79% Seeker 47 15.91 0:14:31 8.51% Facilitator 16 6.62 0:10:48 0.00% All visits 385,070 3.38 0:02:55 60.30% DATA: ART21.ORG, DECEMBER 2015–APRIL 2016
  86. 86. VMS TAKEAWAYS Respondents are highly engaged These are our power users Consider placing additional surveys and calls for feedback Consider opportunities for placing other calls to action
  87. 87. Sarah Wambold Director of Digital Media Clyfford Still Museum MCN 2016102
  88. 88. VISITOR MOTIVATION ONLINE 23 institutions / 513 weeks of data / 72,585 records Facilitator To plan an activity for my family/friends Professional For professional reasons Explorer To learn something new Recharger For inspiration Seeker Because the museum was recommended to me
  89. 89. ENCYCLOPEDIC ART MUSEUMS Facilitator Professional Explorer Recharger Seeker
  90. 90. COMMUNITY CENTRIC Facilitator Professional Explorer Recharger Seeker
  91. 91. Santa Cruz MAH PROFESSIONAL SEGMENT Houston Craft Aspen
  92. 92. CONTEMPORARY PROGRAM Facilitator Professional Explorer Recharger Seeker
  93. 93. Facilitator Professional Explorer Recharger Seeker ???
  94. 94. Facilitator Professional Explorer Recharger Seeker Anomalies
  95. 95. https://www.arrays.co/array/visitor_motivation_survey-r2/pie-set
  96. 96. Marty Spellerberg, Project co-leader, @halfempty Tricia Robson, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Jessica Warchall, The Andy Warhol Museum, @je321ss Jacques Haba, Nasher Sculpture Center, @jacqueyewok Susan Edwards, Hammer Museum, @jolifanta Alli Burness, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, @alli_burnie Jonathan Munar, Art21, @jonnymoon Sarah Wambold, Clyfford Still Museum / Project co-leader, @sarahwambold MCN 2016111

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