Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

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visitor studies


Exploring the Relationship Between Visitor Motivation and Engagement in Online Museum Audiences

Keywords: 
audience engagement
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audience research
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visitor studies
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online evaluation
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Motivation
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online surveys
Abstract: 

In the past few years, most museums have witnessed a growing number of visitors to their websites.  For the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), those online visits easily surpass the number of visitors to the museum’s physical campus.

Type: 
Paper - in formal session

Evaluating the Practical Applications of Eye Tracking in Museums

Keywords: 
eye tracking
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gaze tracking
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visitor studies
Keywords: 
interpretation
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interactives
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Evaluation and Research
Abstract: 

Museum professionals spend a significant amount of time studying the ways that visitors engage with objects in their collections to improve the quality of interaction with them.

Type: 
Paper - in formal session
norditte's picture

Guided Expectations: A Case Study of a Sound Collage Audio Guide

Ditte Laursen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Abstract

This paper is a user evaluation of a mobile phone audio guide developed for visitors to use at the National Gallery of Denmark. The audio guide is offered as a downloadable MP3 file to every incoming visitor who is carrying a mobile phone with an open Bluetooth connection. The guide itself is structured through association, offering an experience more comparable to an audio documentary than a traditional guided tour. Instead of directing visitors' focus of attention to selected points and objects provided by the museum as a producer, the sound collage relates indirectly to the various objects of the exhibition, emphasizing visitors' agency and authorship.

The paper reports on a number of strategies developed by visitors when experiencing an unfamiliar guide structure. These strategies reflect both a conflict between the initial expectation of guided instruction and the freedom of making choices according to personal interest, and a conflict between the expectation of a learning experience rather than an aesthetic experience. Results indicate that most visitors are able to make sense of the guide and to use it successfully, in different ways, to enrich their visit. Evaluation also shows that visitors are fond of using their own mobile phones - but they have several problems with their phones in downloading the MP3 file.

Keywords: mobile phone, audio tour, downloadable MP3 tours, sound collage, visitor studies, user expectations

Mobile Phones and Visitor Tracking

Keywords: 
google analytics
Keywords: 
museum
Keywords: 
visitor
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mobile tracking
Keywords: 
visitor studies
Abstract: 

Google Analytics provides museums with extensive data around visits to their virtual sites. Physical visits and the way in which visitors track around museums is currently much harder to monitor. This paper discusses the opportunity that mobile phone WiFi, Bluetooth and TMSI signals provide to allow visitor tracking.

Type: 
Paper - in formal session