An especially brief edition of weeknotes this time around. With Laura taking a breather over Thanksgiving, the UK wing of Frankly, Green + Webb has decamped to the continent, where we’ve all been busy working with a design partner and a client on the development of a new multimedia guide.
Whilst I’ve been putting the finishing touches to a pair of qualitative and quantitative surveys and preparing a team of researchers for what promises to be a hectic weekend of audience research, Alyson and Lindsey have been leading the whole team through a series of audience observation exercises and workshops.
It’s a real challenge asking a group of hardened museum professionals to act as though they’re seeing their site and their visitors for the first time, but – as strange as it may feel to forget what you know and leave everything to the senses – this is an activity that pays huge dividends.
We have been out on the museum floor trying to spot members of the public as they experience moments of sorrow and joy, excitement, boredom and confusion during their visits.
By observing as objectively as possible when, how and why visitors queue, take photos, lean in closer to exhibits, walk straight past them, yawn, laugh, chat and much more, we’re moving closer to an understanding of the behaviours we would like to see both more and less of in the museum.
Of course, through audience surveys, we also plan to find out how visitors themselves want to behave and spend time in the museum, and by stitching these different points of view together we hope we’ll be a lot better positioned to begin the design of the new guide.