MCN – Survey the gap between digital and physical visitors

[More live blogging from Gemma from the MCN 2010 conference, ‘I/O: The Museum Inside-Out/Outside-In’ in Austin, Texas, to help MCGers keep up with the news and exciting research being shared at the conference.]

Surveying the gap between the digital and physical visitors – John Gordy, Jessica Heimberg and Emily Skidmore 29/10

So popular that the session started with us relocating to a larger room

National Gallery of Art  (US)
Start point for them was to extend the museum experience online.  They asked themselves if a game can do this?  Conducted interviews to measure this.  No significant differences in the learning of visitors who accessed it physical in the museums space and digital visitors to their website.  Museum visitors motivation for online game was low.  They discovered a difference between people who found it on their own to those who were directed, independent visitors wanted a more in-depth gaming experience to directed visitors, they often became frustrated and gave up with game.

Their online visitors are completely different to the physical visitors, 19% of physical visitors also use the web.  When we do web development we often only think of the physical visitors that we see.  Physical visitors enjoy guided tours so the National Gallery are putting lectures online which has proved very popular.

Dallas Museum of Art wanted to redesign their website.  Used a framework for engaging with art.  Used a pop-up survey on their site before and after the redesign.  
Top reason for people visiting the site was to see the schedule of events followed by planning visits, then thirdly exploring collection.  There was no significant difference between the visitor’s reason for visiting the website pre and post design.  

Using visitor segmentation there was a group of physical visitors, the socially motivated who didappeared [?] to be replaced with an online group of pragmatic visitors interested in things like planning their visits.

Q&A

Same audience for a website whatever site in or out of the sector.  We like to convince ourselves as a sector that each museum’s visitor profile is unique, it isn’t.  
Important to build a connection on the site between the visit us and explore collection pages.

When building sites, as with other experiences, you need to know your mission and work to that eg do you want people through the door or to provided access to your collections?

Can you get physical visitors to interact with website after their visit?
Library of congress does this.
Tate Modern ceramic sunflowers, have a kiosk where you can make a video to ask artist questions and these go on website along with an answer from the artist.  This encourages visitors to use the website after a physical visit.
  
San Fran MOMA found number of people who use kiosks has got thinner over time. Computers not as appealing because visitors sit in font of them all the time. If you have a kiosk it does signal you have multimedia content and people will know to go look for it online later if they’re interested.

Art babble is a successful sector version of youtube

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The MCG is for technologists, curators, educators, marketers and more in and around museums. Posts and event news by Mia (Chair), Jess, and the Comms team

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