Research in this theme develops, tests, and shares innovative methods and tools to conduct visitor studies in museums and other cultural heritage organizations.
Photo credit: Armin Plankensteiner, University of Vienna, Department of Art History
There is a real need for learning perspectives, practical methods, and innovative tools that can produce greater insight into visitors’ learning and engagement in the cultural sector. Informed by findings in visitor studies research, this sub-project develops evidence-based, policy-relevant knowledge for understanding visitor behavior in museums and other cultural heritage organizations.
Visitracker is a tablet-based research tool developed in a research collaboration between university researchers, National Museum curators, and EngageLab. Visitracker consists of a tablet-based app, and an online portal. This tool supports real-time observation and analysis of individual and group visitor interactions, and allows observers to collect demographic information and track visitors' paths through a space, recording location, time, and types of interactions as they occur.
Users set up a 'study' in the portal which can consist of (1) trackings/observations and/or (2) survey/questionnaire. Data collection for the study is conducted in the app. Data from surveys and observations in a study are integrated and visualized in the portal via a range of charts and visualisations (e.g., heat maps, graphs, cluster analysis), which can be shared in networks of users.
Additional features and tools will be designed to complement the data collection through tracking and questionnaires. For more information, please visit the Mapping Meaning Making in Museums project, led by Dimitra Christidou.
Introducing Visitracker (click on the image for the video to start)