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Walk-along to grasp visitor experiences

The concept of experience is ‘hot’ in the field of museums and science centres. Our organisations are part of the experience economy and as such platforms for experiences. Science centres and museums design user experiences. But what essentially is an experience, and how can we gain insight into visitors’ subjective and personal experiences?

This workshop revolves around an innovative methodological approach to studying and evaluating the visitor experience: the mobile walk-along method is a hybrid between interview and observation. It enables the evaluator to obtain detailed information on visitors’ experiences while interacting with, seeing, hearing, feeling and touching exhibits.

This interactive workshop will entail short presentations on what an experience is, an introduction to the walk-along method and what exhibition designers can learn from it, as well as an interactive part where participants will try out the method.

Experimentarium is a unique setting for this workshop, since the research team from the University of Ålborg who will be introducing the method carried out many hours of walk-alongs at the science centre.

Convenor

Associate Professor
Aalborg University
Aalborg
Denmark

Session speakers

Professor
Aalborg University
Aalborg
Denmark
What does experiencing and having an experience imply? And how may we utilize psychological insights in the concept of experiencing for designing interesting and relevant experiences for visitors? The main point of this presentation is that experiencing is about engaging the senses but also about activating visitors’ knowledge and expectations. By being surprising, yet manageable experiential designs may have learning potentials for the visitors.
Professor
Aalborg University
Aalborg
Denmark
Walking around with the visitors allows us to be partakers – interactively to explore what visitors stick to, are surprised by, dislike, misunderstand - how they react to and interact with the exhibition. Methodologically, walk-alongs can be carried out in several ways. This presentation will present the different approaches and what insight they provide about the visitor experience.
Mette Stentoft
Program Manager, Exhibition
Hellerup
Denmark
The Pulse Plaza is a highly interactive exhibition which combines physical interaction with digital interactives to promote knowledge about movement and health in everyday life. From an exhibition design perspective, Mette Stentoft will discuss what the Experimentarium has learned from the walk-along study in the Pulse Plaza exhibition. How can insights from walk-alongs inform exhibition (re)design?