Timing, Tracking, and Evaluating. Oh My!

Curious about which DC interactives or displays attract visitors? Wondering how long people stay in a specific exhibit? Interested in which exhibit gets more attention in an identified area? Much can be learned as visitors stay and go using well-established techniques for timing and tracking exhibit interaction.

On Thursday, Jennifer and Dale participated in a workshop led by the Chattanooga Evaluation Group, a program of the Creative Discovery Museum. This workshop was open to staff members of museums and other attractions as a training opportunity for evaluating exhibits and visitor experience. The challenge for each workshop attendee was to observe visitors as they moved through the chimpanzee exhibit paying special attention to how much time was spent with each interactive as well as tracking their path through the exhibit. The knowledge gained by timing and tracking guests can give us important information that can optimize our exhibit design and layout at the Discovery Center. It is a great tool for evaluating which exhibit interactives are most popular and where there can be room for improvement and lets us know how visitors organically approach an exhibit so we can make sure it is laid out in the most effective placement.

We’re excited to see how the knowledge that Jennifer and Dale picked up at this workshop will be applied at the Discovery Center as we evaluate the redesign and update of several permanent exhibits. Until then, we’ll leave you with this photo of a young girl interacting with the chimps. We’re just not sure if she was tracking them or they were mimicking her.