Meaningful measures

Meaningful measures

Andrew McIntyre explores how visitors really respond to going around an art gallery or a museum. What are the fundamental drivers or motivations that bring people in? And once they are through the door, what do they do? What makes audiences come back?. This article was first published in JAM (issue 23 / October 2006).

Article snippet

But it is important to be very careful about what it is you are measuring – you need to make a distinction about whether you are looking at how a lot of people behave in one room, as opposed to how an individual person behaves in many rooms. Also the biggest problem here is often the difference in definition between
follower and searcher. In reality you would initially spend some time in the space that you’re looking at, you would look at what normal behaviours are, you would look at how people move around the space and so on, and then you would discuss it with colleagues and norm the definitions of follower, searcher and so on. You need to agree what your internal definitions of these categories are so that they are standardised for the purposes of your research. And don’t forget to ask the practical questions: where do you stand? Can you see everybody? Where is the start and end of your space? Are you following people, or are you standing still waiting for them to come past you? Can you see more than one person at once – and does it matter?

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