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Designing the Visitor Experience in the face of a global pandemic

Designing the Visitor Experience in the face of a global pandemic

Using a recent service design project with the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford as an example, this online seminar walked participants through a set of visitor behaviours and expectations in the wake of Coronavirus. We then shared a series of experience patterns — guidelines and ideas for key moments in the visitor journey.

Paul Jervis Heath

August 28, 2020

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  1. The modes in which people visit Cultural Attractions STUDY CONSUME


  3. Primary Motivations and Engagement TIME INVESTED DEPTH OF ENGAGEMENT ESCAPE

  4. How have lockdown conditions affected the Facilitate mode? People in

    Facilitate mode feel an increased sense of responsibility for the safety of their group. This leads to greater digital engagement before their visit as they research the experience and the safety guidelines in place.
  5. How have lockdown conditions affected the Escape mode? Escape mode

    was highly serendipitous and opportunist. This may mean people arrive without being aware of the changes to the experience and without a ticket. The motivations for their escape will certainly have changed. Many people will be using the Museum as a venue to escape lockdown isolation. This will lead to new behaviours being exhibited. Fewer visitors leads to greater satisfaction for people in escape mode. They are often surprised by this.
  6. How have lockdown conditions affected the Study, Explore & Produce

    mode? People primarily in Study, Explore or Produce mode could decide to skip the visit altogether. They will use digital content instead and look for opportunities to engage with webinars and video to fulfil informational requirement or explore areas of interest.
  7. How have lockdown conditions affected the Consume mode? In Consume

    mode people want a low- effort, must-see experience. A higher proportion of this archetype will be locals or day trippers at this time and they may try to fit a visit around other local activities. Booking a ticket needs to be quick and simple. Restrictions need to feel easy to comply with.
  8. The Visitor Journey: Then BEFORE DURING AFTER Choosing to visit

    Planning Travelling Arriving Exploring the collection Taking a break Buying souvenirs Leaving Sharing
  9. The Visitor Journey: Now BEFORE DURING AFTER Choosing to visit

    Planning Prebooking a ticket Travelling Arriving Exploring the collection Taking a break Buying souvenirs Leaving Sharing
  10. The National Gallery reopened with three one-way routes. Ashmolean took

    a different approach: _ Encourage people to explore _ A trail to form the spine of a visit to explore from _ One-way restrictions only where necessary Routes or Trails?
  11. Additional lenses, perspectives & more diverse voices There is a

    broad discussion about the dubious history of some of the artefacts in some collections. Museums & galleries want to acknowledge this and promote discussion about it. Beyond this there are often many ways to consider artefacts in collections and a wealth of content that could be communicated.
  12. Making the complete set of information about an object available

    in context to the object itself requires some form of digital extension. How do we design that digital extension in such a way that it can contain all of the information an institution has about a single object? Digital augmentation of physical experiences
  13. ALFRED JEWEL Made for the only English monarch known as

    'the Great' The Alfred Jewel is a masterpiece of goldsmith's work formed around a tear-shaped slice of rock crystal. Its inscription: AELFRED MEC HEHT GEWYRCAN – 'Alfred ordered me to be made’ – connects the jewel with King Alfred the Great (r. 871–899) making it among the most significant of royal relics. Alfred ruled the southern Anglo- Saxon kingdom of Wessex and is famous for opposing the Vikings and Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford | AN1836 p.135.371 & ' # % 28/08/2020, 10:47 Page 1 of 1
  14. BYOD Bring Your Own Device Loaning people devices such as

    audio guides or even tablets for the length of their visit is a practice that is largely unnecessary, is costly and is limiting for institutions. Designing for a visitors own device is more flexible longterm and more suitable to the current situation.
  15. QR codes were seen as dead. Maybe things have changed?

    They have seen a resurgence in bars, restaurants and other contexts in response to Coronavirus. Native support is available in devices. If not QR codes, is NFC a better cost effective answer to linking physical and digital? Why choose? The Resurgence of the QR Code
  16. Seducible Moments in the Visitor Experience We know from research,

    that seducible moments can only happen when people have completed at least part of their original quest. Asking for a donation at entry is a call to action before people have completed at least part of their quest. Therefore, it may be more effective to concentrate donation points at key moments in the visitor journey i.e at the exit of a particular popular gallery or near a ‘must-see’ object.
  17. Contact us If there are any questions or you would

    like to talk to us about commissioning a project, please do not hesitate to contact us. Paul-Jervis Heath Founding Partner & Chief Designer [email protected] +44 79 7456 7823 Ruth Kent Head of Business Development [email protected] +44 77 9532 3280