Exhibits that incorporate compelling historic quotes and historical questions foster personal connections between visitors and stories of the past. Using Questions and Quotes Questions and quotes promote conversations and help visitors make personal connections. Audience Research Results: Labels with Historical Characters An overview of the prototyping and evaluation process for the use of life-size historical cut-outs in […]
There’s a reason why reality shows are so popular! People care about other people and their experiences. Focus on the human story and use first-person labels to increase engagement and interest in your exhibit. Telling the Story Through People By personalizing the story and telling it through people, visitors connect on a personal level. Visitors […]
How can you maximize family engagement in your galleries? Connect exhibits to themes that are universal and relevant to visitors, organize them thematically rather than chronologically and include a delightful surprise or two. Developing Content to Engage Families How you can develop exhibit content that puts families first and draws on their needs to inform […]
Visitors will read. We promise. What’s more, well written text will get visitors talking to each other. So, keep it short. Try the first person voice. Use quotes. Ask questions. And don’t forget the fun. Family Friendly Content Ways to develop content that families can relate to, understand, and have fun with. Peopling History How focusing […]
This exhibition critique discusses how the careful and varied use of labels in the British Galleries at the V&A Museum in London makes for an especially enjoyable and educational experience. Sections include, Segmentation and variety Evocative and succinct language Prompting meaning-making through conversation Hands-on and interactive Foundation laid through research and prototyping
In this article from the Association of Children’s Museum’s newsletter, Kevin Crowley and Karen Knutson describe how the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh redesigned their signage into four levels to enhance family visits and help scaffold caregivers
This article describes “a range of front-end research studies intended to develop more specific knowledge concerning parent beliefs about how and what their children might learn from a museum visit, and how parents might be involved in that learning…the team then developed and user-tested prototype signage for the new exhibit spaces.” Swatz, Mallary I. and […]
Regan Forrest, an exhibit design consultant and founder of Interactivate, writes about a personal experience at an art museum in Australia where the “real nuggets” interpreting the artwork were “relegated to the ‘For Kids’ text”. She writes, “To me that’s not kids’ text, that’s interpretation – and it works for all ages!”
Dana Allen-Greil, author of the blog Engaging Museums, recounts a memorable experience at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Jet-lagged and with little time to spare, she and her colleagues didn’t feel like reading labels. In reality, we were the kind of visitors that actually come to your museum every day. And… we had an incredibly enjoyable experience […]
Cathy Donnelly recounts a multi-year initiative from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to study what families do in museums and how they interact with each other and with exhibits during their visit. They came up with three ways to create family-friendly experiences: selecting objects, designing interactives, and writing labels. Fun for the Whole Family: New […]
Minda Borun describes formal and informal learning in museums and classrooms, as well as her 7 characteristics of family-friendly exhibits. A Family Learning Roundtable Presentation by Minda Borun June 14, 2005 Presentation Outline FORMAL LEARNING IS CLASSROOM BASED Students are uniform in age Teacher leads Formal arrangement Tests Certification process INFORMAL LEARNING IS IN THE […]
We hoped families would use the crew cards throughout the exhibit and become invested enough in their crew card sailor to reference it throughout the exhibit.
Judy Rand, Director of Rand and Associates, speaks about the history and development of her label writing process for exhibits, outlining specific techniques and focus points along the way. Watch as she takes you step by step through her process for writing effective and engaging exhibit labels.
Listening to the visitors every step of the way is critical to exhibit development. Our success has convinced us to never do it any other way. Don’t assume you know what’s best for the visitors. Let them tell you.
Questions can be an effective tool to promote conversations. Visitors like historic quotes. Personalize the information so visitors can make a personal connection. Asking the right question The Museum wanted to identify questioning techniques that encourage family conversation, so we tested three types of labels. We asked if visitors preferred: An actual historic quotation from […]
The goals of the Family Learning Project at the USS Constitution Museum included conducting research, creating prototypes, and testing a variety of exhibit elements with family visitors. We chose to research various techniques to present narratives of historic figures in engaging ways to foster a personal connection between visitors and stories of the past. Here’s an overview of the results.
We wanted to identify questioning techniques that encourage family conversation, so we tested three types of labels. Would incorporating historic quotes and historical questions foster personal connections between visitors and stories of the past?
There are multiple ways to convey a theme. Labels are a way to present information, but not the only way. Since our goal at the USS Constitution Museum was to encourage family learning through engagement, interaction and conversation, we tried to employ various techniques so that visitors with different learning styles could access information in different ways.
At the USS Constitution Museum, developing new content for a family audience challenged us to convey history in a way that appeals to both adults and children. Many people felt this would mean “dumbing down” the story. Instead it led us to think thematically, choose information that best supported the themes, and layer content in creative […]
Does the use of first-person labels increase visitors’ engagement and interest in an exhibit? At the USS Constitution Museum, we conducted audience research focused on how to present personal narratives in engaging ways to foster personal connection between visitors and stories.