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New publication: Engaging the Visitor

"Without involved, engaged attention, the museum visitor experience is meaningless."

Engaging The Visitor addresses some of the most fundamental issues in interpretation, exhibition design and the visitor experience - in a format which is attractive, approachable - and actionable. Challenging many preconceptions, this book is firmly based on the results of practical research.

Deep and effective engagement with exhibit content is still the exception in many museums. When most visitors pass an exhibit with only a glance, it will fail to engage. And until engagement happens, no informal learning - or any other satisfying experience - will take place...

Engaging The Visitor will provide you with the skills and understanding to answer fundamental questions like these:

  • How often do visitors really engage with the content of the exhibitions in our museum?
  • How frequently can I really expect our visitors to be meaningfully engaged?
  • Why do our visitors engage with some of our exhibits and not others?
  • How can we increase our visitors' engagement through better exhibit design?

For full details and sample images simply visit:

The book has 312 pages and over 25 colour illustrations.

It includes the following chapters:

1. Introduction

Visitor Engagement
The Attention-Value Model

2. Reading Interpretive Text

Deadly Sins Revisited: Exhibit Labels
Practical Guidelines for Developing Interpretive Labels
Interest and Effort as Predictors of Reading

3. Interactive Exhibits

Designing Effective Interactive Exhibits
Evaluating The Falling Feather Exhibit
Evaluating A Pepper´s Ghost Exhibit

4. Immersion

Immersion Experiences in Museums
Simulated Immersion in Exhibitions
The Visitor Immersion Experience
Sensory Impressions from a Museum Visit
Dioramas in Exhibitions

5. Bibliography

The author, Stephen Bitgood, is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Jacksonville State University, USA and a founder of the Visitor Studies Association, the Visitor Studies Conference, and co-editor of Visitor Studies: Theory, Research and Practice.

If you're involved in any way with interpretation, curation, learning, design or visitor studies you won't want to miss this stimulating new book!

Graeme Farnell
MuseumsEtc Ltd
UK: Hudson House | 8 Albany Street | Edinburgh EH1 3QB
USA: 675 Massachusetts Ave., Ste 11 | Cambridge | MA 02139

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