MCN 2016 Sessions – National Museum Website Visitor Motivation Survey: Findings and Applications

National Museum Website Visitor Motivation Survey: Findings and Applications

Thursday, November 3, 2016 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Session Leader: Martin Spellerberg, Developer, Spellerberg Associates
Speaker: Alli Burness, Experience Designer, ThinkPlace
Speaker: Susan Edwards, Associate Director, Digital Content, The Hammer Museum
Speaker: Jacques Haba, Digital Media Manager, Nasher Sculpture Center
Speaker: Jonathan Munar, Director of Digital Media and Strategy
Speaker: Tricia Robson, Assistant Director of Web and Digital Production
Speaker: Sarah Wambold, Clyfford Still Museum
Speaker: Jessica Warchall, Communications Manager, The Andy Warhol Museum

In 2015-16, cultural organizations across the United States, joined by partners in Canada and Australia, banded together to better understand museum website visitor motivation. This was not just a research study, but a community of museums looking to better understand their online audiences. The survey comprised a single question about what motivated users in going to the website that day. Focussing on identity-related motivations (rather than demographics or behaviors), the survey responses aligned with museum researcher John Falk’s Predictive Model for Museum Visitation—Explorer, Facilitator, Professional/Hobbyist, Recharger, and Seeker. Led by Sarah Wambold, Director of Digital Media at the Clyfford Still Museum, and Marty Spellerberg, of Spellerberg Associates, the project culls more than 16 weeks of data across 23 different museum websites. This is the first survey to utilize Falk’s framework online, the first focused primarily on small- and medium-sized organizations, and the first in the US to view the data in aggregate. The study provided representatives from participating museums the opportunity to discuss their findings, highlighting patterns that emerged across the various institutions. In order to facilitate those exchanges, professionals from each institution have met online using Slack, asking questions and sharing knowledge. In this forum we will bring this dialogue to life and the voices of MCN attendees into the conversation.