Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Museum Is Watching You

Tracking visitors helps Matt Sikora make the museum more engaging.

Matt Sikora doesn't look at the Rembrandts and Rodins at the Detroit Institute of Arts. His eyes are trained on the people looking at them.

Mr. Sikora watches where visitors stop, whether they talk or read, how much time they spend. He records his observations in a handheld computer, often viewing his subjects through the display cases or tiptoeing behind them to stay out of their line of sight. "Teenage daughter was with, but did not interact, sat on bench, then left," read his notes of one visit.

Mr. Sikora is the Detroit Institute of Arts's director of evaluation. He and five other observers are studying how visitors use the exhibits so the museum can tell if its information is accessible and which galleries are popular.

Read the whole article here in the Wall Street Journal.

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