Personalized Visits to Foster Engagement and Revisit in Museums


With the growing competition of entertainment industry, museums are facing new challenges. They must reach a wider audience, build local visitors’ loyalty and tailor their content to the diversity of this public. Relying on temporary exhibitions or guided tours is too expensive for small museums which makes it hard for them to diversify the visit offer. Moreover, the creation of self-guided visits relying solely on the choice of a theme does not respond to all constraints and desires of the visitors.

The personalization of visits, depending on visitors’ characteristics, behaviors and wishes is a possible solution to meet these challenges. In this work, we study both sides of the personalization process. On the one side, how museum professionals can create personalized visits, and on the other side, how visitors in the museum can choose and follow the visit most suited to them.

Methods: End-User Observations and Analysis

To understand the needs and processes of museum professionals, we adopted a participatory and iterative design process, involving museum professionals as end-users at each step (i.e. user observation, design, prototyping, user tests). We conducted 7 meetings, 4 interviews studies and 2 experimental observations with 12 museum experts (communication, IT, public and content experts) from 6 institutions (Cité du Vin and Cap Sciences in Bordeaux, museum Saint-Raymond in Toulouse, Cité de l’Océan in Biarritz, one Mineralogy Museum and one Fine Art museum).

Museum professionals: Tangible Interfaces for Authoring the Personalized Visits

We focus on the design of tools that empower museum professionals to:

  • Diversify the visits depending on the visitor, multiply the points of view on the collection, adapt the content to the public.
  • Collect and analyze data on the visitors.
  • Be autonomous to create, evolve and maintain the solution.

Visitors: Tangible Interfaces for Choosing the Personalized Visits

We design tangible interfaces allowing a group of visitors to:

  • Enter their characteristics and desires, being alone or in groups
  • Choose the personalized itinerary most adapted to these constraints

Our objective is to encourage the engagement and collaboration of visitor groups in this task.

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