As part of my personal thesis display in Work For Progress, I created three different, affordable feedback loops museums could easily implement. Each feedback loop encouraged different types of participation and resulted in different outcomes. Learn more about each one below.
Created while at The University of Texas, 2019. Some photos courtesy of Sandy Carson and Lawrence Peart.
Feedback Loop #1
For this feedback loop, visitors could anonymously text a google voice number and ask questions about the art. I would answer as quickly and as honestly as I could upon receiving the text.
Result: In my research I found that visitors provide feedback when they know their voice is being heard. This interactive allowed for a real response to a visitor's inquiry. This feedback loop also allows for shyer visitors (or those who are hesitant to participate in a more social experience) to interact with a piece of art anonymously. This was my second most popular interactive, the most popular interactive was the Feedback Loop #2.
Feedback Loop #2
This feedback loop asked visitors to "help complete the art." They could do so by answering a question on a piece of paper and then rolling the piece of paper and placing it into a sculpture. The questions the visitors could choose to answer were: “What is one thing you found interesting or inspiring about this exhibit?”, “What is one thing you found confusing about this exhibit?”, and “What is one thing you will remember about this exhibit?”
Result: In total, I received 197 responses in the 10 days which the exhibit was open. The most popular response was “what is one thing you will remember about this exhibit”, with a 44% response rate, the second most popular was “what is one thing you found interesting or inspiring about this exhibit?” with a 40% response rate, and lastly “what is one thing you found confusing about this exhibit?” with a 16% response rate. This feedback loop was the most popular and had the most interaction, I believe this was because it not only was the most visually appealing but it required the least level of commitment to interpreting the art.
Feedback Loop #3
The one with the least amount of interaction was the final feedback loop, a Google Document containing my Six Principles for Redesigning Museum Interpretation. I invited visitors to change, ask, and comment on the Six Principles, hoping that this would appeal to visitors who enjoyed interacting with other visitors’ thoughts and ideas.
Result: This device ended up creating the most unhelpful responses. I think instead of appealing to visitors who enjoyed engaging in a dialog, it worked similar to a message board on a website, where users had the opportunity to say something out-of-place or uncouth because of the anonymity. However, no one did anything egregious such as delete the document (or delete other messages), open up a new website or close this one.