Whole Museum Tracking Study for the Natural History Museum of Utah

Monday, April 15, 2013
Resource Type:
Evaluation Reports | Audience Study
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Museum and Science Center Programs, Exhibitions, Museum and Science Center Exhibits
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators
Ecology, forestry, and agriculture | General STEM | Geoscience and geography | Life science | Nature of science
Natural History Museum of Utah, Serrell & Associates

This tracking and timing study was carried out by Serrell and Associates in April of 2013 as a second phase of the Museum's visitor research program for its new facility and exhibition experiences (see Whole-Museum Stay-Time Study of April 2012 for the first phase of this work). The Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) at the Rio Tinto Center opened in November 2011, with a total of 51,270 square feet of public interpretive space. In 2012, NHMU began a multiphase evaluation process to help staff members understand the experiences that visitors have during their visits to the new building. The overall purpose of the research is to assess the degree to which the museum is meeting visitor needs and is having the desired impacts, so that future decisions will increase the likelihood that visitors will return and will develop long-term relationships with the institution. The Whole Museum Tracking Study (WMTS) takes a broad-brush look at casual visitors to the NHMU. Data collectors followed 100 people through the building during their visits, noting where they went, where they stopped, what they did, and how much time they spent, and then briefly interviewed the tracked subjects at the exit. The study was conducted from September 28 to November 15, 2012. (The tracking methods and the demographics of the 100 subjects are described the report; for methods, see page 15; for demographics see page 20.)


Team Members

Becky MenloveBecky MenlovePrincipal Investigator
Beverly SerrellEvaluator
Barbara BeckerBarbara BeckerEvaluator
Ellen BechtolEllen BechtolEvaluator

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