Lessons Learned: Evaluating the Whitney’s Multimedia Guide

Dina Helal, USA , Heather Maxson, USA, Jeanine Ancelet, USA

Published paper: Lessons Learned: Evaluating the Whitney’s Multimedia Guide

What are visitors’ motivations for using multimedia guides? What do they value most about the experience? Whitney Museum Education staff worked with Audience Focus Inc., a research and evaluation organization, to conduct an evaluation of the Whitney Biennial 2012 multimedia guide. Comprised of audio stops for adults and children, audio transcripts, and videos, the multimedia guide allowed adult visitors and children ages 8-12 to hear directly from artists as they spoke about the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the Whitney Biennial 2012 exhibition. Multiple methods were used to gather data, including questionnaires, observations, and focus group discussions that targeted different demographics. This paper shares the evaluation findings and subsequent changes made to the Whitney’s multimedia guide as a result of the study. We will identify the challenges that staff face as we plan current and future mobile projects and situate our study in the context of other relevant research in the field.