Visitor Comfort, Part 2: Visiting the Museum in Character

This is the second part of a multi-part video series documenting our October 25 pre-conference workshop on visitor comfort at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, San Diego.

Participants role-played as visitors with either learning differences or physical disabilities. They based their roles on brief, half-page profiles, written by Paul Gabriel (differences) and Beth Katz (disabilities), that described the important characteristics of their personas. Participants did not see their profiles before the day of the workshop. Each was randomly assigned a persona and had about 15 minutes to get familiar with it before going out into Balboa Park and naively visiting the museum in character, from entering the building to leaving.

This segment deals with participants' experiences with some of the most very basic aspects of visitor comfort: labels, seating, and interactives.

Personally, I'm struck by the depth and seriousness with which the workshop participants experienced the museum from the viewpoints of their characters. They took their rather brief (if detailed) profiles and just ran with them. This gave them some valuable insights into comfort and accessibility issues, I think.

-Steve Tokar



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