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published: March 2004
What Clicks? An Interim Report on Audience Research
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is conducting a major research project assessing its audiences' awareness of, and satisfaction with, its interactive media/Web resources. The Institute, an encyclopedic art museum, produces and maintains two Web sites (http://www.artsmia.org and http://www.artsconnected.org -- the latter in conjunction with Walker Art Center). It also provides its physical visitors with a host of interactive media programs in the museum itself -- from a museum directory to a large number of permanent collection-based programs located throughout the building. The research has been designed to a) measure audience awareness of and satisfaction with these resources; b) respond to those findings with improvements; then c) re-measure to gauge the effect of the improvements. A further goal of this project is to share its logic model, methodology, instruments, and findings with the museum community. To date, the benchmarking data has been compiled and analyzed. Production and marketing work are now in progress. This paper is a mid-project report on what we've learned so far, and where we're going. It includes detailed descriptions of the instruments used for data collection (from Usability Lab to Web and in-gallery surveys), presentation of the initial findings, and a discussion of how those findings informed the actions now being taken.
What Clicks? is funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership grant.