From the Visitor’s Perspective

While I have to confess that I don’t read a whole lot of blogs, I always appreciate Linda Norris‘ perspective and insights when I read her blog, The Uncataloged Museum. She never assumes that because a museum is big, it is good, or the converse.

A few weeks ago Linda posted about five things she observed at the Getty Museum that any museum – regardless of size – could do to make itself more user-friendly.

My favorite observation was: “It feels like every day, someone thinks about how the museum looks to the visitor.”

I find that this is one of the hardest things to do when you’re involved with the details of conducting tours and designing new exhibits. But if you can cultivate this habit, what a difference it makes!

One board member I knew was always willing to think about and address these details. She found a bigger coat rack when she noticed that our little coat tree was overloaded. When she saw that an exhibit element was out of place, she brought in a power strip to bring everything closer to an electrical outlet.

By taking the visitor’s perspective, she made the museum more inviting and comfortable. Observing her led me to cultivate the habit of thinking about the museum from the visitor’s point-of-view.

How do you remind yourself to look at your museum with fresh eyes?

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