|Phone: (615) 790-8707
Fax: (615) 790-2128
Old World Wisconsin
Old World Wisconsin (OWW) is an outdoor living history museum depicting the lives and times of the pioneers with 65 historic buildings. It helps visitors journey back to the past with vivid re-creations of the working farmsteads and settlements established by European immigrants in Americanís heartland.
In its effort to focus on improving the visitor experience and making history relevant, OWW used Experience DNA™ to analyze their current visitor experience to ascertain gaps. Through this scientific analysis and interpretation along with a work session, OWW was able to formalize ideas that could be implemented immediately as well as over a long-term planning process which will help make OWW more engaging over the next few years.
Client Quote: "After a long search, we found Experience DNA™ to be the only model of its kind that allowed Old World Wisconsin to directly measure the current on-site experience of our visitors. Experience DNA has provided tangible data and recommendations, many of which we will begin implementing as early as the spring of 2009. Instead of the potentially ambiguous and incomplete data that comes from standard surveys and focus groups, the Experience DNA™ model, combined with the expertise of the staff of A Different View, provides real-world solutions specifically tailored to Old World Wisconsin."
A Vision XS UK project
Long known as one of the UK’s most popular zoos, the Bristol was undertaking a 15-year master plan. However, there were concerns that a new attraction they were developing just six miles from the zoo grounds might adversely affect Visitor Experience. There were also space restrictions regarding what they could redesign.
The zoo was, however, committed to providing the best Visitor Experience possible, in order to maintain their high repeat rate and successful market penetration.
The first task was to dissect the master plan, modeling and predicting what needed to change. That analysis broke the master plan into three phases – the first four year, eight years, and 14 years. Analysis revealed that adding new galleries would actually upset visitor flow. That, in turn, would impact amenities such as restroom locations, food and beverage sales, and retail sales.
Capacity issues then came into play. To satisfy those, a circulation model was recommended that would steer people around, slowing them down so capacity levels could be adjusted. That model also projected the number of visitors an area could comfortably hold and how Visitor Experience would be affected if the zoo exceeded that number.
The changes the analysis recommended were incorporated into a revised master plan. Today, “what if” scenarios are created and run on an annual basis.
New Air & Space Gallery, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK
A Vision XS UK project
One of Manchester’s most popular museums had developed a design concept for a new Air and Space Gallery. However, space considerations became an issue as designs were considered.
The role of Experience DNA™ was to analyze and predict which exhibits would be most likely to elevate the perception of the gallery. They didn’t want to be good; they wanted to be great. Over a period of three to four months, the predictive modeling capabilities were utilized to play out a variety of “what if” scenarios.
Eventually, a design recommendation was found that would provide the best Visitor Experience possible. Changes were adopted and the design plans were modified.
Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, South Africa and Living Coast, United Kingdom
A Vision XS South Africa Project
These two aquariums faced similar challenges regarding visitor flow problems and the desired length of stay. Like many attractions, they had begun seeing a reduction in local attendance and support and had come to rely primarily on tourists. Additionally, dwell time had dipped to 1.5 hours; their goal was 2.5 hours.
The analysis revealed that in order to increase dwell time, they needed to slow down visitors. The existing design provided visitors such a high pace of experience that they quickly became saturated, thus reducing dwell time. The lowered dwell time created further problems. If guests spent only 1.5 hours there, the experience was perceived to be a poor value for the price.
Modeling showed that introducing mechanisms, like a theater or a member of the staff who would explain an exhibit, would slow down visitors and encourage them to linger in one area longer. Additionally, it would increase their closeness to the animals and introduce another learning style.
Both attractions are now implementing these changes with the goal being to increase the time to two hours within two years, a goal they believe they can easily reach.
The National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB)
Date of Work: March 2007
The National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB) is Baltimore’s leading attraction, hosting more than 1.6 million visitors per year. The Aquarium’s mission is to connect people with aquatic life in order to create a better world for both. Exceeding visitor expectations by providing an exceptional visitor experience is a high strategic priority for the organization and NAIB was creating a new Visitor Experience Team to help meet this objective.
At the time NAIB began talking to A Different View they were embarking on a master planning initiative that included evaluating future exhibits, visitor experience and programming all in relation to the overall mission. They were looking for ways to strengthen the emotional connection with visitors specifically to inspire responsible environmental actions.
The Aquarium had also some specific challenges regarding the physical side of the attraction and its flow. While they had already identified this issue they were keen to explore scientifically its effect on the visitor experience as a whole and how this could be improved.
By using Experience DNA™, A Different View was able to provide NAIB with quantifiable data which crossed all departments and gave them a checklist to use for future exhibit developments, programming ideas and general visitor enjoyment.
“The Experience DNA Report provided us with a rich collection of information that analyzed components of our current visitor experience, added the profile of US visitors and offered recommendations to help us better match our experience to visitors’ needs and interests. The research helped our cross departmental team really focus on the interplay between capacity, price and experience and how to balance them all in developing our 5 year Visitor Experience plan. The process also gave us some common language about the elements of experience. Looking at our experience through the eyes of visitors of different ages and learning styles gives a new filter to our team as we plan for future experience investments.”
Natural History Museum, London, UK
A Vision XS UK project
The reputation and tradition of this museum make any exhibit it creates an important one. Therefore, before moving forward with an Antarctica exhibit they planned to create and take around the world, the museum wanted to know how well it would resonate with their family market.
Designers and educators had made a wish list of what they’d like included. It was important that the educational message be prominent and well-understood. But it was necessary that the exhibit still be popular with families, not only in the UK but also in the United States and Poland.
When Experience DNA analyzed the wish list, it brought out potential problems. As then designed, the exhibit would be overwhelming to visitors in Poland, yet it would fall short of expectations in the U.S. market. According to the analysis, it would very closely meet visitor expectations in the UK.
Further, the analysis showed that the quality of visitor experience by age group needed to be redesigned, visitor flow enhanced, and the pacing changed.
With this information in hand, designers began making modifications and the plans were changed.