This graphic illustrates the relationship between the museum and visitors content desires. Notice there is an overlap as well as places where the two groups diverge.

Getting the right amount of content is challenging. Firstly, content costs money and time. There is the writer, the researcher, and the editor–those people are all over-worked and underpaid. Content levels are an essential aspect of the visitor experience.  When there is too little content, visitors will feel like they aren’t getting their money’s worth. Too much content can overwhelm and turn-off visitors.

In addition, different audience segments have different needs. General visitors have much lower content needs than Power visitors. Curators will likely want to share more content than even the most intense power visitor. Finally, there will be content needs that visitors will want that museums will not be able to accommodate easily; there will always be visitor questions, for example, for which the museum won’t have the answer.

How do you understand what content to use? Start by understanding the organization’s needs and desires in comparison to the visitors’. 

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