Teknisk Museum is the Norwegian museum of Science, Technology and Medicine. Their amount of visitors have grown rapidly the last years, and they are continually working to get even more visitors.
As the amount of visitors grows further, the museum will have to conduct large changes to be able to deliver experiences better or as good as today’s.
The situation today
The challenges which follows the growth is largest in the entrance hall. Crowding, noise and a large queue regularly meets the visitors at the start of their experience. Some visitors also has a lot of confusion and questions, but don't read the information they are provided with. The 2-3 employees have to answer questions instead of selling tickets and shrink the queue. The employees also told stories of visitors having been at the museum several times, before they saw the cashier and understood that they needed to pay. Visitors also have problems with understanding where to pay for products in the museum store, since they are supposed to pay outside the store, where they bought tickets. There are seldom employees in the store. According to the Head of Communication, people are also confused about the content of the museum. This might be a result of the museums three different "worlds"; playful learning in the science center, historical objects, and bold modern exhibitions.
Analysis of the entrance hall
Analysis of the entrance hall as an area showed some factors which aggravates the problems with crowding. The most important one is that the navigation roads are crossing at many points. All the people with colliding directions, and walking through the queue, make the area unpleasant to be in. People also walk slowly and hesitates when they enter the entrance hall, looking for where to go next. Sometimes they stop completely. In general many tends to stand in areas where the main stream of other visitors is going. When visitors come to the wardrobe, they have to go back to the counter to pick up a key, then go back to the wardrobe, only to walk past the counter, again, on their way into the museum.
The ineffectiveness of the hall make it seem more crowded than it is. Also, when people stay longer in the area because of this ineffectiveness, the noise level exceeds the necessary.
By a small modification of the entrance area, technology and a strategic use of dramaturgy, the concept aims to solve the problems mentioned above, and provide an even better and more memorable experience to even more visitors.
The new entrance hall is organized as a roundabout, which solves the problem with crossing navigation roads. Fewer visitors will be in the entrance hall at the same time, since the exit is moved. The wardrobe is placed in the middle, since the visitors need it both at the start and at the end of the tour. By making an exhibition with benches in the entrance hall, visitors waiting for each other are entertained, and will hopefully don't stand where other visitors need to walk. The museum store is placed on the way to the exit, so the visitors will walk past it on their way out and hopefully come in to buy something, increasing the income of the store.
There are made room for larger wardrobe, larger cafe and larger museum store. The solution is made with focus on as little reconstruction as possible, and no extensive move of water outlets. This saves the museum money, and reduces the time they need to keep closed during the modification.
The ticket machines are placed as the first thing you see when you enter, which should lead people effectively and intuitively into the room. With ticket machines even more visitors can buy tickets at the same time, thus the queue will shrink. The large, visible machines may also make a more organized queue. The ticket barriers into the exhibition area ensures every visitor has payed.
Because the employees don't sell the tickets anymore, one can be available in the room for answering questions, and the museum can avoid to hire more people as the amount of visitors increase. The other employee who used to sell tickets will work in the store. His/her presence will decrease vandalism, and he/she will have time to make promotional exhibitions and do up-selling.
While remaking the entrance hall, I also had the service journey in mind, and modified it according to the ideal dramatic arch by WorkPlayExperience. The arch shows fluctuations in the intensity of the events which makes out the experience. The variety in intensity is necessary to make the visitors happy all the time. It starts with a intense and impressive event, followed up with three not so intense but increasingly intensive events, then a really big, intense and impressive event, and at last the little peak which help you round it off, so you don't "crash land" on earth again. The drop in the intensity (breaks) between the events are important. If the intensity is high all the time, the visitors will get exhausted.
In the Teknisk Museum experience, the walks between the exhibitions will be the main drops in intensity. Their science center is well suited to be the big booom! at the last part. But I found that Teknisk Museum is missing the boom at the start, and the Aaaa... at the end. Also, the places of drops in intensity, like corridors, toilets and cafe, lacked the feeling of being at the Teknisk Museum.
The playful ticket machine in the entrance hall can play an important part in making the first boom, and setting the Teknisk Museum feel. The interface is very physical, and resembles a game machine. When the visitor pays, the screen above plays a real time animation of how bank card payment works, or the historical development of cash money. The screen entertain the visitors further back in the queue, thus shorten their felt waiting time. The animations also prepare the visitors to the museums diverge content. (Click image above to see the ticket machine.)
Infographics about the museum at the tables in the cafe also learn visitors about the rich content of the museum, plus makes the today neutral cafe feel like a part of the museum. The small exhibition at the exit will always be at the end of the service journey, and shall provide the visitors with the Aaaa.... This is to sum up the experience of history and interactive play, thus make them more aware of all the museums content and make the experience easier to remember.
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