How are museums approaching testing and optimization?

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On Friday, I wrote that one of SuperHelpful’s goals is to help cultural organizations adopt better frameworks for design decisions. I said that businesses often use testing to guide design initiatives.

Over the weekend, I found a 2014 report by MarketingScherpa that shows how e-commerce companies handle their marketing and design decisions.

 
Chart showing how e-commerce companies approach testing and optimization
 

About half the companies test their content.

I wonder what percentage of museums that test or measure the impact of content and design changes.

Based on my conversations with museum leaders, I think the percentage of museums that test is far less than 50% — maybe closer to 5%.

It might be interesting to find out if my hunch is correct. It could also be fun to learn how the percentage changes in relation to things like annual visitation and the kind of museum — For example, are art museums more or less likely than science museums to test or use historical data when making design decisions?

Is that something you’re curious about as well? I should do some more digging to see what data is available on this, but would you be interested in seeing the results of survey similar to the one above on the ways that cultural institutions handle content and design interventions? How are you measuring the impact of design at your organization?

Reply to this email and share your thoughts or objections.

Thanks for reading,

Kyle