Type of Document Thesis Author Park, Namjin URN etd-09182003-153812 Title Virtual Museum Exhibitions: An Exploration Of The Relationship Between Virtual Exhibitions And Visitorsí Responses Degree Master of Science Department Interior Design, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Lisa Waxman Committee Chair Gail Rubini Committee Member Paul Marty Committee Member Tock Ohazama Committee Member Keywords
- Future Role Of Interior Design In Virtual Space
Date of Defense 2003-08-02 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis study began with an assumption that virtual museum exhibitions will continue to be created in the future and more knowledge is required about designing effective virtual exhibit designs. This study explored the relationship between virtual
exhibits and visitorís opinions following the viewing of the virtual exhibit in order to
determine the components of a well-constructed virtual exhibit. To address the research
problem, this study explored two aspects of virtual exhibit design: 1) what are the
components of a well-constructed virtual exhibit, 2) how does viewing the virtual exhibit change visitorsí opinions about both physical and virtual museum experiences.
Twenty-five participants were purposively selected from a school of visual arts at a university located in the Southeastern region of the United States. Twenty participants had viewed a virtual exhibit prior to the study, while five participants had never viewed a virtual exhibit before. Each participant was given a survey prior to their viewing of the virtual exhibit, then they were given the opportunity to view the website and finally surveyed regarding their opinions. From the 25 participants, six were
selected for observation to record behavior exhibited while they viewed the site. In
addition, five were interviewed for a better understanding of their responses to various
aspects of the virtual exhibit experiences.
Data from the surveys was tabulated for descriptive percentages in order to identify numerical patterns of relationships. Observation data was analyzed for simple frequencies in categories of responses and interview data was tape recorded and transcribed into text files.
The results of the study show that respondents' opinions of both physical and virtual museums were influenced by the frequency of their exposure to virtual museum exhibits. This result indicates that something attractive in the newness of one's first visit to a virtual museum "wears off" after later visits to similar sites. On the other hand, many of the comments of respondents indicate that virtual exhibits not only enrich the experience of visitors to physical museums, but also provide a unique
experience that cannot be duplicated in real life. In addition, the most valued components of a well-constructed virtual exhibit were audio explanations, interactive tools, many attractive graphics, and clear icon design.
Based on study results, recommendations were made for the future role of interior design in virtual space that stands independent from a physical building and resides only on the Internet.
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