Monday, January 17, 2011

Five Phases of Visitor Experience

The whole experience
No transaction stands alone, isolated from what went before and what follows. When we want to examine an event more closely, we should look at it in the context of what went before and what followed.
The context of before and after can be understood in five phases. These phases apply to experiences as diverse as shopping, sports participation, educational events and leisure outings.

Five Phases

1. Anticipation
This phase involves thinking about and planning the outing. Key decisions are made here – when to go, how to get there, how long to stay, what to take, what other things to do on the outing.
Our research explores decision-making in addition to describing the inner landscape of assumptions, expectations and attitudes. 

2. Travel to
This phase involves travelling to the venue, parking, costs and access.
Our research describes modes of travel and expectations, as well as wayfinding and accessibility. Travel time can be used as one measure of economic worth.

3. On site
This phase involves the whole visitor experience onsite.
We have measured many aspects of onsite experiences, including:
>Wayfinding – tracking & timing
>Visitor satisfaction – rating, likes and dislikes
>Engagement patterns – tracking & timing, rating
>Expenditure – reported spend
>Learning outcomes – range of measures, including MOLI

4. Travel back
This phase involves the return journey.
Our research describes modes of travel. We have also explored the conversations that take place on return trips.

5. Recollection
This phase involves the many ways that outings and events are recalled, shared and commemorated. For children, play is an important form of recollection, while visitors to art exhibitions often find that the catalogue helps to consolidate memories and recall them years later.
Our research has explored the way outings and events are recalled in timeframes such as: immediately after, 2-3 weeks later and several months later. We have studied learning outcomes for museum visits.

The Five Phases were first proposed in 1966 by Clawson and Knetsch in the context of leisure activities. 

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