Creative methods for visitor surveys • Visitor/user engagement • Social science data collection
I only provided three kinds of stickers for visitors to use on their maps: green/smiling, yellow/neutral, and red/frowning. But emotions are complex and messy! So what did my participants do?
They drew angry eyebrows on the red frowning faces (above, left) to more fully express the anger they felt at the ongoing legacies of enslavement. They ripped stickers in half and created a self-described "Christmas response" (above, right) to visually encapsulate the mixed feelings they had when learning about horrible things (red) in a beautiful place (green).
Others used the pens I also gave them to write comments and articulate relationships between stickers that represented their own emotional engagement with the space. Above, right, you can see that this visitor was happy and smiling when entering the visitor center (A) but after hearing about the realities and legacies of slavery from the tour guide, left feeling more conflicted.
Overall, the simplicity and tactility of this unique data collection tool allowed the visitors themselves to take ownership of their own products and push my research in ways I never anticipated!
Notes from the Field
Thoughts, pics, and maps from my ongoing social science research
I'm a qualitative and quantitative social scientist working on my geography PhD and collaborating with public plantation museums across North Carolina to examine visitor responses, staff goals, and relationships between landscape and histories of enslavement.