Title:How Does This Exhibition Make You Feel? Measuring Sensory and Emotional Experience of In-Gallery Digital Technology with GSR Devices
Authors:Jingyu Peng
Publication:MW2019: MuseWeb 2019

The trend of the "sensory turn" in academic study (that has aimed to recover a comprehensive understanding of the body and senses), now offers us a brand-new perspective. And it is a perspective that can complement (and perhaps even challenge) some of our orthodox ways of understanding and evaluating in-gallery digital interactives. It is an approach to evaluation beyond the traditional models of usability and learning—and into emotion and sensation.

Poignantly, just as museum studies writing has been affected by this turn to emotion and to the senses, so we have also seen the arrival of emerging formats of in-gallery digital technology. VR, AR, 3-D printing, multi-touch, are very different from traditional interactives. This in media that is more likely to involve multi-sensory experience, enable manipulation by multiple users, and create highly immersive viewing experience—all of which questions the appropriateness of our classic set of existing evaluation tools. We are left questioning whether our classic visitor-studies toolset is effective enough for measuring user experience of the new wave of in-gallery technology.

Inspired by both this "sensory turn" and this "new wave." this paper will discuss how to measure visitors’ sensory and emotional experience with in-gallery technologies. The research is based on fieldwork conducted at National Space Centre, UK. After testing the usefulness of traditional evaluation tools (including questionnaire, observation and interviews), the study turned to other disciplines to design a new evaluative framework for measuring emotion and sensation in-gallery. This paper shares the findings, the practical application, and value of using Galvanic Skin Responses (GSR) techniques to effectively measure museum visitors’ sensory and emotional experience with in-gallery interactives.