Factors that Enhance Effectiveness of Visitor Maps

Janet Frey Talbot, Rachel Kaplan, Frances E. Kuo, Stephen Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The focus of the series of studies reported here is on the effectiveness of handout maps as wayfinding aids for museum visitors, and on the importance of wayfinding to the quality of museum visitors' experiences. The design of the handout maps that were used in the studies was guided by a series of cognitively based principles that focus on the concept of simplicity. More than 700 visitors participated in these studies, which involved both surveys and performance measures. The results show that visitors are eager to use handout maps and find them helpful even when they contain few details. Furthermore, visitors who were given simple handout maps reported more positive expectations of their visit, and satisfaction levels were higher among exiting visitors who felt that they had been able to find their way around the museum more easily.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-760
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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