1.3 Cultural Probes

The Cultural Probe package.Our cultural probe starts with a paper bag and a welcoming note on the outside.

 In the paper bag, there are a questionaire paper, a pen, and stickers.

The next items in the bag are fifteen flyers and brochures for museums located in Østfold and two envelopes: one yellow and one green.

The last thing in the bag is markers in different colours. With the phrase «make your own art» on the outside, just for fun and inspiration for the participants.


The goal of the probe and the participants.

We personally delivered the probe to the students age 18-25 on a Tuesday and explained the content of the probe. We gave them the task to take the probe home and meet us on Friday to deliver it back after they had the chance to go through the probe and answered the various questions. The timeframe would have given them time to think on and thoroughly go through the probe and the questions. The goal of the probe is to gain insight about the students’ last visit to a museum and their preferences for a museum visit. Questions consist of whether they were on vacation or in their hometown; which museum they went to; and what kind of museum they would like visit in their local area; if they prefer science museums, war museums or more modern museums; and lastly, if they would follow the museums on their respective social media accounts.

The probe can help us achieve the goal.

By the help of the students and their participation through the probe, we can find out what their preferences are. The students need to answer what kind of museums they prefer in the probe. It helps determine when the students last visited a museum and with whom, and acquiring additional information about what the students see as art in their everyday life. The probe can help us find out if the participants would be more likely to go to the museums in their hometown or in another city when on vacation. By answering the questions about social media, we find out if the students will follow the museum’s respective social media accounts. If the students take the task seriously, we can find out if they deem the museums in the probe attractive, and it would also give the students inspiration and information about the different museums in Østfold which they can visit.

 The probe contents and tasks.

First, the students were given a paper bag with a welcoming note on the outside. Beforehand, we start by saying “Hi!” and introduce ourselves and the task at hand. Afterwards, we ask them if they would help us answer some questions.

When the students opened the paper bag, the first item was a questionnaire. The first task is to put a sticker to determine their age, since our target group are students between 18 to 25. The next questions are about their last visit to a museum: when they last went to a museum, which museum did they visit and with whom they visited with. They needed to use the pen, which was provided for in the probe, in order to answer. The third task on the paper was asking if they could take some pictures of things in their everyday life, which they either deem as art or inspiring. If the the person’s are taking the pictures we can learn about a persons life, that’s way having them take photos is good.

When they turned the paper on to the next page, the students had more questions about their last visit to a museum. In this task, they were provided with stickers to put their answers on the scale for each question. The questions were: Was it fun on the last museum you visited?; How did you feel on your trip to the museum?; And lastly, if they would follow the museum on social media and which one.

The next task we gave the students was to figure out what kind of museum they would like to visit. They were given the 15 different flyers/brochures about the museums in Østfold and two envelopes. The green envelope is where the students can put the museums they would like visit, whereas the yellow envelope is where they can put the museums they would not like to visit. This is meant to figure out which kinds of museums the students would either visit or not visit.

The last item the students were given in the probe was markers in different colors, with the phrase «make your own art». In truth, this is was not meant as a task, rather just for fun and inspiration for the participants. This was our way to thank the students for their participation. Some of the participants made some fun and interesting drawings on the paper bag when they returned the probe, which was a nice surprise.



The Collage