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








1.2 Expert Interview

Expert Interview

We interviewed an employee at Halden tourist informaiton and that gave us more knowledge about museums.  

The interview was conducted at Visit Halden (Halden tourist information) office.  We conducted the interview by visiting the office and asked if some of the employees had the time to answer some questions about students, museums and social media. Letting the person know that we are looking in to how they can make themselves more attractive for students between 18-25, and how the try to reach the students. After the presentation the person agreed to answer the question. We asked if the person wanted anonymous and if it was okay to post everything from the interview on a blogg for hiof. We got permission. The interview lasted about 15-20 minuets. There was one of us that asked the questions and one that took notes.

The theme was chosen to see if we could find a solution to make students appreciate and visit museums more often, what the museums can do, and if they need to be more active on social media to market the museums. 


The interview was done in Norwegian, with the following questions: 

Er det mange studenter i alderen 18-25 år som besøker museet? 

  • Nei i grunn ikke, spesielt ikke når de kommer fra samme by. Det er kanskje litt mer attraktivt om man besøker en ny by da man ikke kan like mye om den som man gjør med sin egen 

Hvordan markedsførere dere museet for studenter i dag? 

  • Vi hadde stand Høyskolen i Østfold under de første dagene i  august. Vi har også lagt igjen brosjyrer i resepsjonen. 

Hvilke sosiale medier bruker dere i dag? (app, instagram, facebook, snapchat) 

  • Vi bruker for det meste Facebook og Instagram.  

Er studenter er del av deres fokusgruppe 

  • Ja det vil jeg absolut si at de er 

Vurderer dere å bruke mer digitale verktøy(app) i museet for å studentene? 

  • Jeg føler at vi allerde bruker det. 

Har dere i dag studentrabatthvor mye? 

  • Vi har rabatter for ungdomsskole elever, men desverre ikke for høyskolestudenter. Vi har også rabatt for våre medlemmer av visit halden.  

Hvordan kan dere forbedre tilbudet for studenter? 

Føler dere at museet følger med i den stadige mer digitaliserte hverdagen? 

  • Ja, flere og flere utstillinger blir digitaliserte. Vi prøver jo å følge med. 


We only took notes on paper and have no recording or video of the interview.We asked the person if it was okay if  we wrote down what was said. Looking back at how the interview went, we came to the conclusion that it could have been better to record the interview. By using this technique, maybe the person would have felt more comfortable and given us better and fuller answers.

We found out that we could have been more prepared before conducting the interview, and spent more time preparing the questions to make them better. During the interview there were some questions that did not fit in, so we ended up not asking them. After some questions we felt that maybe this were not the expert person we should have interviewed, so we went in the typical beginner mistake for conducting an interview. Looking back, we could have used the 5 WHY technique.   

We found out by the employee who agreed to speak with us that students don’t go to the museums as much as the museums would like them to. The person at visit Halden said that since the students already had been to the museums in a younger age on school trips, they feel like they know everything about the local museums. When they go on trips to other cities, they feel like students visit the museums more. The employee felt like they are keeping up with social media that the student use such as Facebook and Instagram. During the interview we got some information brochures but when we looked through them, we could not find” follow us on facebook or instagram” anywhere, it was only the homepage. If we go on the homepage to Østfoldmuseene there were a lot of good information about the museums, and links to all the social media the different museums are active on. To conclude this expert interview, we can agree with the expert we talked to that students between the age 18-25 do not visit museums that often.