Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Pérez-Sanagustín M., Parra D., Verdugo R., García-Galleguillos G. and Nussbaum M. (2016)

Using QR codes to increase user engagement in museum-like spaces

Revista : Computers in Human Behavior
Volumen : 60
Páginas : 73-85
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Quick Response (QR) code technologies offer potentially outstanding opportunities to transform public experience in museum-like spaces. However, although QR codes are a cost-effective way of delivering digital information in these spaces, there is as yet little information on the resulting effects on visitor engagement. We conducted two different controlled experiments in order to examine the effects of QR codes on visitor engagement in museum-like spaces. These experiments were structured in two research cycles and followed the Design-Based Research methodology. The first experiment compares the effects of QR codes versus traditional display screens for providing information about the exhibits. This experiment was carried out with 200 participants in a public garden. The second experiment was carried out with 260 college students at a university campus hall. This experiment compares traditional (or one-way) QR codes with two-way QR codes as different methods for delivering information. Two-way QR codes allow visitors to search for information about the exhibit, as well as contributing by leaving comments. In both experiments, we measured engagement as a combination of three variables: (1) amount of information consumed by visitors; (2) the time visitors spend at the exhibit; and (3) the visitors’ perceived quality of the experience. The results show that visitors prefer direct mechanisms for obtaining information about the exhibits, such as text on a panel or videos on a screen. However, we also found that two-way QR codes are a cheaper alternative for delivering digital content in museum-like spaces, especially for college-age visitors.