Research into designs for the Imperial War Museum North

First impressions count 

The snap judgements people make can often have a negative impact on their perception of your offer. Research can help you understand these perceptions and devise alternative ways to showcase your attraction or destination.

Consulting on the external spaces

In 2006 Qa conducted research with potential visitors to the IWMN. Some considered the outside of the building to be unfriendly and unwelcoming. This caused them to be unsure whether they wanted to risk a visit and to question the suitability of the venue for children.

Nearly three years later, following a design competition run by RIBA Qa was commissioned to conduct public consultation on five potential designs for the external space at the IWMN.

Qualitative in-depth interviews with family and adult visitors meeting a mix of age, gender, race and access criteria were carried out on site and in other Manchester museums to assess the reactions of potential visitors.

The interviews investigated the positives / negatives of the five designs, their appropriateness for the museum, and their likely impact on visitors.

Stakeholders from a range of local marketing and tourism organisations likely to be affected by the changes were also consulted. These included Marketing Manchester and The Lowry.

Making informed decisions

Qa completed the research and presented the findings within two weeks of receiving the proposed designs. The findings and their implications were then discussed in an informal workshop with senior IWMN staff. This meeting helped to inform the judging panel’s eventual choice of design.

For more details e-mail nick.how@qaresearch.co.uk or call 01904 632039