How to Choose Interpretive Media for Your Outdoor Site

Many people have the same questions about choosing interpretive media. Which media is best for my story? What resources do I need? How do I get started? Let’s ask a few key questions, consider some details, and point you in the right direction to select media for your outdoor site.

1) What is the story?

Is it a meaningful story? Does the story connect to the site’s landscape or natural resources? Does it describe the site’s heritage or cultural resources?

Keywords: So What? | Landscape | Heritage

2) Who is the audience?

Are you targeting a school-age audience or the general public? Does the audience speak a language besides English?

Keywords: Age group | Learning style | Language

3) What resources are available?

What graphics or artifacts are available? What’s my budget for development and maintenance? How much staff time is available to support interpretive media?

Keywords: Graphics | Budget | Staff

4) Am I prepared to offer all visitors interpretive messaging through universal design principles?

Accessibility and universal design are important in allowing diverse visitors to experience your story (Learn it, Breathe it). Fundraising and community outreach can be great ways to move this forward.

Keywords: Accessible | Audio description | Tactile

5) What media should I use to tell my story?

Ok, you’ve got your story, you know your audience and resources, and you know all about universal design. Let’s look at different media that can be combined to create a robust visitor experience.

Download our handout on choosing interpretive media here!

Outdoor Media Types Chart