Evaluation of the attention capture and holding power of interpretive signs among visitors to a self-guided trail in the High Tatras National Park (Slovakia)

Main Article Content

Juraj Švajda Jan Činčera http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0704-7402


Nature trails have become very popular and have become the most widespread method of interpreting natural and cultural heritage. This paper presents the result of evaluation research of a nature trail in the High Tatras National Park (Slovakia). The holding power and attention capture of the individual panels were assessed by observation including further analysis of other factors related to the interpretive quality or location of the panels. Evaluation shows that the trail is overloaded with text and does not adequately link the communicated content with the surroundings. The individual trail panels have a relatively low degree of holding power and attention capture. The evaluation reveals the importance of good quality and thoughtful interpretation of natural heritage. Overall, the study also shows the difficulties associated with the use of statistical methods to analyze the effectiveness of selected trail features. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Švajda, J., & Činčera, J. (2017). Evaluation of the attention capture and holding power of interpretive signs among visitors to a self-guided trail in the High Tatras National Park (Slovakia). Envigogika, 12(2). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.14712/18023061.549
Reviewed Papers
Author Biographies

Juraj Švajda, Faculty of Natural Sciences Matej Bel University

Department of Biology and EcologyFaculty of Natural SciencesMatej Bel UniversityTajovského 40Banská BystricaSK-974 01

Jan Činčera, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University

Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University


Beňková, V., & Činčera, J. (2010). Prožitkové naučné stezky jako prostředek environmentální interpretace krajiny. (Experiential learning trails as a means for environmental interpretation. In Czech) Envigogika: Charles University E-journal for Environmental Education, 5(2). Retrieved from http://envigogika.cuni.cz/index.php/Envigogika/article/view/51/html_51
Bitgood, S. (2000). The Role of Attention in Designing Effective Interpretive labels. Journal of Interpretation Research, 5(2), 31-45.
Crawford, J. (2007). Kea Exhibits : The Dynamics of Kea Behaviour and Interpretive Signage on Visitor Interest. Unitec Institute of Technology.
Carter, J. (2001). A sense of place – an interpretive planning handbook. Tourism and the environment initiative, Inverness.
Cialdini, R. B., Demaine, L. J., Sagarin, B. J., Barrett, D. W., Rhoads, K. & Winter, P. L. (2006). Managing social norms for persuasive impact. Social influence 1 (1):3-15.
Falk, J. H.; Heimlich, J. E. & Foutz, S. (2009). Free-choice learning and the Environment. Lanham: Altamira Press.
Gyllenhaal, E. D., Perry, D. L. & White, D. (2012). Summative evaluation of the Trail of time at Grand Canyon. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
Hall, T. E., Ham, S. H. & Lackey, B. K. (2010). Comparative evaluation of the attention capture and holding power of novel signs aimed at park visitors. Journal of interpretation research 15 (1): 15-38.
Ham, S. H. (1992). Environmental Interpretation: A practical guide for people with big ideas and small budgets. Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing.
Ham, S. H. (2013). Interpretation – making a difference on purpose. Golden: Fulcrum Publishing.
Jensen, K. A. (2006). Effects of the Artistic Design of Interpretive Signage on Attracting Power, Holding Time and Memory Recall. A Thesis. Faculty of Humboldt State University. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.calstate.edu/bitstream/handle/2148/141/Jensen_Thesis.pdf?sequence=1
Masters, D. & Carter, J. (1999). What have we got and is it any good? A practical guide on how to survey and assess heritage interpretation. Highland interpretative strategic project.
Medek, M., Činčera, J., Gregorová, J., Pořízová, K. & Lisková, M. (2016). Náučné stezky: zpracování a hodnocení nepřímých interpretačných programů. (Educational paths: processing and evaluating indirect interpreting programs. In Czech.) Masarykova univerzita Brno, 156 s.
Ptáček, L., Růžička, T., Medek, M., Hušková, B. & Banaš, M. (2012). Jak pře(d)kládat svět. (How to translate or present the world. In Czech). Brno: Nadace Partnerství.
Thompson, D., & Bitgood, S. (1988). The Effects of Sign Length, Letter Size, and Proximity on Readings. Visitor Studies: Theory, Research, and Practice, 101–112. doi:10.1080/10645578809445744
Tilden, F. (2007). Interpreting our Heritage. Chapell Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.