Cathy Sigmond, Senior Associate


Cathy is deeply interested in understanding human behavior through strategic research and evaluation.  She holds an M.A. degree in museum education from Tufts University and has several years’ experience working with diverse populations in education and evaluation settings, including recently-arrived immigrants, high school students in France, teachers, and museum visitors.  She draws on these experiences to advocate for the user in museums and cultural organizations.  As an evaluator, she encourages professionals to continually ask questions of themselves and their constituents to explore their impact on audiences.

Cathy Sigmond

Published Works, Select Articles By Cathy Sigmond

“The Many Shapes of Formative Evaluation in Exhibition Development”
Exhibition, 2019.
By Cathy Sigmond

This article describes the principles that underlie formative evaluation, showcases the range of ways museum practitioners can integrate formative evaluation into the exhibition development process, and considers how we might evolve and strengthen our traditional approaches to formative evaluation by drawing on similar areas of practice such as user experience design and information architecture.

This article first appeared in the journal Exhibition (Spring 2019) Vol. 38 No. 1 and is reproduced with permission. www.name-aam.org

Full Article


“Calm Technology in Museums.”
In Humanizing the Digital: Unproceedings from the MCN 2018 Conference, 2019.
By Cathy Sigmond

Inspired by Amber Case’s keynote address at the Museum Computer Network 2018 conference, this essay describes the philosophy of calm technology, or non-intrusive design, and discusses it in the context of museums.  Cathy breaks down Case’s eight principles of calm technology and explores how museum professionals can apply them to designing museum experiences – both analog and digital – that best serve visitors.

This essay was first published in Humanizing the Digital: Unproceedings from the MCN 2018 Conference (March 2019; ed. Ad Hoc Museum Collective) and is reproduced with permission.  The book is available on Amazon. All proceeds go to the MCN scholarship program. 

Full Article


“Using Critical Appraisal to Inform Program Improvement.”
Journal of Museum Education, 2017.
By Cathy Sigmond, Amanda Krantz and Theresa Esterlund

This article describes critical appraisal, a method applied by RK&A to help a museum’s education department make data-driven decisions about programming. It discusses the benefits and challenges of this method from the perspective of both the educator and evaluator to highlight its potential utilization for other museum educators.