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UX + UI Designer

10 Nights at the Museum

  • Scope: Research & User Testing, Wireframes, Design Specifications Document, User flows, Sitemap, Interactive Prototype
  • Tools: Axure, Marvel App, Keynote, Pen & Paper, Markers & Sharpies
  • Duration: 10 Days

The Project

Join forces with two of your classmates who you don’t know at all that have been randomly assigned to you and design a new feature for an existing product in order to solve a specific business problem.

The Problem

The museum is so expansive that a visitor can hardly tour all of the exhibits in one trip and need a clear direction and intention when starting a visit or it can be difficult to navigate.

The Solution

A mobile app that helps patrons navigate the museum, find an exhibit that would most interest them, and be able to keep track of the most interesting information, and displays that they discover while also integrating some of the interactive features and exhibits throughout the museum.

Prototype in Action

Map & Save

Demonstrates finding your friends throughout the museum and saving a favorite exhibit piece to an "archive" of favorites.

Interactivity & Social Media

Finds the nearest interactive activity (augmented reality) by geolocation and shares a photo of the moment on social media.

Tours & Audio Guide

Explores the variety of currated tours available and the bonus feature of the audio guide feature.

The Process

Out-of-Towner Goes Touring

Seeing as I was the only team member not from the greater D.C. area, I went on an adventure and toured the entire museum myself at the end of our first day. This allowed me to do some contextual analysis of patrons as they perused the museum on a typical Monday afternoon. In the course of this tour I studied the engagement of patrons with interactive materials within exhibits as well as materials and signage for navigation throughout the museum.

Project Kickoff

We kicked off this project with some brief introductions and got to know some self-proclaimed strengths and weaknesses of our new teammates. We then dove head first into creating a user survey which thanks the combined social networks of our team we were able to gather 194 responses within only 48 hours.

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Patterns

With lots of great responses to our survey we began to “crunch” the numbers and found great statistics. We then went to the Post-It’s and began affinity mapping all pain points, needs and goals which drove the creation of our three personas.

Not the Only Museum

During our research phase I began to download and interact with 8 other museum apps and created a competitive analysis, which made evident feature we absolutely need to include in order to compete with other museums. More importantly it highlighted an audio feature that we could include catapulting our app ahead of our competitors.

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We Love Post-It’s

We went back our colorful small bits of paper and began to brainstorm all features we’d like to have included in this app. The scope began to creep into the world of astronomical, but allowing our minds to soar into the blue sky and not limiting anything creatively allowed us to explore all things that may or may not be possible.

Eye of the Brainstorm

Once we had exhausted out brains we then combined our statistics, user goals and pain points, and our blue-sky ideas to establish a hierarchy of features that lead to the top-level navigation of our app. From there we could establish the rest of the architecture of our huge scope of features and thus our sitemap was born.

Sketch, Marvel App, Test, Repeat

With our first hand-sketched tapable prototype built we went straight to user testing and found more than quite a few changes were needed. Some of these issues were due to the limitations of our sketched prototype so we jumped into Axure to produce something a bit more workable.

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Time’s Running Out

Learning to work with new people in a very limited amount of time was an interesting pursuit. Our team had its fair share of bumps and roadblocks along the way, but by the beginning of the second week we had overcome some of the most trying times and were just flat out running out of time before the presentation. This forced us to separate our task list by strengths, I personally found this disappointing because I like to challenge myself and learn something new instead of always falling back onto a safety net of skills. This meant that I spent that last few days of the project managing our Keynote presentation as well as building our synchronized user flow prototype videos.

Hindsight Being What It Is

There are quite a few things I know now I would have preferred to handle differently when it came to team management within this project. As a fellow student I did not feel it was my position to step-up and manage my fellow classmates, therefore I didn’t. This is one of my biggest regrets within this project and I am eager not to make the same mistake ever again.

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