UX Research, UX & UI Design, Brand Identity
Adobe Suite, Balsamiq, InVision
Only reached the prototype stage (study project)
This app was my capstone project for a 3-month long mentored UX Design course with Springboard.
Me and my friends are frequent museum goers, and as such we discussed how difficult it is to track all the museums and galleries you have visited, as well as save a list of all the exhibits you liked at a museum in order to research them later and/or share with friends on social media.
As a solution to this problem I decided to create a prototype of an app that allows one to:
- Track all the museums/galleries ever visited;
- “Bookmark” any exhibit at any gallery/museum/exhibition;
- Share bookmarked exhibits with friends.
Museo is an app that allows you to keep track of all the museums, galleries, and exhibitions you visited, as well as “bookmark” any exhibit you liked.
Behind the idea of this app lied the hypothesis that frequent museum goers would like to:
A. Be able to keep track of all the museums/exhibitions/galleries they have visited;
B. Have a way to “save” exhibits they liked the most at any museum – to have a chance to research them later and/or share with their friends on social media.
I needed to validate my hypothesis with user research. Apart from hypothesis validation my goals for user research were to figure out the following:
- If people who go to museums often want to save a list of exhibits they loved the most;
- If some of them do, how would they prefer to “save” those exhibits;
- If they would like to share their bookmarks with their friends via social media.
Part 1. Survey
First, I conducted a survey with 52 participants.
The majority of them reported being generally interested in attending museums on a regular basis, although only a small amount were very enthusiastic museum goers. The survey revealed the following results:
Part 2. Interviews
Second, in-person interviews were conducted with 4 participants who have previously stated their interest in attending museums and art galleries.
- Interview subjects usually try to write down or remember the name of the artist/the name of the exhibit itself if they really liked it, but if they didn’t google it on the spot they rarely do research anything about that exhibit later on.
- People don’t post on social media about their visit to a museum/gallery in general. Instead, they prefer to post about specific exhibits they especially enjoyed/found funny/were impressed by at a museum/gallery.
- All subjects voiced an interest in an app that would recommend them museums and galleries to attend locally, tailored to their preference (e.g. based on their own previous museum visits).
After conducting the survey and the interviews, I came to a conclusion that a feature that would recommend a person other places based on his/her previous experience in attending museums has to be added to the original app idea.
I have decided to study 5 different competitor apps closely to measure how successful an option to save references to an exhibit one liked (saving its’ name, the name of the artist, or potentially a picture of it) could be realised through these applications. For the purposes of this analysis I only looked into apps available for/easy accessible via mobile devices – something one could easily use when out at a museum.
Referencing my findings from the user research, I created two personas and an empathy map for each one of them: to represent potential users of the app and to help me empathise with them through their desires, goals, and obstacles.
In the MVP version of the app I decided to only concentrate on 5 key features of the app:
- Adding any object/exhibit from a museum into bookmarks – aka ”Favourites”
- Grouping “Favourites” based on a museum/artist
- A user profile which shows recently visited museums/galleries and collections of bookmarks from them
- Ability to share specific exhibits that users “bookmarked” on their social media
- Seeing recommendations for museums and exhibits based on location + on the history of previous museum visits
Card Sorting & Site Map
Card Sorting showed that people tended to sort all of the app’s features and functions into the 5 primary groups:
Based on the results of the Card Sorting, the navigation system with the first 4 groups as the main pages of the app was introduced. Social aspect of the app (‘Friends’) is not one of the apps’ key features so all the functions belonging to that group were distributed between other pages. The following sitemap was created:
Sketching & Wireframing
First I created sketches for the main screens from the sitemap.
Then I received feedback for an InVision prototype made out of sketches. It helped me figure out that some user flows were not working out the way they should be, so I had to go back to the original sketches and iterate.
Using the iterated version of the sketches I created digital wireframes in Balsamiq to help me figure out the layout of the main pages.
Next I created some basic branding for the app, including it’s logo which I would use on the splash screen, and put together a little style guide for myself.
After finishing the style guide, I was ready to create the final UI for the app.
As a last step, I created an InVision prototype with the final UI of the app in order to gather some feedback from the respondents of my original survey & interviews. They were really excited about finally being able to see the app we discussed in the survey & interviews for themselves, and the feedback I received was very positive.
Conclusion & What I learned
This was a first big project where I got to try all stages of user research and UX design in practice. I haven’t done a lot of user research and testing previously, so this experience was eye opening to me in showing how important these steps are for a product, and how many insights can be gathered from talking to the users.
I would also like to thank everyone who helped me during my work on this project: Dave, who was my mentor on this project, all the participants of the survey & the interview, and especially Max, Greg, Slava, Ksenia, Andrey, Lucy and Alyona for always being there to test, give feedback and provide insights.