Problem: Apps to assist users inside an art exhibition can distract from the main experience of viewing art
Solution: An app that shows customized fun facts on a phone’s lock screen or smart watch, or by audio.
Tools: Figma, Microsoft Witeboard, Google Jamboard
Date: October 20 – 25, 2020
Table of Contents:
This Google Ventures Design Sprint is a 5-day design challenge to create and test an app that improves a user’s experience in an art museum. I created an app that makes personalized fun facts to send to a user during their trip. They can receive these fun facts as lock-screen or on-screen notifications on their phone or smart watch, or by audio. This way they aren’t distracted by their phone and can focus on the art.
After creating a low-fidelity prototype, I tested my designs with 10 users. When the sprint was over, I then created high-fidelity screens for this case study.
The persona I’m designing for is a persona with a high level of interest in art exhibitions who visits them more often than the average person. They have decided ahead of time that they are visiting an art exhibition and want to be prepared; they are actively looking to improve their experiences as compared to past exhibitions; they regularly visit art exhibitions and seem to know what they like in art, and what to expect in an exhibition, rather than a tourist or one-time visitor. Therefore, I can design something for them to start using before their visit rather than in the moment. I can design something for them to use over and over again that can learn from their feedback and behavior.
My idea is to have the user tell the app about their interests before their visit. During their visit, they receive short, personalized fun facts as notifications they can read without unlocking their phone. This app can also show notifications on a smart watch, or read the notifications aloud. After their visit for the app to improve for the next exhibition, users can review the fun facts they received to tell the app whether or not to send similar facts like that in the future.
This user story shows that most of the interaction with the app happens before and after a user’s visit:
I picked to sketch the screen when users tell the app what interests them in art since this determines the types of fun facts they will receive during their visit. I don’t know exactly how this can be engineered, but I imagine the software will take the user’s input and match it to data found online about the exhibition. Museums and galleries usually post a lot of information on their websites and social media pages. There is also other information on the web about the art or artist that may not be about the specific exhibition. This software could gather a wide range of facts related to an exhibition.
I needed to design a screen where the user can describe their interests in art, or describe the type of art viewer they are, in the form of keywords that a computer can process. I came up with different types of forms where the user can input these keywords.
I choose to continue with the design on the first screen where keywords are grouped into three categories: history, theory, and craft. Before this screen, the user tells the app which art exhibition they are going to. After this screen, they can choose to connect other accounts to tell the app more about them. Alternatively, they can skip this step and choose to input more personal data in another form.
The first row of the storyboard shows the onboarding path. The user goes through 4 screens adding details about their next exhibition and the types of fun facts they want to receive, and one more screen to confirm those details.
The screens would look very different the second time the app is used, and every time after that. The onboarding path fills the user’s account with those same details and saves them as user preferences. When a user goes to plan their second exhibition, their preferences for the first exhibition will already be there (except for the location and time). This way, they don’t have to reconnect accounts or select interests again. However, they could change details for each exhibition. For example, in one exhibition, a user might only want history related facts, but in another exhibition they might specifically be interested in the craft.
The second row of the storyboard shows the path a user takes to review a past exhibition. From the home page, they click on the account icon to access their account. This page has options to review a users’ art interests, upcoming exhibitions they have planned, their history of past exhibitions, and their connected social accounts. When a user clicks on “past exhibitions,” the first time they’re using the app when there is only one past exhibition, they’ll see a list of the fun facts they received. They can upvote those fun facts here. Any other time after the first time using the app, they will see a list of their past exhibitions to select from.
Day for was spent building a low-fidelity prototype in Figma to illustrate the onboarding process. Since this process is essentially a long form on multiple screens, the process of entering each piece of input has been abbreviated.
With this app, it made the most sense to test the onboarding process. I mainly wanted to get feedback on the onboarding questions and see if the onboarding process could give them a good impression of the app.
The app is designed to improve over time as it learns from a user’s reviews of their fun facts after every exhibition. I asked my participants what they would expect from the app during and after an exhibition based on this first impression. Do they expect to get interesting fun facts? Do they trust it will improve their experience? A positive response would be if a participant is curious or excited to see the facts they get; A negative response would be if they seem reluctant, or decided not to use the app during their visit.
I was also able to test some of the usability features in the onboarding process. Although it is tough to test UI interactions on a form in a prototype, I could still test other things about the form. I asked if the process had too many screens or took too long to complete, and if the questions made sense the way they were asked.
I tested the prototype on 5 of my friends over video chat. These are all people who I know love to go to all types of museums, including art museums. I shared my screen and had the participants tell me where I should click on their behalf.
One participant was confused by the first screen, “Where is your next art exhibition?” She asked if the app was only for exhibitions and not for permanent collections. This question made sense The term exhibition is problematic because not every art exhibition is called an ‘exhibition.’ For example, they could be called ‘shows’ or ‘displays.’ Plus, some institutions have temporary or rotating displays alongside permanent displays.
To solve this problem, I added an inactive input on the “select location” screen for a user to choose a specific exhibition inside of an institution. In the future, I would also perform more testing using different language to see if the term ‘exhibition’ actually works best.