Field Guide was a mobile app our team designed for the Field Museum in Chicago. Together we worked from conceptualization to prototyping on creating a mobile app that can guide the tourists through the museum. The User Centered Design process was the methodology we adopted for our project.
Teammates: Margaret O’Hagan, Libbey Saeltzer, & Mele Hamasaki
Personal Contribution: User Research, Analysis and Synthesis, Prototyping & Interaction Design
We divided our target users by their user types: Individual/Families and Teachers/Educators. Based on this assumption we created screeners and recruited a total of 8 users to interview. Each interview yielded approximately 20-50 observation insights to be analyzed. Using an online tool called Stormboard, we were able to sort the insights into 6 larger clusters and extract behavioral/characteristic traits of our target users. As a result, our three key personas Ben, Shannon and Joe were born.
The first iteration of our project occurred during this phase. Our data analysis of the user research indicated that we do not have enough data for the user group Teachers/Educators. As a result, we decided to move forward with updated user groups: frequent visitor and infrequent visitor, between which we are focusing on the experience of the former, to be more specific , our key persona Ben.
We created a journey map, specifying the touch point, emotion, painpoint and channels of Ben’s journey from planning to visiting to reflecting. We also mapped out the relationships between concepts and attributes involved in the complete museum experience with a conceptual diagram to help us better understand the domain.
Due to time constraint, the complexity level of navigation design for our app is limited to realization of two particular features: online ticket purchasing and navigation inside the museum. For the rest part of the app, we only provided high level architecture.
Again we used brainstorming to decide features we would like to have for our app, and then we carried out two rounds of cardsorting-both open and closed to gain insights from users on the selection of our menu labels. After cross referencing with our personas’ goal and painpoints, we finalized the site map for our app, and gave our app the name “Field Guide” to play with the pun.
UI & Interaction Design
Based on our analysis on the features and site map we began to sketch ideas. of our user interfaces. But before we dive into some serious wireframing in Axure, I did a fast and dirty paper prototype testing with a couple of users to get an idea of whether we’re heading the right direction. It turned out, a design issue surfaces on the ticket purchasing screen: users had pointed out that they thought the lack of a reduce quantity button created problem when they made an error in adding ticket quantity. As a result, we modified the design of ticket selection page by adding a reduce Qty button besides the add Qty button, making the process more tolerant for error cases. This quick iteration saved us precious real estate on time.
As stated before, our two feature designs really speak to the two painpoints Ben experiences during his journey: 1. excruciating long lines 2. difficulty navigating inside the museum.
This set of low fidelity wireframes of Field Guide shows the detailed processes of these two use flows.
After we finished wireframing, we started planning usability testing for the interactive prototype. With the help of Axure, we were able to download the prototype to our iphones and let users test it as if it was a “real” app.
We created an evaluation script based on the two scenarios and tasks we anticipate our users do, and tested our subjects with them. After the usability testing, we also prompted the subjects to complete a simple user survey evaluation to collect quantitative data regarding their satisfaction of our product.
The analysis of the usability testing and user survey results yielded very helpful feedback to inform future iterations on our prototype. i.e., users had repeatedly shown frustration on the step of choosing a ticket type. The way dropdown menu in Axure rendered on iOS had created an issue that we didn’t anticipate, therefore we replaced the dropdown menu with radio button design when selecting ticket type.