P1 UX Case Study: Urban Gallery

For this project, I was tasked with designing a personal mobile app for a specified user. The product that I designed is called Urban Gallery and its function is simple: it turns any urban environment into an art gallery by offering background information about the artists of pieces found on the street, like buildings, works of street art, monuments and sculptures.

Design Process

1) Research

Interview

In order to learn about the user, I conducted research in the form of an interview. I asked the user several questions with the goal of determining the user’s needs.

  • Critical Question: Describe a place where you feel most comfortable.
  • Conclusions:
  1. User is most relaxed when he is at the art gallery because of the sense of personal connection he experiences when he knows background information about the artists
  2. User feels he is unable to replicate this feeling outside of the art gallery

User Persona

2) Define the Problem

When the user sees artwork outside of the gallery, he would like to learn more about the artist.

The idea: Urban Gallery

An app to help the user learn about the artists of artwork he sees outside of the art gallery, in an urban setting.

3) Plan

Storyboard

User flow

4) Design

Sketch

Paper Prototype

5) Test

Testing paradigm:

  1. Define scenario
  2. Give user task to complete using a clickable prototype
  3. Analyze user behavior

Hypothesis:

I hypothesize that the user will be able to use Urban Gallery in order to find background information about artwork (i.e. street art, buildings, monuments, sculptures, etc.) around him.

Usability Test Instructions:

Imagine you are navigating the streets in an urban area. Use the Urban Gallery app to find background information about the artist of a piece of artwork near your imagined location.

Results:

The user was able to complete the task as hypothesized; however, I observed several issues during the usability test.

Issue 1: Ambiguity in what was actionable on the map

Issue 2: Ambiguity in the significance of the different icons

Issue 3: Extra screens that were unnecessary to the task at hand

Upon making this observation, I revisited the user’s needs:

To become immersed in art wherever he goes.

During the interview, the user did not demonstrate any concern for his ability to search for art. It was clear that when he wanted to find art, he already knew to visit the art gallery. The function of the app was to inject some of the relaxation he experiences in the art gallery into his regular routine. Therefore, the search function did not suit the user’s needs and could be eliminated.

6) Design Solutions

Refined User Flow

The user flow now only includes the “stumble upon art” function and excludes the “search for art” function

Refined Wireframe

In order to address Issue 1 (ambiguity when approaching icons on map) I included a modal with simple instructions, which inform the user of what actions must be taken on the main page.

In order to address Issue 2 (ambiguous icon legend) I included a model that appears during the first use of the app, which informs the user that he must tap on the question mark icon in order to view the icon legend.

Summary

Through this design process I designed an app according to the user’s specific needs and frustrations in an attempt to solve the user’s problem.

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