The Challenge: Complete redesign of the Holocaust Museum iOS and Android mobile app.

Understanding the client’s needs: After an interview with the stakeholder I understood that they wanted to give the existing app a new look and feel. There were thousands of visitors coming to the museum each week, of which a large portion were school children. The existing app had no reviews on the app store and it was possible to infer that it was not being downloaded much. The client wanted a way to get a younger demographic age group more involved and engaged beyond their on-site experience at the museum.

The museum’s current donors are advancing in age. The museum has an interest in expanding its donor base to include a younger demographic.

Thus, there is a need to appeal to a younger age group and inspire them through this app experience.

The UX Design Process Overview:

UX Design Process


So what are my assumptions and what are the client’s goals:

After listing out a number of assumptions the major ones are:

  1. The relevance of the Holocaust is lost today. It happened a long time ago in a specific part of the world and is not relevant today. Are young people empathetic to these types of issues?
  2. Young people surrounded by violent video games and movies don’t really get that the Holocaust was real.
  3. Young people are not interested in the Holocaust. It is just something they are made to study in school.
  4. Young people don’t realize that genocide is still happening in the world today.

For the sake of brevity I left out the detailed list of assumptions, SWOT analysis and stakeholder notes here, but you’re welcome to view them.

I identified a list of business goals before getting into conducting surveys and research about my assumptions.

Business Goals

The survey and research phase consisted of sending out a survey and receiving over a 100 responses, conducting interviews with people at malls and on the street who matched our young demographic and online research on popular social media sites.

At the completion of this stage it was now possible to draw out a project brief.

The primary persona is the person our efforts are geared towards. Namely, a high school student (13–18 years of age). Through our stakeholder interview it had been discovered that a majority of visitors to the museum today are high school children. Their field trips to the museum are organized through the help of motivated teachers who would like the children to learn about historical events like the Holocaust. Thus, our secondary persona is a teacher. The tertiary persona is a millennial who knows and cares about current world issues and the past events of the Holocaust.

Primary Persona
Secondary Persona


For a content rich website and app like the USHMM, it was important to do a content audit of both the website and app. This helped in understanding the structure of both. The hamburger menu had an enormous amount of content in it.

Content Audit of App
Content Audit of Website


The site maps helped us understand the structure and grouping of information in the app and website. Again, I noticed the heavy reliance on the hamburger menu to throw in a lot of content without a strong categorization system in place.

Site Map Of The Existing Website



This phase was all about taking data from discovery and coming up with an idea to solve the problems identified. We explored solutions to user and business requirements.

I decided to list out all and every possible feature that I would like the app to have. No idea was shut down at this phase. I got creative and the list of features grew. Divergent thinking took over and ideas blossomed.

Later, I came together with the group to converge and streamline these features.

Ideas flowed and soon the wall was covered

This is the process I followed that helped me converge ideas and present the best possible solutions.

Time to Converge Ideas
Creating an MVP

The blue line represents the MVP. Everything above the line would be focused on for the first release of the app. The app was to focus on these key areas: Onboarding, The Holocaust, Current Events, Getting Involved and making an Impact, Resources and Profile of the User.


I took on creating the user flows for the current section.

Next 10*10 ideas were sketched out on paper for each section of the app. By a voting system the best ideas were chosen. Along the way I learned an important lesson in time boxing.

Throughout the project several processes went really well and some could have been improved. I learned, along with the team that we needed to time box certain processes and activities better. Time boxing the time spent on long discussions and conversations prevents the team getting into cyclical patterns. I also learned the value of keeping the development team and client feedback integrated with the design team’s timeline.

These were the final screens chosen for each section of the app.

I was the team leader over managing the visual direction and creating the iOS style guide and making sure the team adhered to brand / visual standards. Low and Hi-fidelity mockups were then converted to interactive prototypes that were user tested. Then the designs were presented to the stakeholders at the museum for feedback and approval.

Below are screenshots of the style guides and Hi-fidelity mockup of the current section that I worked on. I created the iOS style guide using the Craft library plugin in Sketch. Each team member used elements from the style guide alone to ensure consistency throughout the app. They had to make requests to me to change the main library before they made changes to buttons, colors, fonts, icons or images.


Things started to come together beautifully and the apps were looking amazing. I took control over the current section and resources page. Here are some of my designs.

High Fidelity Mockups

The final prototype was created in InVision.

Our team was in Salt Lake City, while the client was in Washington D.C. We decided as a team the order and presentation outlines each one would observe before we started the web conference with the client. I was to present the content audit, sitemaps and style guides for the project.

The client was very happy with what had been achieved in just a few weeks’ time. Both the iOS and Android apps had been presented to them and the client was pleased with both. Something that was brought up during the presentation was questions about user testing. Due to the lack of time I had user tested the final prototype with only a few students who met my primary persona requirements, but this was not nearly enough. My take away was that user testing should have been conducted at frequent intervals during the design process. The client now has all the designs and deliverables that were promised to them.

With time it would be great to see the product deployed and in the app store so that user tests can be conducted with visitors coming to the museum.

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