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MUSEMX

This is my story of designing ‘MUSEMX’ – a webapp that discovers museums/galleries and cultural sites to broaden people’s art horizons. This project took place between January 2019 and April 2019. I followed my design process to achieve the right balance between emotion and logic through empathy and designed this app after thorough research, effective collaboration and iterations.

THE IDEA

Finding a museum in a totally strange city looks not a hard thing, however, usually they are showed in the city brochure, and there are just address and contact information listed in the brochure, which makes tourists very hard to determine which exact museum they want to go, especially private museums. In the meantime, they need to search online to collect the information or these museums as well.

THE APP FOCUSES ON –

1.Showing VR exhibition and special exhibition updates to attract tourists’ interests.

2.Tour guide by different languages.

3.Discussion & community

4.Reservation and buy ticket online.

5.Museum Category.

6.exhibition updates.

How WILL MY APP SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

This APP can provide real-time information and updates for the selected private museums through this:

1.Let users view the location/basic information/real-time exhibition of private museums. One can make decisions based on comprehensive information.

2.Build a community forum in the APP so that tourist and museum enthusiasts are supposed to discuss.

3.Museums can be categorized to different types. Users can select according to their own preference.

4.Help users make reservation of the museum which they want to visit, also pay the ticket online.

SURVEY & INTERVIEWS

Research Statement

This research aims at figuring out possible users for musemx app and studies their previous experiences of visiting museums, especially private museums. The objective of MUSEMX is to help tourists and museum enthusiasts have an enjoyable museum tours, enhance the overall visiting experience and bring museums more volume. It aims to do this by tackling customer’s possible confusions and challenges.

THE DISCOVERY

The discovery phase allowed me to understand our client’s vision, begin research into user needs, behaviours and pain-points. The main methods I used in this phase is online survey and in-person interview with potential clients directly.

INTERVIEW SURVEY RESULTS

Four people who travel and visit museum often were interviewed. Each one of them were asked questions about their previous good and bad experiences with visiting museum, the challenges they face and their pain points offer many ideas that can be incorporated in an app to solve problems.

Respondents mentioned that it’s very important for them to quickly determine which exact museum they want to go. Also, they concern a lot about the tour guide during the exhibition. Specially, they mentioned they can hear the exhibition story and explanation by their language when they visit museums in a strange country, which can help them a lot to understand and attract the interests. Meanwhile, respondents also mentioned they wish for an uninterrupted experience of the visiting occasion. When asked if they were familiar with museum apps, half of them said no they haven’t used any. Respondents shared their various short stories of experiences and this helped me compose a few personalities below.

Travel enthusiasts – one of the respondent said he is a travel enthusiast and he is used to visiting local museums when he travels to a new place. However, he always cannot get enough and comprehensive information from the travel brochure, so that it’s difficult for him to decide which museum should he go. When asked if he has been to private museums before, he said no because he cannot access any information from the local travel brochure. He says “I am very interested to the private museums because I may see something unique things and exhibitions here, however I have no idea how to find and go.” This story directs to the requirement of museums information collection and comparison. When people travel to a new place, they hope they can access information about the local museums quickly, especially private museums.

Family Man Another respondent said he would like to spend time with his kids in local museums because it can broaden their horizons. However, my kids are hard to be attracted by museums because they can’t fully understand the meaning of items on display, they prefer to watch movies and play games rather than visit museum with me.

Interesting exhibition “When I want to go alone for visiting museum, I find it is difficult to get real-time updates about the special exhibition. Sometimes I just want to see something special, such as theme exhibition. I know some museums do have periodic special exhibition, but I need to go each museum’s website to see their updates, which waste lots of time and indirect at all. Also, sometimes I cannot find someone who can go to museum together.”

APP User – Only one of the four respondents had used a museum app before for simple audio tour. She said she downloads the app before she goes to the museum, but she will uninstall the app later because the limited function and she think she doesn’t need anymore.

ONLINE SURVEY RESULTS

Through the online survey conducted using Typeform, I was able to reach 20 people to participate this investigation. Most of them either are travel enthusiasts who are willing to travel in Toronto (GTA) or museum enthusiasts who are living in Toronto GTA. These results give a good start and direct to an opportunity to create a tool that can enhance a tourist’s visit experience and increase the customer volume of museums, especially those private museums which are not that famous as public museums.

Heuristic Competitive Analysis

From my media scanning and secondary research, I have deduced that there isn’t any museum app solely dedicated to museum system in Toronto. There is one category in which either a museum has its own app or a set of premier museums are grouped have a common app. People generally do not want to download so many apps on their devices as it takes up a lot of space. All current museums in Toronto offer apps for iPhones and other devices that let users listen their own exhibition audio introduction, access museum map, directories, panoramawege etc. But, there is no common platform. The other category is of the general museum apps which are used for presenting the exhibit pictures and introduction. They do not have a cluster of local museums selection system, special events updates and cannot provide a museum enthusiast community to users who are willing to share and discuss. I downloaded the following apps and analyzed them for their usability pros and cons.

EMPATHY MAPS & PERSONAS

Persona building results from a deeper understanding of the users’ feelings by putting yourself in their shoes. I tried to question myself as to what are the users trying to achieve? What really matters them? What is their overall goal? Which are the things that influences them? etc. After analyzing the personal interviews that I had conducted earlier in my research, I was able to answer these questions with more credibility. The resulting data has been summarized to form empathy maps which led to the creation of the below personas.

Also, I went to Royal Ontario Museum for knowing the system of Museum and how it works. In order to understand better the pain point of users, I downloaded the ROM app on my phone as well.

Heuristic Competitive Analysis

 

Feature 1: CLEAR AND DIRECT MUSEUMS MAP & INFORMATION

As a user, I want MUSEMX can show the city museums location (including public museums and private museums) very clear and directso that I can reduce my time spent on investigation
As a user, I want be easy to see the brief information and introductionso that I can have an initial screening of my choice
As a user, I want to see the museums detailed informationso that I can determine which museum I want to go
As a user, I want to search for a museumso that I can get information about the museum I am interested
As a user, I want to save museum informationso that I can visit in the future
As a user, I want to label and categorize the museum I visitedso that I can collect the footprints and memories
As a user, I want a search bar/buttonso that I can type in my search keywords for location names

Feature 2: SHOW EXHIBITION UPDATES FOR VARIOUS MUSEUMS

As a user, I want to know the latest exhibitions as a clusterAs a user, I want to know the latest exhibitions as a cluster
As a user, I want to see the details of the exhibitionsso that I can optimize my choices
As a user, I want to share and comment the exhibitionAs a user, I want to share and comment the exhibition
As a user, I want to search for a particular exhibitionso that I can optimize my experience
As a user, I want to reserve a particular exhibition onlineso that I can reduce my time spent
As a user, I want to add the exhibition I reserved into my scheduleso that I can be reminded and noticed

Feature 3: DISCUSSION & COMMUNITY

As a user, I want to share and discuss museums and exhibitions with othersso that I can have a deeper understanding on museums and exhibitions
As a user, I want to share my experience and photos in different or particular museumsso that I can feel a sense of community
As a user, I want to make more friends who also like visiting museumsso that I can find someone to go museums together
As a user, I want to see if there are some museum events and events organizerso that I can find some interesting things to do during the weekend

Feature 4: GOOD EXPERIENCE IN MUSEUM

As a user, I want to see the VR exhibition for various museumsso that I can have an immersive experience when I do not have time to go the real museums
As a user, I want to be customized by several interesting panoramawegesso that I can explore museums orderly and interestingly
As a user, I want to listen & read the interpretation for each exhibition by my familiar language when I visit different museumsso that I can understand what happened behind these precious muse pieces
As a user, I want to have interactions in museumsso that I can optimize my experience

Feature 5:RESERVE A MUSEUM SPOT

As a user, I want to reserve the museum or the particular exhibitionso that I can reduce the time spent
As a user, I want to choose a time range of reservationso that I can get correct information
As a user, I want to click on ‘reserve this show’ or ‘reserve to go museum’ buttonso that I can select the museum or exhibition I want to go
As a user, I want to see a ‘Reserved for (my name), for the duration (time range)’ messageso that I can be assured that my reservation is confirmed
As a user, I want to be able to cancel a reservationso that I can optimize my experience

Feature 6: SIGN-UP/LOG-IN & PAYMENT

As a user, I want to sign-up/log-in only when I want to user some particular features such as reserve, share and discuss in community, etc.so that I can use other features uninterrupted
As a user, I want to use my social media credentials to sign-up/log-inso that I can simplify my sign-up/log-in process and share the interesting things/moments to my social quickly
As a user, I want to click on ‘save’ buttonso that the app remembers my preferred option and I can save time for future
As a user, I wan to be able to choose from multiple payment options (Credit Card/Apple Pay/PayPal etc.)so that I can make a suitable choice according to my preference
As a user, I wan to type in my credit card details or PayPal username and passwordso that I can complete the sign-up/log-in process
As a user, I want to verify what I am paying forso that I can double check my choices and avoid errors
As a user, I want to know that my payment has been received and the ticket has been issuesAs a user, I want to know that my payment has been received and the ticket has been issues

SITE-MAP

While keeping in mind all the data that I analyzed from the card-sort exercise, I have created the site map for MUSEMX. A series of iterations has helped shape up the map so that it can aid in creating a seamless navigation for the users.

USER FLOW

WIREFRAMING

A series of wireframes were first sketched out on paper and then they were constructed by using Balasmiq. The first prototype resulted from this exercise after back and forth iterations and explorations. This prototype was then tested for usability.

USABILITY TESTING

For the purpose of usability testing, I have conducted a seris of testing work. Four users were tested for this wireframing who were been interviewed before. Two of them are from Great Area of Toronto, the others are from outside of GTA.

Firstly, I have defined scope of work, identified objectives and established metrics of this usability testing. Then the users have been asked to externalize thoughts and feeling. They seemed to be excited and gave fair amount of insights of the possible errors and potential features. For example, one of the users thought the eye button on museum page made her confused, also, all users were hoping they can see and have some interactions with these prototypes so it can better to understand each function.

Finally, I have gathered some very useful feedbacks direct from the users to help me better design in the next iteration design.

“A great APP is focused, intuitive, fast, and a pleasure to use.”