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ArtJourney

Conceptual | UX Design | AR Design

Background

Redefining Contemporary Art Museum Experience

For contemporary art museum-goers, ArtJourney is a product to create an immersive art experience that sparks curiosity, encourages conversation, and shares in the community. 

 

Unlike other online learning platforms like Google Arts & Culture, Tate Kids, and museum-specific apps, this product works with AR technology to facilitate an engaging learning experience in the context of an in-person journey to the museums.  It aims to optimize the in-person museum visiting experience by forming familiarity with the artwork and guiding the audience through the details of the artwork to bridge the information gap and bring people together through art

My Role

Research

Synthesis

Ideation

Wireframing

Prototyping 

User Testing

Duration

10 Weeks 

Fall 2021

Tools

Figma

After Effects

Miro

Photoshop

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Problem Space

83% of contemporary art museum visitors encountered difficulties reading text-heavy information on the display wall and booklets.

67% of visitors find scanning QR codes (provided by the museum) to obtain information disrupts their way of enjoying art in the museum.

Information sources provided by museums often confuse and bore visitors by lack of description of the arts on the wall or deadpan audio explanation, and the visitors prefer immersing themselves in the space rather than reading on their phone/booklet/website. 

 

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Key Features

1. Bridging information gap

Integrating the exhibition information from individual museum websites, ArtJourney aims to optimize the experience for the visitors to browse and explore the art exhibitions nearby and worldwide.  

Design Challenge

How might we create a more immersive museum experience that helps museum goers gain the desired information while not disrupting their spatial connectivity?

Solution Preview

Introducing ArtJourney, a platform that sparks curiosity, conversation, and connectivity.

 

To create an immersive art museum experience, ArtJourney integrates approachable pre-learning information, engaging in-museum art guidance, and documented post-exhibition journey, making it comfortable for visitors to learn, digest, think, and have conversations about art. 

2. Spark curiosity and thinking

Access to various angles and voices about the exhibition

The idea of embedding the videos of curators, celebrities, and artists interpreting the exhibition from different perspectives is to spark conversations rather than passive reception about art.

3. Reviews of connectivity 

Share your personal experiences in the community 

In the review section, visitors of different ages and “badges” will share their emotional and intellectual responses in the review section, documenting and encouraging others to share their experiences and thoughts.

4. AI and AR guidance

An intuitive way to navigate through the exhibits  

With the visual data paired and customized with each piece of the artwork, visitors can simultaneously appreciate art and its detailed information without reading the text-heavy descriptions. 

5. Personalizing ArtJourney 

Document the art experience by curating your own exhibition for others to view online 

By collecting the artwork using the Capture function, visitors can build their own online exhibition either to document their experience in specific museums or categorize their favorite styles for others to view and share. 

Process
Research
Secondary Research

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the information gap between what contemporary art museums try to deliver and what visitors perceive during the experience, I started by conducting extensive secondary research about how contemporary museums use their physical space to facilitate the learning experience in terms of engagement, emotional connection, meaningful experience and learning outcomes. 

I spent hours buried in research papers, academic literature, and statistical data to get a more holistic understanding of the value proposition and the approaches from the contemporary art museums

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Competitive Landscape

Since there's not many products focusing on in-person experience in the museum, I analyzed existing platforms created for educational purposes related to the museum field, including Google Arts&Culture, NY Times Art sections, SFMOMA website, and other museum websites.

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Field research 
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Qualitative Interviews

After the secondary research on the museum segment, I want to further understand the visitors segment.

Thus I conducted field research, making trips to MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art),  Hauser & Wirth gallery, SFMOMA, and DeYoung Museum, to observe the interactions between the museum visitors and the exhibits, the conversations happen between the visitors and museum staff, and factors that cause their confusion in the space.

During the field research,
I interviewed:

 

5

museum visitors 

3

museum docents 

2

curators

1

art history professor

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“For me, going to museums is a perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and learn new things. Especially in the contemporary art museum, you can always see objects and events in a new perspective depending on how you interpret and connect with your own feelings.”

 -Museum Visitor

“Apart from my job of watching people have enough distance with the artwork, I love sharing with the visitors what is interesting about this painting, but I just don’t have the chance to talk to each of them.”

-Docent at Hauser & Wirth

“I wish I could understand more details of the work though, because my friend sent me a screenshot of this show to ask me to come, and I didn’t read about the artist and background before I came here. And you know the description here is just a few abstract words.”

 -Museum Visitor

Key Insights

After the interviews, I pulled out the overlapping behaviors, quotes, and patterns that further helped me narrow down to opportunity areas. I categorized the findings and pain points that fall under the following key insights:

1. Lack of integrated information source before going to the museum space leads the visitor feel hard to absorb what the exhibits try to deliver.

2. Engagement with the exhibits loses interests due to the lack of visualization of the exhibition information.

3. Museum experience is forgettable due to the lack of retrievable memory with personal connections.

1. Lack of integrated information source before going to the museum space leads the visitor feel hard to absorb what the exhibits try to deliver.

2. Engagement with the exhibits loses interests due to the lack of visualization of the exhibition information.

3. Museum experience is forgettable due to the lack of retrievable memory with personal connections.

Key Insights

After the interviews, I pulled out the overlapping behaviors, quotes, and patterns that further helped me narrow down to opportunity areas. I categorized the findings and pain points that fall under the following key insights:

Journey Map

Based on insights from the interviews, I mapped out the current & ideal visitors’ levels of engagement throughout the journey of planning a visit, going into the museum, and sharing it with other people.


The journey comprises three dominant stages; Pre-trip, During trip & Post-trip. I listed all the touchpoints the visitors interact at every stage. I found that Explore, Plan, View, and Share were the four main phases that lacked engagement and visitors faced the most difficulty in.
 

Persona

I portrayed 2 types of personas to reflect visitors’ varying motivations, needs, and pain points based on their museum experience, helping me get a more holistic understanding of user needs that the final solution aims to address.

Through the field research, I came across visitors with hearing loss that informed the attribute of situational impaired hearing in my 2nd persona for the accessibility considerations.

Opportunities 

1. Integrating information on a single source 

2. Learning interesting points of view about the exhibits 

3. Optimizing the interactive guide through visualizing the exhibits information

4. Enabling sharing and having conversations with friends and community after the trip

The Journey Map & User Personas highlighted the following opportunities based on identified pain-points, needs and readers’ engagement levels throughout the journey. 

Prototyping 

I sketched out the main features and task flows to visualize the 3-stage of museum journey based on the opportunities found in my research. Multiple iterations helped me to explore and eventually narrow down the ideas that make the most sense for an end-to-end museum journey. I used paper prototyping techniques to incorporate intuitive interactions and information hierarchy.

 

I used Figma to create wireframes of primary interactive screens to validate flows and evaluate concepts with potential users.

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Impact 

Testing the screens and user flows with museum visitors, curators, and art practitioners, I received positive feedback from the different user groups which helped me make informed design decisions through polishing features, adding new elements, and making sense of visual hierarchy.

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