Sev Saffen
UX designer

SFMOMA

Google Ventures
5 day Design Sprint.

SFMOMA App

The Problem

Improve the experience of viewing art in a museum or gallery for visitors. According to the user research that was provided through bitesizeux, museum visitors are looking for a better connection and an understanding to the artist and the art work they are viewing. The things they are missing from their current experiences are:, 

  • context of the artwork, 

  • information about the artist, 

  • intention of the artist during creation, 

  • and the techniques the artist had used in the creation of the artwork itself.

After all, we visit museums to transform our own reality through the enriched experiences of seeing and connecting with another’s point of view/reality. 



SFMOMA App

The Solution:

Design as a mobile app to enhance the current in person museum experience where the visitors are exploring freely and connecting with the artist’s work in a meaningful and memorable way.

My Role:

I was a solo designer on this project. As a user experience/product designer at Springboard UX Career track program I have worn many hats. For this specific project I have learned and practiced Google Ventures Design Sprint methodology to develop the concept, design and do the user testing on the prototype. It was an informative hands-on experience with the agile methodology of creating rapidly.  The detailed GV’s Sprint notes are below. 

Design Constraints:

Focus on improving the in-person viewing experience -in real life.

Design as a mobile app or mobile optimized website.



Design Sprint
SFMOMA App
SFMOMA App
User Research Highlights

User Research Highlights

Understand

I started the Design sprint by going through the user research that was provided to me. I synthesized the research using affinity maps. The goal of day one in the GV’s design sprint is dedicated to understanding the user’s needs and wants as well as exploring the problem space. 

Users enjoy visiting museums but feel like they can have a better perspective and appreciation of the art work, the artist if they know a bit more about what they are seeing. It is frustrating to read long texts about art works while they are visiting the museums. They would like to get quick information while looking at the art work, in real time.



MAP

After getting a better understanding of the problem space, I started to draft possible end to end experiences a user would have with the app within the museum space. It's a user journey that a guest is taking from left to right with their goal and the actions in the middle. 

SFMOMA App
SFMOMA App

Sketch

I started Day 2 by doing a solo lightning demo, followed by the crazy 8s method, and then I was ready to create a solution sketch.

Lighting Demo

I did a solo version of the lightning demo. I looked at solutions that competitors and non-competitors created for users in the marketplace. The goal of this exercise was to gain more knowledge and  to get inspired to create solutions that can help to solve the problem for my users. 


Intels Vaunt AR glasses:
The AI Technology these glasses offer has a non obtrusive way to display the information directly to the retina of the user, while users can still be present in their environment fully without being distracted is very impressive and user friendly.


Blinkist App:
It is an app that simplifies the content of the books as a summary! Each book is distilled by experts into 15-minute read, available in both text and audio. You can discover new perspectives on the world, grasp emerging trends in your area of expertise, sharpen your professional skills, and keep motivated.

Smartify App:
Smartify App provides information about the galleries and the stories behind the artwork. It allows more art curation for the viewer and can be used in museums or at home to learn about the artist and the art works.

SFMOMA App

Crazy 8's

I used crazy 8’s method to sketch out the most critical screen of the app to generate ideas. This method involves 8 different ideas in 8 minutes. 

SFMOMA App

Solution sketch

I started sketching out three screens that are similar to a tiny storyboard, three panel screens that come before and after my critical screen. 



SFMOMA App

Decide

In a normal design sprint, you’d spend Day 3 sharing your ideas with your team and selecting the idea that your team wants to focus on. Because I am working on a solo design sprint, I chose to focus on the idea from Day 2. 

I chose to use the initial app interaction from the website of the museum, it will direct the visitor to the app store. Once a user is at the museum it will allow users to access artwork interaction during the visit to accompany and inform. The app can be used to learn about the Highlights at the museum, info on the artist, fun facts, context of the art work, and integrate audio, AR options to enhance the viewing experience for the users. 

The goal is to help users to feel more connected to the art, the artist and provide more engagement with it in their own speed and interests. 

How it works

You can scan an art work and have the experience of listening, reading or use the augmented reality of being in an immersive experience to view the artist videos with a short narrative. 

Most of the user interviews showed that visitors are desiring to connect and understand the artwork as the artist intended to create. They want an experience that is immersive and transformative. Augmented reality will be an interesting and meaningful way to connect and elevate the experience of museum visits. 

SFMOMA App
SFMOMA App
SFMOMA App

Prototype

On day 4 of the design sprint I build a prototype that looks like the working model of the app. I worked as fast and lean as possible during this phase and created my design screens using Figma and exported them into InVision in order to test the functionality of my designs.

Creating an app that allows visitors to engage with the artist, while they are at the museum according to the user’s interest is a necessary step to elevate the experience and create better informed and joyful engagement for the users.

Main goals & learnings 

  • Will the app solve the problem of connecting user’s with the artwork/artist in a memorable way?

  • Can the app provide an elevated transformative experience to the users, where they feel they were immersed in the artwork and hence feel an expansion of their perspective? 

  • Can the app provide an elevated transformative experience to the users, where they feel they were immersed in the artwork and hence feel an expansion of their perspective? 

  • Is there a demand for a service/product like this in the marketplace? 

  • Is the functionality of the app clear and intuitive? 

SFMOMA App

Validate

This was the last day of the Design Sprint, and it was dedicated to getting feedback from users while conducting usability testing on the prototype. For this phase, I have interviewed 5 participants and observed them as they went through the prototype in InVision. 

I ran the usability testing with users that are in the target market of the product. These users like to visit art galleries and museums every other month or so. And they are craving to engage with the artworks in a deeper and transformative ways. The user testings were done remotely via zoom and it lasted about 30 min. in each session.

Issues

  • Confusion on the “Get started” screen being the first, without login or onboarding experience

  • Uncertainty between “Explore the museum on your own” vs. “Map” option difference

  • More explanation needed for the users regarding the limited functionality of the current prototype


Successes

  • Users stated their overall museum experience would be highly memorable and enjoyable if this product/service is offered

  • The app feels intuitive and clear

  • The concept was successfully tested and had a good interaction design experience

SFMOMA App
SFMOMA App

User opening the app

As the first-time user opens the app, it asks users to choose language as museums in general attract a lot of foreign visitors and San Francisco is a hub for international tourists. 

It will also prompt users to share their geo-location in order to give up to date info where the users are in the museum.



SFMOMA App

Main home feed of the app

Main home feed of the app shows to the user’s the current “Highlights” in the museum as well as offering an “Explore of your own option”- based on the provided user research interviewee's stated that some users prefer to explore the museum on their own with their own pace.  

The map of the museum can be accessed on the bottom tab of the app. This was designed to provide a bird eye view of all the exhibits and floor plan of the museum.

SFMOMA App

User interaction with an art work

Further interaction screen example with an artwork in the exhibit where the users are able to start scanning artwork to learn more about it according to their choice of interaction. 



SFMOMA App

Exploring different features and capabilities

Once the user scans an artwork they are interested in discovering more they will start the process of exploration. They can choose to engage by reading, listening or using Augmented Reality for a full immersive experience.



Final Thoughts

What I learned

It was very informative hands-on experience to learn about the Google Ventures Design Sprint methodology. I can see how important and useful this is when thinking of exploring new functions and features for a product or service. It is an agile and lean way to rapidly move through cycles of design processes in a short amount of time with clear constraints established each day, which really helps designers and other stakeholders to focus on the priorities while always keeping the end users in the front and the center of the process. 



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