The teamwork with Hendrik was excellent. We always had fun and could achieve a professional outcome.

– Victoria Anders, former fellow student & project partner @ Beuth University of Applied Sciences

Research (Empathize)

Before starting off with the first concepts and ideas we visited the museum and get to know the place, trustees, employees and visitors. We developed a user journey to see the touchpoints within the location and the problems people might get. After the first roughly defined concept we sat down and developed personas and their needs to get a better understanding out of our collected data from the research.

We quickly came to the conclusion that it would be a far better experience to use your own device in the museum rather than trying to get one from the reception. This way the visitors can directly start their tour and explore the place without too long of waiting. To get to the full experience of a freshly developed concept we thought of the idea to use the technology of iBeacons and NFC to receive push notifications while walking around.

Summary of the research data (competition & customer analysis).

Concept & Information Architecture (Define)

While having the first ideas in our head we sat down to write a feature list. We set our focus onto the iBeacon notification and group interactions to collaborate more with other visitors, family and friends. That’s why we decided to have a group function to invite people into specific groups while having that a group chat can be accessed within these. After quite a while of discussions and several brainstormings we came up with a list of 7 big points of features including navigation, personalisation, exhibits, technical stuff, sharing, glossary and even games. Under every point we got 3-4 feature ideas.

Following we started to sketch the first roadmap of the app and planned the information structure and menus how to get to every single feature.

One sheet of many. Notes over notes.

Wireframes & Paper Prototype (Prototype & Iteration)

We finally came down to draw our first wireframes for the project. Out of these wireframes we build a paper prototype that we could test on real visitors going to the museum. In that tests we noticed that our concept so far was way to complex and we need to shrink the feature list to a minimum or only to the features that were understandable and at least useful for a better experience.

First rough wireframes.
Little parts of our paper prototype.

Iteration, Screendesign & Click Dummy (Test)

Later we sat down again to iterate our concept and analyse all the feedback we got to think about the new feature list and information architecture. With a more straight approach and concept we could start with the actual design of the app. The final color palette resulted out of the analysis of a picture from the museum itself. (Due to the many design proposals and tries I am only showing the final mockups here)

When the design was roughly ready to go we build a click dummy prototype for another testing session. This time we tested with real visitors again but also with focus groups of usability experts to get to know the biggest issues we may have build in.

Several design steps and decisions were made in the process.
Final design iteration for the main menu.

Finalisation of the design and the concept

After the last usability tests we started to finalise the project and with it the structure of the app and the design. Being two of us with different backgrounds in design we hadn’t had the time to do all screens within one design guideline but still we managed to share knowledge and we are happy that we could learn a lot from each other.

Final design mockups including language selector, floor overview, detailed map and group chat.

Conclusion

It is hard to do a app concept complete with two people only. While this was a university project we still got experience to work with real customers and a team. Several project teams in the course were in constant exchange to share knowledge and information.

We got the opportunity to pitch the project in front of two trustees of the museum and they were really happy with the outcome. Still it is sad that the museum didn’t had the budget to get the app concepts into production.