Air & Space Museum

I was tasked with creating a mobile app to help users navigate the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and learn about exhibits that interest them.

Date October 2016
Type Mobile apps, Prototyping design, AR, User Research
My Role Prototyper / UI Design / User Researcher

Overview

Our research informed us that most users weren't interested in pre-planning a museum visit but would prefer to have a way to interact with exhibits in person. We designed an app which uses augmented reality to let users learn more about exhibits they like, go on 'missions', or take photos with famous figures.

Problem

The Smithsonian network of museums is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. In 2015, over 28 million people visited the Smithsonian. My team and I were tasked with creating a mobile application for the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum that could help make visits more enjoyable by addressing the following pain points: difficult navigation, overwhelming scale of the museum, information overload, and language barriers for the numerous foreign visitors.

Research & Analysis

Our surveys and interviews found that the overwhelming majority of museum-goers don't plan their trip with a specific list of exhibits. Most visits to the Air & Space museum are part of a larger visit to the National Mall and other Smithsonian museums. Users tend to wander and would like the ability to better engage with exhibits they find interesting. Using research about the growing ubiquity of augmented reality applications, we developed a concept that users could pick up and start using immediately to interact with the exhibits around them.

As a team, we considered how we would get users interesed in the app upon entering the museum. I explored projection mapping as a way to grab the user's attention. We want to confront the user immediately and show them what they'll be missing if they choose to skip the app.

Mockup of a projection-mapping advertisement concept.
Date October 2016
Type Mobile apps, Prototyping design, AR, User Research
My Role Prototyper / UI Design / User Researcher