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MUSE: An interactive online museum visit experience

MUSE is an online platform that provides museum enthusiasts unable to visit museums in-person with an alternative means of museum visiting experience.

This project was inspired by the lock down of most cities — which causes the temporary close down of many museums — under the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

Duration: 11 weeks

Team: Sharon Wong, Huiran Lee

My Role: UX Designer, UI Designer, User Researcher

Tools: Figma, Balsamiq, Adobe Illustrator

Skills: User Research, Interaction Design, Prototyping

Timeline

Discover

01 Problem Declaration

02 User Research

03 Persona

04 Journey Map

Ideate

05 Design Goals

06 Information Architecture

07 Annotated Wireframes

Develop

08 Low & High fidelity Prototype

01 Project Declaration

Modern museums usually have a website as a digital showcase of artworks and exhibitions. However, the actual interaction with the artifacts is only available at the museums, and current websites fail to provide this interactive and accessible experience for remote visitors. Our project aims to provide museum enthusiasts who are not able to visit museums in person with an alternative means of museum visiting experience. We’ll focus on museums based in Seattle, especially the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop) as it is more convenient for us to recruit users during quarantine.

Design question

How can we transform the visiting experience of cultural museums in Seattle into an interactive online platform?

02 User Research

Pre-research about Museums

To get input on the project concept from the museum curators, we sent several emails to some Seattle-based cultural museums. One curator mentioned that the project will be beneficial especially under the hard time that both the museum and artist are faced with.

Semi-structured Interview

We interviewed three people with different experiences and interest levels of visiting cultural museums. The interview questions centered around their past museum visiting experience, including what activities they found memorable. The goal is to look for problems and design opportunities that we can transform online.

Research Result

We made an affinity diagram while analyzing the result, which is presented below.

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03 User Persona

After analyzing the interview results, we made two personas, representing (1) a faculty member who is a cultural museum enthusiast, and (2) a college student usually visited museums as a mandatory school work.

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04 Journey Map

User-journey-revised

05 Design Goals

  • Provide a clear overview of the museum content, collections, and exhibitions
  • Provide an engaging online experience
  • Allow users to view the exhibition without distractions from other visitors
  • Keep human interaction experience

06 Information Architecture

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07 Annotated Wireframes

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08 Prototype Highlights

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Museum Interactive Map. Online visitors can browse through the interactive map, which resembles the physical floor plan, and have direct access to all exhibitions in the online museum.

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Exhibition. We provide a virtual path that serves as an overview of the exhibition. Online visitors can click into each card to know more about an item.

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Makerspace. Online visitors can craft their own gifts at the online gift shop. This adds to the interaction between our platform and the visitors.

Reflection

Designing together remotely & Design style run-in

Our team has to work remotely since classes went full remote due to COVID. There were a lot of difficulties we faced: different time zones, working collaboratively on Figma, and communication through Zoom. Having to coordinate our interface design styles encouraged us to unify our design standards and communicate more effectively.

Next steps

If I have the opportunity to continue working on this project, there are a few things I would love to work on:

  • Allow more in-depth communication with project stakeholders
  • Unify design components so the user interface is more consistent universally
  • Explore the concept of "culture", and how we can define and reflect each museum's unique culture in design
  • Concept testing and future iteration of the prototype

yxxuziva@gmail.com

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