Self-guided tours at the University of Washington
spacer - ignore this
Aivy Phan - Designer + PM
Kyle Hoener - Designer
Youjean Cho - Designer
Seo Kim - Designer
Hannah Leahy - Designer
Pen + Paper
at a glance
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Washington was forced to close down their in person touring experience, as a result of safety concerns. Our team worked towards designing a new in person touring experience that took into consideration Covid-19 safety guidelines.
My role spanned over almost every aspect of this project from user research, interface design, visual language, and prototyping. I also acted as a Project Manager which included strategizing our approach, planning out a timeline, assigning tasks, and monitoring the quality and progress of work created by the other designers of this project.
research + testing
My contributions during the research and testing portion of the project included data collection through user surveys and user interviews. During the testing phase I also developed all the micro interactions of the prototype using Figma.
interface design + visual design
Over the course of this project I ideated and designed most of the application screens, spanning from the onboarding process to the touring process.
During the research process we went through three rounds of interviews, as well as analyzed survey responses made by potential users. We used an affinity diagram to find similarities between the problems posed by users. Our findings concluded that while guided tours were helpful for more in depth information, these tours often tired out visitors and felt awkward because of forced interaction. In addition, two out of the three interviewees noted the problem of getting lost due to lack of signage during their previous self-guided touring experiences at the University of Washington. All three interviewees also mentioned a need for more relevant information related to student life, as well as more information related to their study of interest during tours.
Our team's intent when tackling this challenge was to create a product that helped a problem that was relevant to the students at the University of Washington. Due to the abruptness of the Covid-19 lockdown, we found that the University of Washington was not able to make appropriate replacements to their touring program; leaving many potential students unable to explore the University of Washington before attending.
- Primary: Potential Students
- Secondary: Tour Guides
- Excluded: Hearing Impaired Students
We ideated over 50+ different ideas for possible product solutions. These solutions were then narrowed down after considering their benefits and set backs in relation to our findings. In the end, our team decided to build a mobile platform to facilitate in person, self guided tours. This platform would allow users to create personalized tours based on their interests, and would also connect students with a personal chat with a tour guide for more in depth information, while also keeping visitors and guides safe during the interaction. An AR viewing mode was also added in order to help visitors better find buildings and explore the campus without worry of getting lost. A visual transcript for all auditory information would also be available for hearing impaired users.
Before we could continue designing, we wanted to visualize the user's interaction flow with our potential product. We did this by creating a storyboard of the interaction, and then used this storyboard to build a site map of the platform.
Once the architecture of our product was formed, our team developed middle fidelity wireframes to reflect our user flow. These wireframes were developed in two rounds of feedback. The first round of feedback coming from internal team critique, and the second came from our feedback from design faculty. After each round, we further refined our work until we created wireframes that would best address our earlier findings.
high fidelity prototype
Due to the platforms close association with the University of Washington, we decided to go with a visual language that brought to mind the school's brand identity for our high fidelity prototype. Figma was used to develop our screens.
Reflecting on this app, I was able to learn about balancing the needs with the pain points of different users in my designs. I also learned that designing for individuals with a disability as a personal attribute can help other users with context dependent paint points as well. In addition, AR as part of tourism was something I was able to explore during this project, and I hope to experiment with this form of technology more in the future.
This project is no longer in progress, but considering the niche interactions associated with this product, it would definitely benefit from more usability testing in regards to the usage of AR when touring. More exploration in this app from the perspective of tour guides and school staff would be beneficial as well.
spacer- ignore this
spacer - please ignore