chART is a self-guided tour and art education platform for iOS, native to New York City, but adaptable to any museum or cultural institution worldwide.
Speculative Project
Two Weeks,
July 2022
Cathy Wang
Katie Tu
Victoria Lucarelli
Ying Zeng
UX Design Lead, UX Researcher
Competitive Matrix, Competitive Feature Analysis, User Interviews, User Persona, User Journey, Feature Prioritization, API Integration, Design Studio, Medium & High-Fidelity Wireframes + Prototypes, App Map, Usability Testing, KPI metrics
Figma, Illustrator, Keynote, Miro, Photoshop, Trello, Zeplin, Zoom
The Museum Experience Now

Though a day at the museum is meant to be a delightful adventure, there are multiple flaws in the overall experience that ultimately turn an enriching experience into a headache. An oversaturation of art on view, expansive labyrinthine spaces, unintuitive paper maps, traffic flow issues, prescriptive tours, and uninformative wall text all detract from the typical museum-goer’s visit.
Facilitating Cultural Exploration & Education

Although chART was originally conceptualized as a speculative product, our team’s challenge was real: to facilitate engaging, informational experiences for museum visitors that encourage exploration and agency, while also respecting their time.
A Personalized Museum Experience That Respects the Visitor's Time & Interests

Enter chART, a self-guided tour generator and information app, adaptable to any museum or cultural institution. This iOS-first app eases the museum-going experience for first-timers and art enthusiasts alike, creating user-curated journeys with pre-planned routes and time estimates to maximize every visitor’s personal effort and schedule.

Additionally, individuals can save artwork and exhibitions across cultural institutions, tailoring recommendations based on these interests. With chART, the museum-goer can dismiss the annoying facets of the museum experience and focus on what matters most, exploration and delight.
How chART Curates Your Cultural Journey

In order to curate a more enjoyable, stress-free museum experience, our team considered the following features to be essential to success:
  • Self-Guided Tours (to preserve visitor agency)
  • Tour Time Estimates (to respect the museum-goers’s time)
  • App-Generated Routes (to encourage exploration & discovery)
  • Artwork Details (to instill in-moment learning)
  • Maps & Information (to avoid common frustrations)
Assessing the Typical Museum Visit

In order to better understand the current landscape of New York cultural institutions, our team began by contextualizing the space in which we wanted to operate. Through a combination of market research (competitive matrices, competitive and comparative feature analyses) and user interviews with typical museum-goers, key areas of opportunity were identified for design intervention.
How People Interact with Museums
  • “Museums are getting better about focusing more on visitors and less on the objects in their collections. Before, it was ‘I’m a museum. My job is to safeguard, take care of, and explain these objects.’ Now, that has moved more towards a focus on the public and what the public needs.
  • “If there’s so little information available, it makes me less engaged in the artwork.”
  • “I usually like to visit every exhibit and look at every piece. But then the time I spend looking at each piece decreases the longer I’m there and I get tired of standing.”
  • “The format of an exhibition is very different from a book or something that’s completely linear. If you have a room with paintings or sculptures or whatever, based on your own interests, intuition, or connections you’re drawing, you’re able to move through it how you want to move through it.”
Actionable Insights for Improving the Museum Experience

Through synthesis of information gathered from the research process, we pinpointed several important problem areas to address in future design ideation:
  • Art admirers generally know the art and exhibits they want to visit.
  • People allocate short amounts of time to museums.
  • Visitors use maps, but find they lack helpful features.
  • Museum-goers want more information about the artwork they’re interested in.
  • People prefer the agency and flexibility of self-guided experiences.
Interpreting chART's Target Audience

To ensure chART’s commitment to the needs and frustrations of the user base, the team created a virtual representation of our target audience as a stand-in for future design decisions. This persona, along with its corresponding journey outlining a typical museum trip, reflects the behaviors, goals, pain points, and insights synthesized from our earlier user interviews.
Audrey, The Art Admirer
  • Enriching museum visits that fit into her schedule
  • Locating the art or exhibitions she's interested in
  • Learn in the moment about the artwork she sees
  • A plan of action to maximize the time she has
  • Personalized navigation to her defined destinations
  • Intuitive access to relevant information for the art she's viewing
  • The necessary amount of time needed to navigate a museum is difficult to plan for
  • Traditional paper maps make it difficult to wayfind through the space
  • Brief wall text doesn't fulfill her curiosity about the art she sees
  • Personalized tours with an emphasis on time management
  • Digital wayfinding using phone GPS
  • Information at the ready for the art around her
Making Museums Accessible & Approachable to Everyone

After compiling data from user interviews and market research, the team transitioned into design with insights and a persona to guide our decision making. Through feature speculation and prioritization, we identified several important functions chART would need to accomplish:
  • App-generated self-guided tours (with time estimates)
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Museum information (hours, tickets, etc.)
  • Artwork/Artist information
  • Always accessible interactive maps
  • User profiles with favorited work
  • Multiple institutions supported
chART’s design and functionality was refined through three rounds of ideation (design studio sketches, medium-fidelity wireframes, high-fidelity mockups), with product testing occurring at multiple points in the process.
Technology to Enhance the Experience, Not Detract
Account Creation
Customizable Journey Creation
Viewing & Saving Artwork Information
Other Features: Contextual Search & Various Information Pages
App Map
Interactive Prototype
Evaluating chART's Functional Viability

In order to verify chART’s feasibility as a museum exploration tool, our team conducted two rounds of usability testing (medium and high fidelity prototypes) to assess the product’s intuitiveness and educational nature. 20 people performed a variety of tasks, representative of key features (account setup, creating a customized tour, saving artwork, etc). Success metrics were determined through time spent on task, path to end goals, and overall easiness ratings (1-5).
Ensuring chART's Launch Success

In order for chART to be the most viable product right out of the gate, our team chose a potential company to partner with, as well as outlined a plan for API integration and KPI metrics.
Proposed Partner
The Museums Council of New York City is a consortium of 108 cultural institutions across the city, whose purpose is “perserving, studying, interpreting, and exhibiting objects and specimens of educational and cultural value.”

In collaboration with the Museums Council, chART can provide New York City’s 8.3 million residents and 66 million tourists with a more approachable way to visit and interact with the city’s diverse museums. chART acts as an all-in-one educational database of New York’s cultural institutions, granting everyone access to millions of pieces of art, science, flora, and fauna.
API Integration
  • Existing museum APIs for artwork & artist information, up-to-date exhibition information, and personalizing recommendations more effectively
  • Google, Facebook, and Apple APIs for user login
  • Google Maps APIs for location services
  • Wikipedia APIs for additional information
KPI Metrics
In order to determine metrics for success, our team leveraged the Google HEART framework (which emphasizes five performance indicators):

  • Adoption: Daily downloads vs. daily museum visitors
  • Engagement: Journeys created and saved items per user
  • Retention: How long app and current journeys are accessed while at a museum location
  • Happiness: App store ratings
  • Task Success: Error rates and abandoned journeys
chART-ing Our Next Steps

The goal of chART is to continually learn and evolve, integrating more and more cultural institutions as we grow. In addition to further design ideation and usability tests, our team created a plan of action for future development phases:
  • Android/Google Play Support
  • 360º Room Views
  • Artwork Scanning
  • In-App Ticket Purchasing
  • Gift Shop Browsing
  • Expansion to Other Cities
pk // ©2022