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Open Art mobile tour app

Project Duration:
January 2023 – June 2023

(Click for prototype)

Project Overview –

The product: 

Audiovisual tour guide for galleries and museums.
The heavy focus on accessibility features supports an independent experience for all patrons,
and, facilitates a group gaming experience – generating a higher volume of visitors each year.

The problem: 

Art museums and galleries are under constant pressure
to increase patronage, but the venues themselves
can be overwhelming and/or intimidating for some visitors.

The goal: 

Design an app that will transform the museum/gallery area
into a space that provides autonomy to patrons of varied interests
from all over the globe, particularly those with accessibility preferences.

My role:
UX designer from conception to delivery…

Paper and digital wireframes
Low & high-fidelity prototypes
Usability studies
Accessibility design
Iterating on designs

User research:

My first thought was that the app would be for international patrons visiting art galleries around the world.
After conducting user interviews and creating user journey maps it became clear that the app could be
life-changing for patrons with accessibility preferences.

These technologies can also enhance,
even gamify the tour experience,
and reinforce the desire to return.

Pain Points
Time – Pace – Accessibility

Parents, working adults, teachers…
we’re all pressed for time and need
to make the most it as best we can.
This issue is compounded for
individuals relying on assistive
technology to navigate the world.

The pace of a group tour affects the way
we perceive art and can interfere with the
appreciation of a piece that moves you
or your friends if you need more time.

Without the optimum conditions, it can be
difficult to hear tour guides or understand
them if you’re visiting from abroad; important
aspects of the visual details go overlooked.
Facilities can be difficult to locate.

Leah’s user journey revealed the multiple instances in which she used various
technologies to assist in the planning and execution of a visit to the museum.
Her needs would be better met if those assistive features were under one umbrella.

Paper wireframes

The decision to implement a high degree of open space in the design goes beyond the aesthetic appeal –
it is an imperative of this app to provide users with mobility preferences as error-free an experience as possible.

Digital wireframes

Before Usability Study

Gallery/museum spaces can be hectic environments with any number of random occurrences to distract the patron.
The navigation must support nimble, stress-free navigation through complex environments.
Thumbnail-embedded cards is a design decision for the home page that made its way into the menus throughout the app.

After Usability Study

Gaming tours will interest students, encourage return visits, and open the gallery/museum experience to ranges of new patrons.
Separating the tutorials from the help page was a decision made with a broad and shallow navigation hierarchy in mind.
I decided to make the ‘favorite tours’ a higher priority in order to provide a shortcut for preferred tours.

Low-fidelity Prototype

(Click for prototype)


I conducted two rounds of usability testing – The first guided the designs from wireframes to mockups.
The second revealed what aspects of the mockups needed refining after letting users test a high-fidelity prototype.

Round 1 findings

Tutorials are desirable
V.R. accessories are a deal-breaker
The map needs to be more intuitive

Round 2 findings

Art display interface needs improving
Add language accessibility shortcut

The three primary navigation buttons were moved to the lower right side of the screen for greater ease-of-use.
– option to switch the location of buttons can be found under the accessibility shortcut.

Key Mockups

The high-fidelity prototype offers an improved map interface,
a better navigational hierarchy,
and disperses information across the app where, and when, it is needed.

High-fidelity Prototype

(Click for prototype)

Accessibility considerations

Entire aesthetic layout: oversized text and buttons,
the space between those buttons, high-contrast color palette,
the suite of accessibility features used for navigation, etc.

Interactive map designed to aid real-time
navigation of the gallery/museum space with a
refined intuitive interface based on user feedback.

Virtual art display allows close-up inspection from a distance,
plays narrative description of the piece/collection,
and displays a transcript of the narration.



“I would love something like this.
I miss going to the museum.”

What I learned:

Nothing exposes the strengths and weakness of the design quite as well as user testing feedback.

Next steps

Expand the high-fidelity mockup beyond the primary user flow – conduct more usability testing.

Research the implementation of an A.R. portal in the gaming tours to use their phone as viewfinder.

Incorporate third-party links to official transportation sites, highlighting those with accessibility access.

Thank you for your time and your attention. I truly appreciate it.

Email: [email protected]
Website: https://www.theshadowmark.com/uxportfolio/