UX Research, UX Design, Affinity Mapping, Wireframing, Mobile App Prototyping, Creative Direction, Graphic Design
Atlanta Pride Scavenger Hunt App
As a UX researcher and designer, my team helped redesign the experience for Atlanta Pride's virtual events. Atlanta Pride Committee (APC) had their first virtual Pride Parade in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization wanted to offer their community a scavenger hunt mobile application as a platform to engage with each other online. Our team was tasked to help them transfer these Pride festivities into the virtual space so that Atlanta’s LGBTQIA+ community could participate in Atlanta Pride via mobile hybrid design solutions.
Our team was able to gather data from the Atlanta Pride Committee about what platforms the community receives the most engagement on. We started our preliminary research with surveys and observation. Then, we primarily focused our research efforts on conducting interviews. Considering that a large number of participants in Atlanta Pride do not live in the city, we decided not restrict our target demographic to Atlanta residents when reaching out for research purposes.
Familiarity - Users prefer familiar platforms and devices when engaging in online events.
Platform - Users prefer to have options for both virtual and in-person participation.
Motivation - The most significant motivator for participating in a scavenger hunt is prizes.
Engagement - During Pride, users enjoy being involved with a community the most.
Our research began with a remote survey to understand why people engage with Pride and how they view their participation within the Pride community. We surveyed 69 users on their participation in virtual events to gauge levels of interactive complexity across different platforms (e.g. Instagram).
A major finding revealed that participants want to feel more presence during online activities, similar to in-person activities. From this data point, we directed ourselves toward design a platform that felt familiar and accessible across various hybrid activities. At the same time, we sought to generate and maintain a sense of communal presence within the designed solution.
Our team observed online virtual Pride events over 1.5 hours to measure 100 users’ comfort level with synchronous engagement. We found out participants naturally made connections and shared their social media information through chat functions, which reinforced our findings from earlier surveys and interviews.
After attending Pride’s virtual parade, we interviewed 4 users to specify our definition of user “engagement” in virtual events. We asked interviewees about their thoughts on the Atlanta Pride virtual scavenger hunt to consider more context about user motivations for participating in these activities.
After conducting interviews, we affinity mapped over 300 sticky notes of our research finding to categorize six main themes for directing our design process. Based on these, we were able to generate personas and an empathy map to contextualize the users need.
Persona and Empathy map
Using our acquired user needs and design implications, we developed both an empathy map, and a persona to tell a story from the data.
After finalizing the user flow, our team created multiple visual designs that conveys playfulness and representative of the Pride. We came up with more than a dozen different styles and picked our design language after we discussed it as a team.
Design Iteration Activities
Clearly state the goal of the project.
Atlanta Pride Committee (APC) had their first virtual Pride Parade in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization wanted to offer their community a scavenger hunt mobile application as a platform to engage with each other online. Our team was tasked to help them transfer these Pride festivities into the virtual space so that Atlanta’s LGBTQIA+ community could participate in Atlanta Pride via mobile hybrid design solutions.
Understand the primary user experience.
We were able to test the usability of the prototypes with 5 users on the 5 different task completion followed by System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaires. All the participants were able to complete the task except for the Task 1. Only 60% of our users were able to complete the task. The average time to complete task 1 was also the longest (74s) despite the length of the user flow.
However, we received a SUS score of 90/100 from the participants, which indicates that once they explored the app, users found the system very usable. We later learned that this discrepancy is from the order effect and skewed the data. We also found out that the adding and editing team member user flow is still difficult and needs to be reconsidered.
Generate a wide array of ideas.
Based on the design requirements, our team each came up with multiple design ideas and combined the best ideas. We also separate some design features that we want to incorporate for this project. Out of 20 design ideations, we picked our top two designs that the best address problem space of the Atlanta Pride Virtual Scavenger Hunt. Then we created flow charts and sketches for those and interviewed experts on our top designs.
Prioritize what to focus on and why.
Evaluating the prototype solution gave us a few priorities to focus on:
- Implement a clear notification system displaying friends and teammates.
- Increase interface visibility in alignment with the designed visual identity.
- Adjust the structure of information architecture to prioritize information on Pride, available prizes, and interaction based on user mental models.
Deliverable & Design System
We have created a high-fidelity prototype for iPhone 11 users. You can view our full prototypes here.
Our target users were LGBTQ+ community interested in participating in Atlanta Pride. Based on our research, they prefer having an option to participate in Pride both virtual and in-person activities. Also, users indicated that they wanted the ability to connect with other members of the community through the app. To accommodate these needs, we came up with a new design for the Atlanta Scavenger Hunt platform. It remained important that our visual language conveys feelings of fun and playfulness to align with themes of the annual Pride parade celebration.
Visually, the design draws from the idea of being on a “path” for the scavenger hunt, suggesting to users that they are on a quest. Rainbow colors, such as red, yellow, green, blue and purple, make up the interface’s color palette in order to tie in with the Pride theme. Functionally, the system offers both virtual and hybrid versions of the scavenger hunt for Atlanta Pride activities. It also has team or solo play options to accommodate folks who prefer playing it solo, or may not publicly identify with the LGBTQ+ community.
We added different types of mediums such as videos, links, photos, and music to the quest activities to provide dynamic gameplay for scavenger hunt participants, as well. To promote community engagement within the system, there are also features for community members to connect and communicate through the app.