Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Hand Built Project

I have to start this off by saying children are wonderful yet fickle creatures, and its for that reason that this project along with user research and testing, has been one of the most valuable experiences here in the design program.

Eli Brumbaugh and myself, took on the concept of having a small handheld booklet that would prompt the kids to explore the park while instilling the need in them to visit each of the featured sculptures. We did this by calling the booklet our Sculpture Explorer Passport, and the objective was to complete a set of badges that they would collect at each sculpture. The pinacle of this task being a more important badge that is received upon visiting each sculpture and collecting all six of the sculpture badges. We also included badges for each of the events planned throughout the day, and in the pages describing those events we created imagery that corresponds to that activity. The map includes two views. One is a dynamic view of the park while the other is a standard top down view.

And this is where user testing comes in and ruins/fixes everything. While observing the kids at the park trying to navigate the map, we could tell that they really enjoyed the process of hunting down and collecting each badge. The major wall that stood between them and that goal was the way finding. The map at that point was almost too dynamic at that point. We took this experience and analyzed where people were getting caught up reading the map, and chose to include a simplified top-down map view. This would clear up where they were as well as provide suggested pathways for a better flow during there time there at the Nelson.

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