A mobile application that provides parents with the tools to enhance their children's learning experience beyond the Burke Museum
An educational app designed for families that visit the Burke Museum with children aged 5-12
5-week long mobile interface design project
Ideation, Concept Development, Information Architecture, Wire-framing, Usability Testing
& User Research
The Burke has one of the largest repositories of natural history in the region. Of the museum's many visitors, families frequent it the most. These families invest a lot of time and money in their museum experience, however, much of this education is inaccessible to children beyond the museum. I wanted to explore how a new mobile application might help parents nurture their children's learning even after they leave the museum.
Photo Credits: Aaron Leitz Photography
Parents can create custom profiles for each of their children. Selecting the child's age provides curated sets of topics that parents can pick from based on their child's interests.
Through a variety of topic-specific activities, children can continue to learn after leaving the Burke. During these activities, children receive feedback to help reinforce concepts. Encouragement is provided through levels, digital badges, and museum gifts at set milestones.
Parents can view their child's progress to revisit topics for better topic reinforcement. They also easily identify topics that children need more support within. Audio refreshers also help kids strengthen their knowledge within a topic in
a more engaging way.
To understand the existing experience for parents and how it could be improved I conducted ethnographic research at the Burke. I lead the synthesis of this information into the following experience map to identify the pain points and opportunities.
[Click to open enlarged map]
During this process, I also conducted 11 interviews with visitors and staff at Burke to understand what parents are looking for in their child's educational experience. Upon affinity mapping, the observations three key insights emerged.
Credit: Burke Website
Process Photos [Click to enlarge]
Parents are looking for age specific recommendations and a personalized experiences
There's a lack of information about Burke's exhibits and learning resources
Information overload means that parents can't easily find answers they are looking for
Moving forward, I specifically chose to design this interface to be both parent and child facing. Since younger children most likely do not have their own mobiles to access this information, parents or guardians would be sharing the application with the child.
Personally, I also hoped to further the memorable interactions between parents and children that I saw in the burke by bringing that delightfulness into the mobile application.
I translated the research insights to key user goals that guided my design process. They are as shown below.
KEY USER GOALS
Tailor learning to
& engaging activities
View progress & opportunities for learning
After some rapid brainstorming of layouts, I wireframed the app before designing mid-fidelity screens.
Number of Users
I went on to test these frames with three potential users to see if the app was close enough to the user's mental model. Through this process, I received some interesting feedback that shaped this mid-fidelity prototype (same the protoypes under 'key features').
Mid-fidelity Prototype [Click to play]