01

   ANALYTICS

Situation Analysis

 

There is no mobile app for Seneca Park Zoo

As a popular attraction and the only zoo in Rochester, NY, there is no mobile app designed for the visitors so far. Although the official website is relatively informative and multi-functional, when users visit the website on their phones, the responsive website layout causes certain amount of problems with usability and navigation. Therefore, a well targeted mobile app

can bring more convenience to the users and elevate user's experience.

 

Competitive Analysis

 

Nowadays many zoo have launched native mobile apps, aiming to provide a better user experience for the visitors. This process was helpful in identifying what features existed and how different zoo prioritize the contents.

After completing the competitive analysis, I realized that most of the zoo apps are authentic photos based and have low readability because of heavy text contents. Most of them lack of vibrancy due to the color palates and inconsistent visual styles. I was trying to avoid these problems when designing the mobile app for Seneca Park Zoo.

Define Target Audience & Problems

 

1. Observations - Visitors

 

Seneca Park Zoo hosts many events and also is a popular destination of school field trip and family picnic location. Elementary school students(age 6-10) and middle school students(age 11-13) are the main visitors in the zoo.

 

 

Knowing that the visitors to the zoo are not necessarily the end users of the mobile app, I interviewed 17 children (age from 6 to 14) with their parents or teachers to try to target the real users and find out their user behaviors, existing problems and expectations for a zoo mobile app.  My assumption was: The teachers and parents are the main users for being in charge of arranging events and field trips.

 

       Interview Questions

 

          General

          Basic Information (Age, occupation)

          How often do you visit Seneca Park Zoo?

          What brings you to the zoo?

          Do you have a smart phone? (For children age 6-14)

 

         Before go to the zoo

          Do you check the website before you go to the zoo?

          What do you search the most on the zoo website?

          Do you have troubles finding information on the website?

          Do you prefer buy tickets on line or by the front door?

 

        In the zoo

          Do you check the website when you are in the zoo? What are you looking for?

          Do you have trouble finding animals you want to see when you are in the zoo?

          Do you prefer paper zoo map or a digital map on your phone?

Interview Results

 

Children are more willing to spend time on researching animals and zoo information than their parents or teachers before the trip to the zoo.

 

The reasons include:

- Children have more time

- Children are more excited to explore before the trip

- Children are more motivated by school projects

- Parents are willing to let children be in charge of family events

- Parents try to elevate children's ability of problem solving and being independent

 

Based on the interview, over 67.7% of children(age 6-14) possess their own smart phones and over 89% of children are allowed to play with their parents' phones on a daily basis.

1.

Other problems:

- Hard to find info when browse the responsive website on the phones

- Long loading time and requires too many data

- Printed zoo maps are hard to read, complicated to fold, easily get caught in the wind and rain

- Have difficulties find animals' locations precisely in the zoo

2.

User behaviors

93% agree their family enjoys seeing animals and participate the events at the zoo

94% feel that visiting zoo teach children about how people can protect animals and the habitats they depend on

79% are willing to support wildlife conservation at the zoo

66% are more likely to buy gifts from the zoo

90% engage millions via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube

3.

Analyze Users

 

Based on the interview results,  the target audience focus on children age from 6 to 14. Two persona were analyzed, including empathy maps and potential goals to help to gain a deeper insight into the target audience. After immersing into users’ environment by analyzing what they think, feel, hear, say, do and see, the better design solutions were obtained in a much more efficient way.

Persona1

Scenario

Anna is a high school student, recently one of her school project is to finish an observation journal of one animal, including pictures, introductions, personal thoughts and conclusion. She wants to go to Seneca park zoo because it is the nearest one to her home. She wants to check the hours and ticket rate of the zoo and also start picking one animal to observe.

Goals

- Check animal list, including special exhibition, to pick one animal in advance

- Check hours, location and ticket rate

- Book tickets on-line

Empathy Map

Think & Feel

See

Hear

Say & Do

Where is the zoo?

How to go there?

How much is the tickets?

Can I book tickets on-line?

Ticket rates

Current events

Animal exhibitions

Zoo map

Comments

Transportation

Animal information

Plan a visit

Check schedule

Book tickets on-line

Anna Smith,14

Middle school student

Persona 2

Scenario

Adria’s family plan to go to Seneca park zoo this weekend to observe animals, have picnic and get exercise. His father asked him to check schedule and make appointment for the entire family. He also needs to check location to set GPS.

Goals

Adria Roberto, 8

Elementary school student

- Check location to set GPS

- Check ticket rate to get family ticket

- Book tickets on-line

- Check current event

Empathy Map

Think & Feel

See

Hear

Say & Do

Where is the zoo?

How much is the tickets?

Is there a family plan?

Can I book tickets on-line?

Ticket rates

Current events

Zoo map

Restaurant information

Comments

Animal information

Plan progress

Check open hours

Check ticket rates

Set up GPS

Design Insights

 

- Graphic based, game feeling, fun to use

- Easy to navigate

- Necessary and informative content only

- Simplistic interactive map solution

- Simplifying the searching process

- Use capabilities of smart phones to create memories

- Improving user's experience

Problem Statements

 

- Responsive website of Seneca Park Zoo is hard to navigate and use too many data without Wi-Fi

- Paper map is hard to use and easily get caught in the wind and rain

- Hard to locate animal spots in the zoo

 

 

Key Features

 

- Interactive zoo map showing animals and different locations

- Interactive zoo map that can estimate walking distances and time

  to any destinations from current location

- Allows users to plan what to see during their day at the zoo

- Check hours, locations and ticket rates

- Purchase tickets on line

- Make daily or monthly donations to specific animals

- Share on social media

- Take photos with specially offered zoo themed frames

02

UX RESEARCH

Children are not miniature adults and design principles formulated with adults in mind cannot simply be scaled down – children have their own needs and goals which cannot necessarily be met by adult tools. Have those design goals in mind, I start brainstorming and visioning through a story mapping session. Then I prototyping rapidly and iteratively through usability testing. This process would ensure that I deliver design solutions based on user's expectations.

Participatory design exercise

 

Participatory design, also called co-design, is a fun method for understanding how children see the world. Due to the participants limitation and time constrains, I was only able to reaching out two children to finish this exercise with me. The tasks included storyboarding a simple journey in an imaginary zoo and selecting favorite animal characters. While final design solutions were rarely taken directly from the children’s ideas, this exercise helped me understand the feelings children have towards the subject matter and gained deeper empathy for them.

Other UX Considerations

 

- Usability test with children

- Parents, teachers, and any adults who may interact with the app are important as well

- Informative contents, usability and functionality are the foundations of the mobile app

Sketches

User flow

Main wireframe structure

Wireframe prototypes were sketched quickly for user testing. I determined the structures of core functional screens first and then expended to all screens for user testing. Consistency and clarity were the main goals at this stage.

Wireframes

User interface for user tests

Considering the main users are children, black and white blueprints can be confusing and tedious for them to focus, I rapidly designed the first version of user interface to improve the testing results. Design insights for user interface focused on a perfect combination of children's game looking and a functional mobile app. Instead of using authentic photos, an illustration based app is able to increase the eye catching effect and fit the target audience's interests better.

Like

 

- "Love the visual style. Instead of real animal photos, which

   have been used in almost every zoo zpp, the pure graphic

   based zoo app really stands out."

- "Animals icons are well designed and really appealing."

- "Playful functions, easy to navigate, like playing a game"

- "Interactive map to estimate distance and time is useful

  and nice"

- "Love the simplicity. The functions included are well fit for the

  zoo, considering how small it is"

Dislike

 

- Logo can be more vibrant and colorful

- Animal classification is not clear

- Low color contrast of map, hard to read under

   strong sunlight

- Too much divided spaces on animal screen, lack impact

- Too many colors on visit screen

- Text on the second line for donations are too small to read

- "Plan a tour" is confusing

- The options for single and monthly donations are unnecessary

- The visual on visit is disconnected with other screens

 

Design modify & Iterations

Based on the user testing results, I made adjustments to certain visual designs and functions to achieve better user experience. Three iterations were completed before designing the final version.

 

- Redesign logo

- Change map color

- Direct to map on animal screen

- Wisely use space under donation functions

- Change title "plan a tour" to "visit"

- Classify animals based on species

- Combine donate options together

- Divide buy tickets and visit info to two different screens

03

UI Design

GRID

COLOR

TYPE

abc San Francisco ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890!@#$%^&*()

Logo

00

ANIMAL

CLASSIFICATION

Each type of animals has unique theme color to highlight the icon.

00

ICON SET

Twenty three different types of animal icons, including 16 mammals, 3 birds, 4 reptiles. are designed and used in both mobile app and printed products.

 

For each type of animal, users can browse information, gallery, location and make donation.

Menu

MENU

00
00

ANIMAL

INFORMATION

Check the current location

anytime

00

DONATE

Users can select single or monthly donation

Select payment method

Add card details

Donate confirmation

Thank you message

00

MAP

The new map is designed by using animal icons and simplified colors to indicate locations of different animals. Users are able to download the map to their phones. The map can also calculate the estimated time and distance and direct visitors to any part of the zoo from the current location.

Download map to your phone

Type current location and destination to estimate time and distance.

Show restrooms, dining, and different classifications of animals on map.

00

VISIT

Users are able to purchase tickets, check hours, location and contact information

00

DONATION & EVENTS

- Users are able to donate to specific animals or to the entire zoo

- Users can check current, popular, or all events by choosing different dates

Indicate Restrooms

Zoo Hours

Donate to any type of animal

Zoo Contact

General donation to the zoo

Indicate Mammals

Zoo Location

 

Select events based on

current, popular and all

events

 

Indicate Reptiles

Buy tickets

 

Select events through

calendar

Seneca Park Zoo

The goal of this project is to design a mobile app for young users of Seneca Park Zoo. The main target audience focuses on children age from 6 to 14. By observing and analyzing the unique expectations and goals that children have, a fun and informative zoo app was designed to improve their user experience.

My...

What I learned

Role

UX Researcher

Interaction Designer

Visual UI Designer

UX Designer

Methods

Observation

Interviews

Rapid Prototyping

Usability Testing

Participatory design (Co-design)

Deliverables

UX Documentation

Motion prototype

 

Software

Photoshop

Illustrator

Indesign

After Effects

User Tests

After testing the prototype, children and their parents were asked to fill a user feedback form to give feedback of how they feel about the visual, navigations, readability and the usability of the features.

 

User feedback form

2. Interview - End users

© All Copyrights Reserved by Hui Xu

01

   ANALYTICS

Situation Analysis

 

There is no mobile app for Seneca Park Zoo

As a popular attraction and the only zoo in Rochester, NY, there is no mobile app designed for the visitors so far. Although the official website is relatively informative and multi-functional, when users visit the website on their phones, the responsive website layout causes certain amount of problems with usability and navigation. Therefore, a well targeted mobile app

can bring more convenience to the users and elevate user's experience.

 

 

       Interview Questions

 

          General

          Basic Information (Age, occupation)

          How often do you visit Seneca Park Zoo?

          What brings you to the zoo?

          Do you have a smart phone? (For children age 6-14)

 

         Before go to the zoo

          Do you check the website before you go to the zoo?

          What do you search the most on the zoo website?

          Do you have troubles finding information on the website?

          Do you prefer buy tickets on line or by the front door?

 

        In the zoo

          Do you check the website when you are in the zoo? What are you looking for?

          Do you have trouble finding animals you want to see when you are in the zoo?

          Do you prefer paper zoo map or a digital map on your phone?

Target Audience

 

Seneca Park Zoo hosts many events and also is a popular destination of school field trip and family picnic location. Children of  kindergarten and elementary school students

are the main visitors in the zoo.

Persona1

Anna Smith,16

High school student

Goals

- Check animal list, including special exhibitions

- Check hours, location and ticket rate

- Book tickets on-line

Empathy Map1

 

Think & Feel

See

Where is the zoo?

How to go there?

How much is the tickets?

Can I book tickets on-line?

Ticket rates

Current events

Animal exhibitions

Zoo map

Hear

Comments

Transportation

Animal information

Say & Do

Plan a visit

Check schedule

Book tickets on-line

Persona2

Adria Roberto,11

Elementary school student

Goals

- Check location to set GPS

- Check ticket rate to get family ticket

- Book tickets on-line

- Check current event

Empathy Map2

 

Think & Feel

See

Where is the zoo?

How much is the tickets?

Is there a family plan?

Can I book tickets on-line?

Ticket rates

Current events

Zoo map

Restaurant information

Hear

Comments

Animal information

Plan progress

Say & Do

Check open hours

Check ticket rates

Set up GPS

 

Design Insights

 

- Fun to use

- Easy to navigate

- Necessary and informative content only

- Simplistic interactive map solution

- Simplifying the searching process

- Improving user's experience

Key Features

 

- Download zoo map to the phone

- Interactive zoo map showing animals and different locations

- Interactive zoo map that can estimate walking distances and time

   to any destinations from current location

- Allows users to plan what to see during their day at the zoo

- Check hours, locations and ticket rate

- Purchase tickets

- Make daily or monthly donations to specific animal

02

UX RESEARCH

Children are not miniature adults and design principles formulated with adults in mind cannot simply be scaled down – children have their own needs and goals which cannot necessarily be met by adult tools. Have those design goals in mind, I start brainstorming and visioning through a story mapping session. Then I prototyping rapidly and iteratively through usability testing. This process would ensure that I deliver design solutions based on user's expectations.

User flow

Main wireframe structure

Wireframe prototypes were sketched quickly for user testing. Considering the main users are children and wireframes only can be confusing and tedious for them, I roughly designed the basic user interface to improve the testing results. I decided the structures of core functional screen first and then expended to all the screens for user tasks. Design consistency and clarity are the main goals at this stage.

User Interface Test

User Tests

My goal was to obtain feedback from children and their parents of how they feel about the, visuals, navigation, readability and the usability of the features.

 

User Feedback

Like

 

- Love the visual style. Instead of real animal photos, which

   have been used in almost every zoo zpp, the pure graphic

   based zoo app really stands out

- Animals icons are well designed and really appealing.

- Playful functions, easy to navigate, like play a game

- Interactive map to estimate distance and time is useful

  and nice

- Love the simplicity. The functions included are well fit for the

  zoo, considering how small it is

Dislike

 

- Logo can be more vibrant and colorful

- Low color contrast of map, hard to read under

   strong sunlight

- Too much divided spaces on animal screen, lack impact

- Too many colors on visit screen

- Text on the second line for donations are too small to read

Design modify

Based on the user testing results, I made adjustment to certain visual designs and functions to achieve better user experience.

03
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SENECA PARK ZOO

MOBILE APPLICATION DESIGN

The goal of this project is to design a mobile app for young users of Seneca Park Zoo. The main target audience focuses on children age from 6 to 14. By observing and analyzing the unique expectations and goals that children have, a fun and informative zoo app was designed to improve their user experience.

Role

UX Researcher

Interaction Designer

Visual UI Designer

UX Designer

Methods

Observation

Interviews

Rapid Prototyping

Usability Testing

My...

Deliverables

UX Documentation

Motion prototype

 

Software

Photoshop

Illustrator

Indesign

After Effects