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Culturverse

Discover Tourist Destinations From Your Home

Cover Image of Crystallography VR
MY ROLE
product design, interactions, prototyping
Team
2 UX Researchers, 2 product designer
tools
figma, miro, balsamiq, premiere pro
DURATION
5 Weeks
date
NOV'2 - dec'4
Category
TRavel, accessibility, AR

Problem Context

For individuals with disabilities, traveling can often be a challenge due to physical barriers and a lack of accessibility

Tourism is an important industry that provides people with the opportunity to explore new destinations and experience different cultures. However, for individuals with disabilities, it is difficult to experience the same opportunities for leisure and cultural enrichment through travel as those without disabilities.
The UX design case study focuses on addressing this problem by creating a virtual tour platform that allows users to explore tourist destinations from the comfort of their own homes.

Identifying our User and their Requirements

In this project, we were focusing on mobility-disabled users who are not able to travel to tourist destinations due to a lack of accessible options.

KEY FEATURES

Before explaining the design process, discover the features of our application Culturverse which provides you experience of tourist destinations from the comfort of your home

RESULTS

In the final user testing, the overall usability got an SUS score of 82 which is an A rating.

DESIGN PROCESS

Looking back how I reached here through the design process by translating user needs into an immersive tourist experience

USER research

Understanding the difficulties faced by the disabled people while travelling

We conducted a thorough user research phase to gain a deeper understanding of the needs and preferences of this group. This included interviews with disabled individuals and disability rights organizations, as well as online surveys and focus group discussions. Through this research, we were able to identify common pain points and areas for improvement in current virtual tour offerings. These findings were instrumental in informing the design decisions we made during the development of our virtual tour application.

We then interviewed 4 users and conducted surveys. The insights were different from what we expected...

Defining the problem

By understanding our users pain points, we were able to define the problem statement for our app...

How might we design an immersive experience for mobility-disabled users, allowing them to discover new destinations from the comfort of their own home?

BRAINSTORMING IDEAS

How we used insights from users to generate dozens of ideas while maximizing creativity?

The interview insights helped us in setting clear goals and outlining the specific needs and challenges faced by the disabled community when it comes to experiencing tourist destinations. We also made sure to encourage out-of-the-box thinking and actively listened to and built upon each team member's ideas.

Affinity Mapping

FInding design opportunities

3 key design opportunities were proposed to meet the accessibility needs of the user after the brainstorming process

Experience from all viewpoints
  • 360° view allows users to fully explore the destination
  • Eliminates physical barriers and challenges
  • Can potentially reduce the financial burden
Adding interactivity & immersiveness
  • Virtual Reality icons
    Augmented Reality (AR) makes the experience engaing
  • Artifacts from different angles & perspectives
  • View distant monuments inaccessible to public
Sense of community & connection
  • 1-1 communication with local guide during the tour
  • Chat and connect with community of similar users
  • Paid livestreams to support local creators

USER TESTING & ITERATIONS

After discovering the design opportunities, our team evaluated the 1st iteration of the prototype using cognitive walkthrough on paper prototypes. Following which concerns were raised like:

1. How can we improve the discoverability of personalized content, such as tours, streams, and blogs?

Before
  • No search functionality to find the content
  • Missing tags to sort content by categories
  • Relevant information about the home page, tours, streams were missing
After
  • Added search to discover tours, streams & blogs
  • Personalized tags as per user activity for better navigation
  • Information about home page and active tour guides added

2. How can we enhance the accessibility and interactivity of our application to create an seamless user experience?

Before
  • No button to switch from live view to AR view
  • Tour progress bar was unnecessary and created confusion
After
  • The Switch to AR view button was added to allow user to toggle between two views
  • Replaced tour progress with real video of users to enhance communication

CHAlLENGES DURING FIRST ITERATION

Were there bumps in the road? Absolutely!

But people could also watch tourist places on youtube or instagram. How do we design our app as unique?

We added 1-1 interaction with people local to a tourist places aka volunteers. This ensured:

Exchange of information such as history, food and culture
Users feel engaged while touring a destination

But why would local people or guides help virtual tourists for free? Or How do we design to support local creators and community?

We added paid livestreams through which users could support local creators.

Hi-Fidelity designs

Once conflicts were resolved, our team focused on further elevating the user experience with high fidelity prototypes

We chose to make content easily accessible via the discover tab and allow users to choose their guides to start the tour

Paintball prototype
Event Racing Prototype
Event about prototype
Event about prototype

Using realistic 3D assets and animations to enhance the immersion and engagement of our prototype

For livestream, we made sure to include certain key features such as live chat, video quality options, and support for multiple payment methods

Paintball prototype
Event Racing Prototype
Event about prototype
Event about prototype
Event about prototype

visual style guide

Creating a visual style guide was essential for ensuring consistency and efficiency in our design process. It allowed for a more streamlined design process, faster iteration and improvements, and a better user experience

USABILITY TESTING

Our team conducted Usability Evaluation with 8 different users, where we found 3 prevalent usability issues. Along with that, we measured SUS score which came our to be 82. These were the findings from the testing...

  • 1Users liked the feature to support creators
  • 2Users enjoyed AR view feature of the app
  • 3Users couldn't connect with guide after the tour

takeaways and learning

The end result was a streamlined and user-friendly app that met the needs and preferences of our target audience.

vs
What went well
Clear & defined project goals
Successful user research and user testing
Efficient prototyping process
Ability to measure success with data and user feedback.
what i learnt
Value of clear communication and collaboration
Importance of considering accessibility & inclusivity in design
Benefits of iterative design
Value of user feedback