Role

Research,

Customer journey map, UX Design, Service Blueprint, Wireframing,

Prototyping

Duration

5 weeks, 2019

Team

Yuan Chen

Sophia Deng

Liz Wang

You Zhang 

Advisor

Kirsten McNally

(Director of Museum Programming)

Marshall Sitten

(Citi Community Development)

The Problem

Clay bar is the most popular workshop at CMA. Children can participate in a 30-min long session at the Clay Bar to work on sculpting different creatures with the help of two teaching artists. With it's unique ambiance and central location in the museum, Clay Bar has become a hot spot for visitors.  

Visitors are required to sign up for a specific time slot because the number of seats in each session is limited. As the clay bar's popularity has grown, the current sign up system has become insufficient for visitors and CMA, creating chaos in the physical space during peak hours.

THE CHALLENGE

"How might we improve the clay bar

experience at CMA?"

The Solution

We proposed 3 solutions to improve the clay bar experience:

Scavenger Hunt, Staggered Timing, and Session Select.

Research

Contextual Research

Prior to our onsite visits, we did desktop research on the CMA's service, and found that their salient attributes are individualized experiences provided via teaching artists who are trained to facilitate fun artistic activities with children, lots of art supplies and tools that parents themselves might not have at home, and a playful environment with multiple types of rooms and experiences for children to participate in.

We also read through the visitors' reviews online, and noticed there had been reported problems related to their kids' experience of attending workshops and the wait time.

Interviewing Stakeholders

We went on four field trips to observe how visitors interact with the museum space and the full Clay Bar experience. We also interview both staff members and parents to understand their experience and pain points with the Clay Bar.

User Journey Map & Focus Area: Entry

After listing all the problems we distilled from the interviews and observation, we mapped out the user journey to clarify the touch points, pain points, and opportunities for the 5 stages we identified: Discovery, Pre-Entry, Entry, Experience, Exit.

We decided to focus on the Entry stage because this is where the dip of the curve happens as shown below. The Entry stage is where visitors explore options, sign up for Clay Bar, and wait for Clay Bar. During this stage, visitors' emotion change drastically and there're several potential changes that could be adjusted to improve the overall experience. 

Define

Problem Areas

After identifying the focus area, we summarized the problem areas based on two user groups: CMA Staff & Visitors.

CMA STAFF

- Managing the chaos and clay bar lines

- Dealing with frustrated visitors

- Lower participation in other CMA stations

VISITORS

- Waiting in line multiple times to sign up

- Lack of transparency for session schedule

- Inconsistency of sign up processes

- Confusion between lines

Ideation

Co-Design with Stakeholders

For our co-design session, we created various cards with challenges and opportunities printed on them. They were separated by different stakeholder groups involved in the clay bar experience, such as parents (orange), concierge (purple), and instructor (blue). The gray cards represent different types of opportunities or events that could inspire participants to come up with potential solutions.

I led a co-design session at CMA with the Director of Programming, Media Lab Manager, & 2 Clay Bar Teaching Artists.  We first asked the participants to sketch out their low fidelity ideas on notecards individually, then ask them to group together and discuss ideas to combine similar solutions. 

The co-design session was really valuable in providing inspiring insights for us. We learned the specific challenges that each stakeholder group values, which helped us identify which areas we should prioritize. The session also produced good ideas that we used as inspiration for our ideations.

Solution 1: Scavenger Hunt

Out of the 3 solutions we proposed, my contribution was designing the scavenger hunt solution, which focuses on providing an alternative experience outside of the clay bar for children to explore and interact with the rest parts of the museum. 

Storyboard

Passport Card Design

(Graphic Design by Yuan Chen)

Problems solved

The Scavenger Hunt solution will solve the problems listed below. It provides parents and kids another way to explore and engage with other areas of the museum, outside of the clay bar. For those who still have interest in attending the Clay Bar, they can participate the scavenger hunt activities while they’re waiting to sign up or before their session time.

 

By showcasing other areas of the museum, it helps elevate other areas of the museum. The perception of value for clay bar may decrease, but the overall value of the museum increases. Creating more emphasis on other areas than the clay bar can also ease the disappointment of parents and their children if they’re unable to sign up for the clay bar. 

 

Execution & Service Blueprint

The execution of this solution requires CMA to 

1) Create a budget for printing materials. Based on our desktop research, the cost to print 5000 copies of customized passport cards ranges from $35-45. 

2) Update and create detailed content for the passport activities.

3) Train their staff in each room on the new workflow

I created an updated service blueprint for the Scavenger Hunt solution, adding in new front and backstage actions, evidence needed, support process and staff interactions. 

 

Risks & Mitigations

No solution is perfect. We also evaluated the potential risks and came up with mitigation plans as shown in the chart below. 

Below is the chart we created comparing all 3 solutions based on cost, human resource, implementation time and benefit.

Feedback & Next Steps

After proposing this solution plan to CMA, we received positive feedback and suggestions to improve the design.

“It is a cool idea to have a tool for wayfinding and engaging in experience for longer while you’re in museum”

                                            - Kirsten, Director of Programming

Besides CMA's comment, we also got constructive feedback from the critique panel during our final presentation, and we are considering adding a reward/prize section to our solution. To follow CMA's mission, we don't want to provide any gifts as incentive for children to participate. However, some type of celebration or acknowledgement for kids who actively engage in the activities could be an alternative way to make the experience more meaningful.

We learned that CMA is currently deploying a similar idea for their next seasonal exhibition. And our next step is to

1) Meet with the curator to discuss further on combining their concept with our footprint and passport idea

2) Confirm with CMA on their budget on printing materials

 

Key Takeaway

Examining the system & Thinking Outside of the Box

To solve a problem, we need to fist examine the system as whole and not stuck within the problem space. Changing the environment and offer alternative experiences could also be influential and important to solve the problem. 

Understanding the User and Service Mission

In a complex situation like this one where multiple stakeholder are involved, sometimes we need to dial back and understand the mission, salient attribute of the service, as well as the user group. When one of CMA's service encounters problems to achieve its mission, we should always remember the core is to bring children a meaningful learning and entertaining experience. 

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