Augmented Reality in Museums

The Tourify Project aims to revolutionize the traditional museum experience by using the power of augmented reality (AR) technology. This innovative concept transforms the way visitors engage with the museum, offering a highly immersive, interactive, and personalized journey through the exhibits. By integrating AR into the museum experience, the project redefines the visitor's understanding of history and culture.
Ethan Dith, Designer
RJ Mao, Designer
Evan Hoang, Designer
Project Duration
10 Weeks
The Problem

Not enough engagement within the museum

  • The Edmonds Historical Museum currently heavily relies on physical artifacts and exhibits, limiting visitor immersion and interaction.
  • The museum's low return rate is directly associated with its outdated and physically reliant exhibits.
  • Visitors can explore most of the museum in a couple of hours, leaving little incentive for a return visit, as much of the museum remains unchanged.
The Solution

Goals & Objectives

  • Revamp the Edmonds Historical Museum, making it more appealing, engaging, and inclusive for the entire community using cutting-edge digital technology.
  • Introduce digital exhibits that are easy to use for tech novices to tech-savvy youth and people of diverse backgrounds.

Understanding the users

Museum visitor experience is a critical aspect of cultural institutions. To address this, we conducted an observational study, focusing on the behaviors of visitors. This research aims to explore the effectiveness of interactive exhibits.
Opportunity for Research and Design (Research Findings):
  • Many museum goers were smartphone users and would often use their devices to interact with the museum in a non-direct way.
  • Lack of a younger audience at the museum.
  • How will we implement augmented reality for mobile phone users to enhance their engagement with the museum?

Younger audiences have a greater understanding of technology

To further guide the design and research process for our project we aimed at enhancing museum visitor experience through interactive exhibits for younger audiences.

Targeted Stakeholders:

  • Museum Visitors who are seeking an educational approach
  • Museum Board of Directors who value a cost effective approach
  • The City of Edmonds who desires to increase cultural engagement

Choosing a design direction

We envision a transformative design direction for the Edmonds Historical Museum, leveraging more advanced technology to redefine the museum experience. Our goal is to create an engaging, immersive, and inclusive journey through the exhibits, catering to a diverse audience ranging from tech novices to the tech-savvy and people of varied backgrounds.
Initial Concepts
VR Tours
Virtual tours and 3D renders of artifacts.
AR Tours
Gamification and virtual tours.
Sensory Exhibits
Interactive visuals and sounds.
Final Concept
AR implementation was chosen due the cost limitations and versatility of smartphones using AR.

Key features to implement

  • Seamless Navigation with a Digital Tour Guide
  • Scannable artifacts through smartphone AR implementation
  • Narrative text descriptions for artifacts & exhibits
  • Gamification through scavenger hunts & achievements

Initial Mockup

The initial design reflects some of the key features that we plan to implement in the final product. Although the scavenger hunt was created to enhance the user's experience at the museum, we did not include the scavenger hunt in the initial mockup as we wanted to focus on the core features of the app.
Testing + Improvements

Iterationing on user feedback

After receiving feedback from our peers and instructor doing User Testing using Neilsen's 10 Heuristics, we decided to make some changes to our initial design.
  • Remove redundant features with in the maps
  • Created onboarding screens to help first time users understand how to use the app
  • Added scavenger hunt feature to the app to increase user engagement
  • Work closer together to make a more cohesive design
Removal of redundant features
  • Map Key and help is not needed
  • Location is already shown on the map
  • Added scavenger hunt feature to the app to increase user engagement with historical artifacts

Final Screens

Next Steps:

  • QR Code Integration: We would like to add QR codes to the artifacts and exhibits so more users that do not have AR enabled phones can access them.
  • Social Network: We would like to implement a networked social feature to the app so users can share their experiences with others and have created a competitive edge to the scavenger hunt.
  • Business Implementation: We would like to make the app more accessible to other museums, allowing different museums to upload information regarding their museum, allowing for a one museum navigation app.
Conclusion + Lessons

What I would do differently next time...

The overall process was very fascinating, being able to work with real stakeholders of a museum. This not only helped me further develop my skills not only in UX design but in UI design.
  • Iterations - If we were given additional time, I would like to have done user testing at least one more time. This would have helped us minimize some of the remaining user pain points.
Explore other work!
Dear Digital Equity
© Ethan Dith