To those looking to experience art,

As someone who is interested in art as an educational activity and as a way to make new connections, you told me you needed a source for local art, and a method to documentation.

I know you use different resources like local museum newsletters, NYTimes Art, and travel sites, but with installations constantly moving around, nothing is exactly searchable for your needs at a specific place, on a specific date. You want to be able to search by date and location📍, identify art🧐, and document📓 works while you are on the go.

After our conversation, I sought out to find ways to empower engagement with neighborhood art communities, and how we might be able to achieve this on a user’s own time.

In my competitor research as well as interviews with people who frequent museums and art galleries, I discovered some key features that would aid in art discovery, identification, and documentation. We came up with the application, ArtQuest, which allows you to search for all current public art by location, bookmark items, and save those you’ve encountered.

I’m really excited for you to try the application – let me know how it works for you!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.‍

Only the best,


To discover public art, current available resources are limited to local government or cultural entities, permanent fixtures on maps, and travel guides.

This project seeks to uncover organic methods of learning about art; outside the museums, art and design schools, media we consume, there is art in our public spaces.
The Challenge
A student project to discover user needs and design a solution.

I chose to solve an area of need in the education space, and to design an MVP that serves as a directory of current public art.
The Scope
ArtQuest, end-to-end application
May — July 2023
80 hours
My Role

The Solution

Users are confident that ArtQuest can help them discover new art

People seek out and consume art to connect with their friends, artists, other cultures, history, and worlds; An outdoor public installation, or an indoor gallery, art show, or a museum, the environment affects the urgency of an experience, presence of a user’s focus, and in a moment, can shift the overall importance of a piece.
My usability tests suggest that users are indeed interested in an application that considers these variables, and this application provides them with a platform to discover art on their terms.

Next, we test new categories to aid in art discovery

In a future iteration, I would further discover categories that would be helpful in discovery of new art. Users may also be able to choose these categories according to their needs.

Thank you to all who have made this work possible

This project helped me understand how we can, through design thinking, empower engagement by better organizing and presenting a vast but niche directory of public art.

Primary Research

Competitor analysis

Key takeaways and questions

🍃 An outdoor public installation, indoor gallery, art show, or museum, the location affects the user’s experience.
How do users navigate these environments?
How can they be organized?
📀 Digital guides are great educational resources that provide a lot of insight for a user to understand the art.
How do users interact with these guides?
🧐 A means for identifying the art is a tricky feature not usually included in these applications or websites. Smartify’s scan feature, by employing the user’s camera makes it easy for users to quickly identify art as well keep a log of encountered art.
How do users identify art?
How do users keep art they’ve encountered?

User Interviews with 9 participants who experienced art this year to answer:

Why do users want to experience art?
How are users discovering art?
How do users like to experience art?

I can take forever sometimes to read descriptions.
I just want to go at my own pace you know?”
User comment on how they like to experience art

Research synthesis with an affinity map of user comments organized by:

The Process → What works → What doesn’t work → What it can be

Themes uncovered from affinity map

Theme 1

Connection 👈

Users seek out and consume art to connect with their friends, artists, other cultures, history, and worlds
Theme 2

Recs 📰

Users look to trusted and more knowledgeable sources like friends and art reviews for recommendations on such exhibitions
Theme 3

Environment 🍃

An outdoor public installation, or an indoor gallery, art show, or a museum, the location affects the urgency of an experience, presence of a user’s focus, and in a moment, can shift the overall importance of a piece
Theme 4

Personal engagement ❄️

Users vary widely in how much they value [the] art, which informs the distance they would travel, and resources they’re willing to spend towards the cost of participation

Overall learnings from research

Experiencing art is a deeply personal and unique endeavor. Artists, travelers, and students are presenting interest in an application that considers these variables and provides them with a platform to discover art on their terms.

User personas identified by “Why art?

Persona 1

For fun 🐬

To pass the time w/ a fun activity
Ways to learn about local art events
Pain Points
To experience the art at their own pace
Persona 2

To connect 🤝

To support an artist / their culture / group
To quickly and easily save / collect artworks encountered so they can stay present in the moment
Pain Points
No platform that can save all the artwork they’re interested in
Persona 3

For education 📓

To learn about the artist / subject area and obtain inspiration
A way easily identify and document artworks that need further researching at a later time
Pain Points
Can't find descriptions sometimes for public art

Key research questions answered

Why do users choose to experience art?
🗓️ Though their intent can vary from education to a fun weekend activity, their goal is one: To connect with people and places.
How are users discovering art?
🚀 Discovering art comes through word of mouth, and usually social media, and newsletters. These are resources that are not exhaustive and representative of the location they reside in or are visiting.
How do users like to experience art?
ℹ️ Users like experiencing art on their own, at their own pace; it's a meditative practice. But, they also love sharing their discoveries. People like to talk about an exhibit or artwork they’ve encountered and a keepsake like a picture of a highlight moment helps color the experience.
Project Commitment
For this project, I would like to explore ways to empower engagement with neighborhood art communities. See how a dedicated art directory can unify artists and art lovers all around the world.

Ideation & Definition

Storyboarding how a user might come to use this application

Looking for an outdoor activity for the weekend
Educational activities can cost a lot
New app helps users find a low cost weekend activity
Users can bookmark interesting public art
Users can play audio guides to learn about the art
Users can share with friends what they’ve discovered
Project Direction
Now that we’ve uncovered that experiencing art is a deeply personal and unique endeavor, we can frame our exploration:
How might we help users discover and learn about art on their own time?

Priority Roadmap

Connecting business problems with relevant user goals, to align our project goals

1. Facilitate users discovering art at any time of day
2. Facilitate users learning about the art at any time of day

Feature Roadmap of features that would excite users to discover new art around the world

Each feature is organized and tagged from high priority to inessential based on its role in helping our users discover and learn about art on their own time. Prioritization nomenclature is as follows:
1. Must-have
2. Nice to have
3. Surprising and delightful
4. Can come later

Project goals and priorities

A single source of truth for all current art in public display, an art directory, is necessary as users have scattered resources to discover local art.
Organization by map is helpful for travel related use-cases, and proving sentimental context. An example is Apple photos, which organizes a user’s photos on the world map as it relates to the user's holiday activities.
For users who like to consume art at their own pace, bookmarking features and art descriptions would empower them to learn at their leisure.

Information Architecture

Sitemap shows how the art directory, with 5 main features will be organized

As the function of this application is to serve as a directory of art in public spaces, the All Trails application is a directory of trails in public spaces. With this commonality in mind, the organization of exploration and bookmarking features were used as inspiration to build out this sitemap.


User flow shows opportunities in planning for an art encounter, as well as map area based search

Task flow shows opportunities in recording encountered art

Interaction & UI Design

Initial Sketches

Support users in discovering new art in their area
Theme and Location-based art recommendation and search
Structure & Flow
1. Search bar
2. Daily art feature
3. User’s location
4. Around the world
Motivate users to learn about new art in their own time
Users can collect art they’re interested in, these will be organized in various ways for retrieval
Structure & Flow
1. Places
2. Objects
3. Artists
Make it easy for users to look up art they are encountering
Map area-based search
Structure & Flow
1. Explore
2. Saved
3. Encountered

Lo-fi Wireframes

Encourage users to regularly return to application
Browse: daily updated recommendations
Structure & Flow
1. Art of the day
2. Art in the user’s location
Motivate users to learn about new art in their own time
Art details: relevant information to learn about art, and confidently share the art
Structure & Flow
1. Images
2. Artist profile
3. Details
4. Location
5. Bookmark
6. share
Facilitate engagement with art in different use-cases
Bookmark: allow users to review the art they saved in various contexts
Structure & Flow
1. Places
2. Artists
3. Objects
4. Recently viewed

Hi-fi Mockups

Design pattern 1
Purpose and function
Group art by different categories for quick browsing
Design pattern
Icon + Text
Purpose and function
Icons were necessary for quick scanning of art details, but alone were not self explanatory
Design pattern 1
Scrub to map area
Purpose and function
Search saved art by map area
Design pattern
Default live view
Purpose and function
User location can be used to locate art in the area
Design pattern
Art detail modal
Purpose and function
User can see details and mark as encountered
Design pattern 1
Purpose and function
Organize bookmarked art by different tags to aid in retrieval by recognition
Design pattern 1
User's method
Purpose and function
User can find an item and mark as encountered from explore, saved, or my map



Orange and purple is the electric color scheme of ArtQuest, with neutral blues and greens as a strong base for this cool energy.


Variable fonts Inter for most text, with Archivo for display text


A and Q in the placement of a sun rising behind a mountain. The tail of Q is the right stroke of the A, which thickens to make a path that marks the start of a quest.

Testing & Iterations

Moderated usability tests with 4 participants who actively sought out art experiences this year

Goal of test
To access how the application assists a user in finding public art in their local area, save art they find interesting, and retrieve saved items when needed
Participant details
4 moderated tests with users who are interested in art
Test details
Participants were asked to work through tasks related to the art profiles: bookmark, find in bookmarks folder, mark as encountered

Results and key takeaways

1. The explore page with different categories help users browse a wide range of art for the day’s particular needs.
2. Users have their own way of finding their bookmarked items, these different flows must be supported.

ArtQuest’s users can be best represented by the persona who seeks out art to connect.

This user’s goal is to support and uplift people, by showing up for their work. Users noted they feel as though they are being exposed to a wide range of art, and that they could confidently make plans to visit and experience the art.

We will break down the elements that led to our users’ success and failure in the next section.


Usability analysis of feature 1

Browse 📚

User success! ✅
Though browsing in this manner is a great way to get started, categories like ‘Around the World’ may be too broad, and not accessible
Separate out more categories by specific location, extending out from a users location and allow for users to categories to follow
Usability analysis of feature 2

Bookmark 🏷️

User success! ✅
The presence of ‘bookmark’ icon + ‘encountered’ button causes confusion and extra cognitive load. Not a problem at this stage, later tasks suffer due unclear expectations between the two features.
Focus actions towards bookmarking an item first, then they will unlock the ability to ‘encounter’ this item.
Usability analysis of feature 3

Saved →
find item 🔍

Needs improvement ⚠️
Even with the item sitting in recents, users search in the way they feel most comfortable.
These different groups help a user find their item any which way; allow for users to perform basic tasks from each section.
Usability analysis of feature 4

Map → mark as encountered ☑️

Needs improvement ⚠️
Users find current map functions limiting, and unsure about capabilities and differences between quest & map tab.
Use clear language like ‘saved’ and ‘my map’ instead. Allow for same type of exploration in a different format for ‘my maps’ instead of exclusively saved and encounters.

Priority Revisions

Language updates
Quest (tab) → Saved

Your Map (tab) → My Map
Research Insight
Users had trouble distinguishing the function of Quest and Map by name
Bookmark not activated
Bookmark activated
Function change
Encounter button (visible) → (hidden), visible on trigger
Research Insight
We lighten cognitive load using progressive disclosure; the encountered button appears only after a user shows interest in the item by bookmarking
Function change
Map tab showed different views of encountered art (map, grid) →
Map tab shows map view of different levels of relevant items, from broad to specific (all, saved, encountered)
Research Insight
Users desired more functionality from the map: ways to discover art as well as revisit encountered

Try the prototype

BackgroundThe SolutionPrimary ResearchIdeation & DefinitionPriority RoadmapInformation ArchitectureInteraction & UI designTesting & Iterations