The Zoo

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iOS/ANDROID APP DESIGN

iOS/ANDROID APP DESIGN

iOS/ANDROID APP DESIGN

iOS/ANDROID APP DESIGN

Fun, Educational,

and Explorative

Photo of Screens

The Client

Conservation Activists

The role of zoos in conservation continues to grow and with it so do their needs; they provide space for breeding programs and allow researchers to study species that may not be found in the wild. In addition, zoos help educate visitors about wildlife and conservation efforts, which can increase support for conservation overall. They heavily rely on donations, city/state aid, and ticket purchases from zoo visitors to continue funding these programs.

The Challenge

How Do We

Encourage Learning?

To increase engagement and understanding of wildlife's vulnerability, public learning about them is vital. Zoos can host tours and interactive events, but those are expensive, and not all tour guides are built with the same drive and passion; this leaves us with a particularly hard question to answer: How do we create something that encourages or gives new ways for visitors to learn more about the animals and events at a zoo?  I was given this challenging task and worked on all aspects of the design which included its visual, UX, and motion design.

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The Solution

The Zoo iOS App

The Solution

The Zoo iOS App

The Zoo app provides a mesmerizing experience, allowing guests to connect with the animals, learn their stories, and discover local events. The Zoo app extends the zoo's reach beyond its physical footprint bringing itself into the modern era. The app provides users with information on animals, ongoing or current conservation efforts, and stewardship while also providing additional revenue opportunities via ticket sales to events.

The Research

Secondary

Research Studies

The big question at the beginning of our research was “What do users value from their visit?”  In our initial process, I thought that being able to read plaques and see animals was a sufficient visit. In a closely related research study on this topic, it was shown that out of 500 people, only 16 families with children under 18 read plaques. This threw me for a loop as I knew plaques were some of the easiest ways to get information out to the public and without them there would be a heavy emphasis on the keepers and tours. I began gathering surveys and user interviews to confirm if this particular study was true and if so, we would need to pivot our focus.

The Research

Secondary

Research Studies

The big question at the beginning of our research was “What do users value from their visit?”  In our initial process, I thought that being able to read plaques and see animals was a sufficient visit. In a closely related research study on this topic, it was shown that out of 500 people, only 16 families with children under 18 read plaques. This threw me for a loop as I knew plaques were some of the easiest ways to get information out to the public and without them there would be a heavy emphasis on the keepers and tours. I began gathering surveys and user interviews to confirm if this particular study was true and if so, we would need to pivot our focus.

The Research

Secondary

Research Studies

The big question at the beginning of our research was “What do users value from their visit?”  In our initial process, I thought that being able to read plaques and see animals was a sufficient visit. In a closely related research study on this topic, it was shown that out of 500 people, only 16 families with children under 18 read plaques. This threw me for a loop as I knew plaques were some of the easiest ways to get information out to the public and without them there would be a heavy emphasis on the keepers and tours. I began gathering surveys and user interviews to confirm if this particular study was true and if so, we would need to pivot our focus.

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My Approach

What Was Important

to Users?

My Approach

What Was Imporant to Users?

My Approach

What was important

to Users?

When it comes to learning, the most important thing you need to let your users have is the freedom to explore what they want, and not force the information on them. They need to feel as though the learning is tailored to them if we want them to remember their visit and the effort the zoo makes. 


Throughout this project, users were adamant about being able to read more about animals; it was mentioned 37 times in total. I started by creating designs that focused on the animals and their journeys both at the zoo and in the wild and gave the user the freedom to explore that journey.

The Design

What Did Users Want?

Detailed Information About Animals.

Give information like the animal's backstory, diet, habitat, vulnerability, and conservation efforts.

Explore and Find More Information.

Add ways for users to discover and find more information throughout the app.

Ways to Purchase and Schedule Events.

Design a purchase ticket screen and schedule event tabs to allow visitors to utilize all activities.

These features needed to be included in the final design to meet the expectation zoo visitors had. To accomplish this, I needed to start thinking about how users would flow through the app and develop these screens first.

The Usability Test

5 Users

30 Mins

6 Tasks

The Usability Test

5 Users

30 Mins

6 Tasks

I tested the app with 5 different users giving them 6 different tasks, 2 of them in-person and 3 remotely. Their feedback throughout the test was extremely crucial as I purposely gathered people I knew who were non-tech savvy and tech-savvy. This would allow me to see the app's flaws and see where I could improve on making it more universal.


Based on user input, I realized that the park map really had everything a home screen would need and users felt the same way. I was also able to see how users interacted with the design. I initially created just enough screens to complete the task that I believed was the most optimal but I very quickly realized users felt other methods were the correct way to get to A-Z. The app didn’t give users enough clarity on how to complete their tasks.

Original

Redesign

Original

Redesign

The Redesign (1 of 3)

Plaque Redesign

The Redesign (1 of 3)

Plaque Redesign

The Redesign (1 of 3)

Clarity and

More Screens

During testing, I noticed that when users tried to find their way to a task, it took them longer than I expected. This was likely due to the fact that my design lacked clarity and was beginning to clutter the user. To solve this problem, I removed some of the clutter and made it possible for users to have an audio player by selecting a tab. I removed the orange color as it clashed with our CTAs and reworded the tabs so that users could assume what content would be there upon selection.

Original

Redesign

Redesign

The Redesign (2 of 3)

Where’s Home?

The Redesign (2 of 3)

Clarity and

More Screens

After completing certain tasks, I would purposely introduce a new task that would require them to navigate back to the park map. However, to my surprise, 5 out of 5 users selected the home button on the bottom tab. When I asked why they performed the action, users simply stated “It feels like home”, and  “I thought it was home; if it isn’t, it should be.” Although a small change, it was important to understand that users want this pretty park map screen to be where they called home.

Original

Redesign

Original

Redesign

The Redesign (3 of 3)

How Much Is That?

The Redesign (3 of 3)

How Much Is That?

Users made the app their own by bringing habits they had from the real world. The most common reason for selecting the pricing tab was "I like to see the price before purchasing something. It made complete sense but it was something so small I didn’t originally think of it. I decided to add a new tab that lets users view pricing before purchasing with updated colors and floating buttons for easy access.

Usability Test #2

5 Users

30 minutes

6 Tasks

The Redesign (2 of 3)

Clarity and

More Screens

In our second round of usability testing, we did not encounter many issues. Most of the feedback we received was quite wide-ranging and there wasn’t a central theme this time around. The main issues from users involved zooming in and out of the map. I was not able to create this using Figma—a limitation that didn’t come up during my initial user testing. However, I was able to bring in users from my user interviews to help with completing my second round of testing and these users were ecstatic about seeing their feedback on screen, as well as having a chance to explore the app themselves. They thought the app felt fun and super interactive!

Usability Test #2

5 Users

30 minutes

6 Tasks

In our second round of usability testing, we did not encounter many issues. Most of the feedback we received was quite wide-ranging and there wasn’t a central theme this time around. The main issues from users involved zooming in and out of the map. I was not able to create this using Figma—a limitation that didn’t come up during my initial user testing. However, I was able to bring in users from my user interviews to help with completing my second round of testing and these users were ecstatic about seeing their feedback on screen, as well as having a chance to explore the app themselves. They thought the app felt fun and super interactive!

The Result
A Fun and Educational App

The Result
A Fun and Educational App

Conclusion

Valuable Lessons

Conclusion

Valuable Lessons

Summary:


This project was so much fun and challenging. I specifically chose the zoo out of my love and passion for animals in wildlife. This project helped me understand how to pivot throughout a project and how you can come into a problem with an assumption and be totally wrong. It was truly a great way for me to work on my UX Research as well as create a narrative.



Key Takeaways:



Do not come into a project with pre-solutions

  1. I think this is the hardest part of my job as a designer and problem solver. I hear a problem and immediately want to solve it, but research in this project taught me how crucial it is to create products that users need and want.


Previous research isn’t always correct

  1. When finishing my secondary research, I began believing plaques would not be a viable solution to this issue. However, I should have looked at it from a different perspective; Why did only 16 families read the plaque? What was wrong with the plaque or the environment?


Release in versions

  1. I wanted to introduce more features and concepts, but I realized it's important to get the key screens down first. If I can master the key screens with users, the rest will fall into place as their familiarity with the layout will remain consistent throughout the app.

Summary:


This project was so much fun and challenging. I specifically chose the zoo out of my love and passion for animals in wildlife. This project helped me understand how to pivot throughout a project and how you can come into a problem with an assumption and be totally wrong. It was truly a great way for me to work on my UX Research as well as create a narrative.



Key Takeaways:



Do not come into a project with pre-solutions

  1. I think this is the hardest part of my job as a designer and problem solver. I hear a problem and immediately want to solve it, but research in this project taught me how crucial it is to create products that users need and want.


Previous research isn’t always correct

  1. When finishing my secondary research, I began believing plaques would not be a viable solution to this issue. However, I should have looked at it from a different perspective; Why did only 16 families read the plaque? What was wrong with the plaque or the environment?


Release in versions

  1. I wanted to introduce more features and concepts, but I realized it's important to get the key screens down first. If I can master the key screens with users, the rest will fall into place as their familiarity with the layout will remain consistent throughout the app.

Summary:


This project was so much fun and challenging. I specifically chose the zoo out of my love and passion for animals in wildlife. This project helped me understand how to pivot throughout a project and how you can come into a problem with an assumption and be totally wrong. It was truly a great way for me to work on my UX Research as well as create a narrative.



Key Takeaways:



Do not come into a project with pre-solutions

  1. I think this is the hardest part of my job as a designer and problem solver. I hear a problem and immediately want to solve it, but research in this project taught me how crucial it is to create products that users need and want.


Previous research isn’t always correct

  1. When finishing my secondary research, I began believing plaques would not be a viable solution to this issue. However, I should have looked at it from a different perspective; Why did only 16 families read the plaque? What was wrong with the plaque or the environment?


Release in versions

  1. I wanted to introduce more features and concepts, but I realized it's important to get the key screens down first. If I can master the key screens with users, the rest will fall into place as their familiarity with the layout will remain consistent throughout the app.

Summary:


This project was so much fun and challenging. I specifically chose the zoo out of my love and passion for animals in wildlife. This project helped me understand how to pivot throughout a project and how you can come into a problem with an assumption and be totally wrong. It was truly a great way for me to work on my UX Research as well as create a narrative.



Key Takeaways:



Do not come into a project with pre-solutions

  1. I think this is the hardest part of my job as a designer and problem solver. I hear a problem and immediately want to solve it, but research in this project taught me how crucial it is to create products that users need and want.


Previous research isn’t always correct

  1. When finishing my secondary research, I began believing plaques would not be a viable solution to this issue. However, I should have looked at it from a different perspective; Why did only 16 families read the plaque? What was wrong with the plaque or the environment?


Release in versions

  1. I wanted to introduce more features and concepts, but I realized it's important to get the key screens down first. If I can master the key screens with users, the rest will fall into place as their familiarity with the layout will remain consistent throughout the app.

5 Users
30 mins