HAMMER

Made in LA

Augmented Reality Mobile Application
BACKGROUND
The Hammer Museum hosts an annual event called Made in LA that highlights emerging and under-represented artists in LA. As part of an ongoing series, the exhibition addresses Los Angeles as a center of activity inseparable from the global network of art production, revealing how artists move fluidly between contexts and respond to their local conditions.”
Leading up to the event, the Hammer wants to create a Mixed Reality product that will allow Angelinos to participate in building communal art (in the MR field) while exploring their city in new ways. The product will feature the neighborhoods each featured artist works in, and like Pokemon Go, the users will need to physically travel to those spaces to view the artist’s work, and co-create pieces in that space with others.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Client

HAMMER Museum

Target Audience

Angelinos aged 21-30

Goal

Create an augmented reality mobile application that allows Angelinos to participate in building communal art while exploring their city in new ways.

Challenge

How do we create an experience using augmented reality that meets user needs and client needs?

Role

UX Research & Design

Platform

Mobile

WHAT WE MADE

An adventure mobile app where users venture to  featured Artist Areas in  Los Angeles to contribute to and experience the  artist’s intention through their phone’s augmented reality capabilities.

FEATURES

Scenario

Nadia is walking her dog in Echo Park, walking down Sunset Blvd. As she crosses the street to get to the park, she hears a notification go off on her phone. She pulls out her phone to see that it is a notification from the Made in LA app she downloaded the night before when someone at DTLA artwalk told her about it. Having already browsed through the app briefly the night before, she had a vague sense of what was going on. Nevertheless, she opened her phone screen, and swiped through the onboarding directions and she began exploring the park and the sculptures left in the digital world by those before her.

HOW WE DID IT

Market Research

We sifted through research on existing augmented reality mobile applications to familiarize ourselves with the capabilities and current applications of mobile augmented reality tehnology. We also researched existing interactive art experiences to get a sense of how people are creating these and how people engage with these.

Contextual Inquiry

Our team visited the Hammer Museum during an event of a similar audience and purpose to learn and observe how people were engaging with the art.

User Interviews

We conducted several user interviews both on site at the HAMMER and remotely. We also developed and administered online surveys for users and artists. We wanted to understand people’s experience with art, with interactive art, and their experience with augmented reality. We wanted to know what people get from art, why they seek out art,  why artists shared their art. In understanding this about our users, we can better design an app that enhances the experience of interacting with art.

General Findings

"I’m bothered when art pieces don’t have descriptions because I like knowing the story behind the art" - Crystal, 26, UCLA, film composition
"The closer I can feel it it, the more I like it" - Crystal, 26, UCLA, film composition
"Even when I don’t fully understand the art piece, knowing more about the artist and the inspiration behind the piece really interests me" - Kiet

Users

It’s a better art experience for a person when they understand the art,  because they relate to it more, they connect with it more. They like knowing how it was created, why it was created, what inspired the artist.

Artists

Artists share art to release, to feel understood, for validation, to feel connection.

Ideation

There are several ways to execute this task, to create a way for people to cocreate in Artist Areas through Augmented Reality.
 
Based on the user research, we wanted to incorporate a way for the user to receive more information and understanding of the  artist and artist work and intention. Since we found that artists’  process and methodology is a valuable thing for users, we decided to make that information a reward and incentive to travel to these  Artist Areas in Los Angeles to interact and contribute. 
We designed a user flow of the user going to an artist zone and interacting in that space.
To better enhance the understanding of the artist’s art for the user, we decided to make each interactive augmented reality experience specific and unique to each Made in LA artist. We used an artist from the previous Made in LA event to demonstrate the concept.
We chose this sculptor who chooses materials who explore the concept of impermanence and permanence.
After they have completed the activity then they unlock that artist’s inside information.

User Testing

We did several rounds of prototype testing ranging from paper prototype to mobile
user testing.
Pain Points
  • Text too small
  • Confusing language
  • Onboarding instructions not clear
  • Didn't have a way to go back to
    landing page from map
Improvements
  • Larger text
  • Use consistent terminology
  • More clarity in onboarding instructions
  • Add a home button on map page
Video Walk Through
of Final Prototype