Glenstone Museum is a place that integrates art, architecture and nature into its serene environment. It’s current website is beautiful and responsive, but still showed areas that could be improved on, especially for its mobile site.
The app was tested with 3 users ranging from young to middle aged who all enjoy fine art. The interviews conducted helped look at the usability and clarity of the content. The users conducted the preliminary testing on the mobile website first so that I could observe their use of the site, and understand their behaviors and pain points.
Based on the user research, the most important problems were:
- The ‘Schedule a Visit’ bar on the mobile site just changes backgrounds
- Users wanted to schedule visits without so many steps in the process.
- Users were seeking easier navigation as the mobile website had too many options to what they were looking for.
- Search function wasn’t easy to find
This stage we are looking to simplify the steps to make navigation easier for the user. The app is providing value by ensuring they stay engaged in completing tasks without guidance.
This is the stage where creating low fidelity screens to understand the content and functionality is important before creating high fidelity content. This stage helps take into consideration the users needs.
Solving for the user:
Problem #01 – Scheduling a Visit CTA: The users had an issue with being unable to click on the “schedule a visit” bar on the mobile site. There seemed to be a glitch where it controlled the background images instead of taking the user to the page to register for tickets.
Solution: The application will have a full CTA button on the landing page. Compared to the mobile web where it’s located at the bottom, the CTA will be more prominent in the middle to engage users to schedule.
Problem #02 – Schedule a Visit Registration: The users felt the process was taking too many steps in wanting to schedule a visit on the mobile site. The mobile web registration forces the user 1) select their date and ticket, 2) confirm their date and ticket, 3) register for visitation and 4) reconfirm.
Solution: The mobile site had 4 steps to complete the transaction. The mobile app combined the processes into registration and confirmation.
The Mobile App:On the mobile app, you will only have to fill out all necessary items on one page. The next Page is just to confirm your information and a thank you.
Problem #03 – Navigation: The mobile site navigation feels minimal, but has a lot of options that the users weren’t familiar with. As first time users, they weren’t sure if they need certain features like Collection, Careers, or Past Exhibitions. Users felt these areas didn’t need to be on the main navigation, but maybe on the footer.
Solution: Understanding the user on how they navigated the mobile site, helped understand what area wasn’t needed. The idea was to bring the museum to the user, so being able to minimize certain areas of the site to the app was challenging but the user feedback helped understand the areas that weren’t of interest.
The Mobile Navigation: The mobile navigation became simplified so that when the landing page opens, the user is immediately taken to the installations that are On View. The menu bar has three options:
- Home – Universally understood
- (01) Menu – This is bringing the museum to the user with whats important: Art on View, Architecture, Nature and Outdoor Sculpture.
- (02) Info – This area is a simplified section just helping the user engage with email subscription, schedule a visit and more detailed museum information.
- (03) Museum Information – For more detailed information, this area is like the footer of a site. Helping a user plan their visit, what to expect, site maps, about, and more contact information.
Problem #04 – Where’s the search?: On the mobile web, the search function is not visible until you find it tucked away in the navigation bar. It’s also at the very bottom of the navigation where users had a difficult time finding it. The mobile web search page was also a little confusing as they didn’t see a CTA to search their inquiry.
Solution: To help users search the museum content, the search has been made visible in the top header nav of the app. The search page has also been updated to include helpful CTA of “search” so the user could have the choice of using their enter key, or using the search button to begin their inquiry.
Retrospective: Having user testing is so important to building a product. The feedback to understanding their behaviors and pain points ultimately helps in design decisions that will serve not just in aesthetics, but in functionality.
Certain features from the website just weren’t going to be able to fit into the app, as users weren’t sure if they needed areas like Careers, or Collection. The users only cared about registering for a ticket, what exhibits were happening, and general information they could share to their friends. Without observing them, these insights would of meant nothing.
I look forward to hearing more feedback in regards to making the application better down the road.