The first half of my time with the Studio was a whirlwind of design, iterations, reading, reflecting, and revising. I spent most days alone in a cubicle staring at a screen working alone and made rapid progress (as I shared here). The second half of my project transitioned from getting my ideas out of my head and into a shareable form and into a group project with multiple stakeholders, collaborators, and advisers. Progress may have slowed down, but we still made progress.
First, I showed my wireframe to the research team I am a part of to receive feedback from academics. We mostly talked about adding more verbs, giving users a call to action, and thinking about culturally relevant pedagogy.
Then I went out to the Children’s Museum and spoke with the director, assistant director, and the education program coordinator. I had planned to speak with people a little lower in the hierarchy, but they were all excited to see the work I had started. Their excitement around the possibilities for the app made me feel like I was headed in the right direction. They had helpful feedback around how to get more people using the app (such as having a tablet on site that they can preview it on), suggested ways to help it tie to the community and home in case people cannot make it to the museum, and offered to help develop content and provide photos as the project moves forward.
Feeling good, I brought my work to Alyssa Varner, a graphic designer at the Studio. After walking her through my work and stressing that these were rough sketches and that I had not put much thought into the layout beyond using the color pallet from the Children’s Museum, Alyssa gave me a few pointers about graphic design and offered to provide some updated visuals. They are beyond beautiful and took the images out of my head and put them on the screen. Be sure to compare her work in this post to mine in the last post to really appreciate the work she did.
While my time is wrapping up at the Studio, this project will hopefully live on. I plan on working with the Studio and the Children’s Museum to find funding to turn this project from an idea into a reality. If things go to plan, it will be out there and ready for use next summer. While I really wanted to share what this might look like at the Children’s Museum, I was unable to make it out there this week. Instead, the short video below highlights what an app like this could mean for families visiting a natural history museum. The concepts are the same, but the setting is a little different.