Sydney Aquarium Interactive Experience
This is an ongoing University project with a strong research focus. Presently in the ideation/protoyping stage we are focusing on creating an interactive digital, physical & tangible solution to engage the Young Adult audience (18-25 years). Our research has conclusively shown that they find the Aquarium to be a boring, static & purely visual experience. We are seeking to change that!
My role: UX Research, Ideation, Prototyping, Illustrations (with Yida)
Co-collaborators: Yida Tan, Keegan Haugh, Jason Moisiadis
To gather our qualitative research we used a methodology called "Context Mapping." This involves running intensive generative group sessions with the aim of unlocking key user insights and latent knowledge.
To do this we created and distributed a sensitising booklet which the participants were required to complete before the sessions. We worked with 10 young adults over the course of two different sessions.
Our qualitative data was analysed through the creation of an affinity diagram. Here is a small sample of the diagram we created:
Once our data was analysed and we had our research insights, we created an infographic to clearly display our user needs:
From the research it was clear that the Aquarium's lack of interaction was one of the considerable reasons why Young Adults found it to be a boring experience. We chose to focus on creating an interactive solution that connected them to the Aquarium's marine exhibit and met the Aquarium's educational and conservationist goals. We utilised a number of ideation exercises to generate our ideas and then individually created a user storyboard for 2 of our stronger ideas. Here are mine:
Interaction through Narrative
My first idea utilises a narrative approach to creative interactive experiences between the Aquarium visitors and the marine exhibit on display. Here the visitors are introduced to a dramatic story and are tasked with solving it using clues. These clues force the users to interact with the existing marine life on display through an Augmented Reality App on the users own phone. The clues also implicitly require the user to gain some information about marine animals that relates to the educational and conservationist goals of the Aquarium.
Bob, 20, decides to visit the Aquarium. Normally he finds it boring so he never goes. This time however he’s heard of a new interactive experience on offer.
Bob walks into the first room and watches an immersive display which introduces a story of Nemo. He watches in shock as Nemo is stolen.
The display continues to brief Bob on his role in finding Nemo. He is shown how to use the corresponding App and given a starting clue.
He sets off in search for his first clue. He was told the Grey Nurse shark might know of Nemo’s location. So he heads towards the large tank with the Shark exhibit.
Bob finds the large shark tank and uses the information touch screen to find out what Grey Nurse Shark’s look like.
Bob identifies the Grey Nurse shark in the tank and uses the Augemented Reality (AR) part of the App to touch the shark. The shark talks with Bob and gives him the next clue.
If Bob is getting stuck with a particular clue he is able to access “Clue hints” on the App after a certain time interval has elapsed.
Bob follows all the clues, interacts with the marine exhibit and learns more about the different types of marine animals. Perhaps most importantly, he finds Nemo!
Jade, 18, decides to visit the Aquarium with her friends. They have heard of a new interactive experience and are keen to check it out.
Jade walks into the Aquarium entrance where the game is being expalained. The users need to create their own aquarium by catching as many marine animals using a fun App.
Jade and her friends begin looking at the fish and find some they want to catch. Using the Augemented Reality (AR) part of the app they select what fish they want to catch.
Once selected the app enters into the ‘catch’ mode. Here the fish moves around and Jade needs to swipe with her fingers to try and catch it with her net.
Jade only has a limited number of nets of varying sizes. If she misses catching a fish, she is unable to try and catch it again for a designated time period. Luckily she catches it and it turns out to be a rare clownfish. This is worth extra points.
Jade really wants a swordfish but was unable to catch it. So she goes to the Trading area. This is a large touch screen where aquarium visitors can trade animals to get the ones they are missing. She trades one of her sharks for a swordfish.
Jade checks on the live scoreboard located around the Aquarium at various points. She is coming 5th overall but 2nd amongst her group of friends. She’s pretty happy.
Jade comes to the end of the Aquarium exhibit. She’s had a great time interacting with the marine life on display. She’s also excited to find out that her points tally makes her eligible for some cool prizes!
Interaction through Gamification
My second idea strongly employs gamification to create a fun and engaging interactions between the Aquarium visitors and the aquatic exhibit. Here the users are tasked with ‘creating the best Aquarium.’ To do so they are put in charge of the marine animals that they need to collect to make this become a reality. For this to occur the users must use the gamification App which is based on Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Check out the storyboard to find out more!