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Project AR-t

"What am I looking at - in this picture? or wait, is this even a picture!


Ashley Varma
Anish Velagapudi
Satvik Vats


Experience Research 

Product Design

Product Management 


Creating an AR experience to supplement the modern museum experience and increase art awareness. 

The app is specifically crafted for immersion at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle. 


15 Weeks.

Defining the Why?


All the information is contained on a small plaque next to the piece. 

There is a divide between information presented in blurbs/anecdotes of art pieces and the connections a viewer has to make to understand what is being displayed in the gallery. 

To fix this, we will bridge that divide with accessible augmented technology in order to provide viewers with detailed explanations of the art pieces they see in museums. Satisfies the hunger for more knowledge! 

[This Project has been my vision since Freshmen year at college. I have always cherished art gallery visits & this idea kindled years earlier for me :D ]
Anchor 1

Marking the problem space

How might [museum visitors] achieve 

[more immediately available information] 

so that they can 

[have a better understanding of 

the art they are viewing]

Most of the museum visitors that don't have insights in the field of art. We have defined the broader problem space here and specified the end goal/the motivational factor. Let's explore it with focused user experience research. 




Anchor 2

Conducting Research 


There are approximately 850 million visits each year to American museums, more than the attendance for all major league sporting events & theme parks combined (483 million).



Interview with the expert 👩‍🏫

We conducted a semi-structured interview with
Angie Ong :) 


Museology Graduate Program
University of Washington


Angie have taught with the Museology Graduate Program for the past five years and focuses primarily on courses in the program’s Specialization in Evaluation. She also established and teaches the Museums & Technology class which neatly combines her experiences and interest in two familiar worlds.

Interview with Angie (Ashley. Angie. Satvik)
00:00 / 33:39

We conducted a series of interviews, surveys, observation visits and long *email threads* with; 

  • Frye Art Museum - Renate Raymond 

  • Seattle Art Museum 

  • iSchool - Jessica Luke 

  • Burke Museum 

  • Henry Art Gallery - Sylvia Wolf (Director) 

Thank you so much :) 


Exploring from the user's perspective 👁‍🗨 

Our objective while at the Henry Art Gallery;

  • Looking how labels relay information about the art?

    • What are they missing? 

    • How can we improve them?

    • How do they annotate?

  • Exploring the technicality of the app with the art.

    • What to scan?

    • How far should the user be?

    • What other factors will come into picture?

  • Learning about curators.

    • How long is the exhibition cycle?

    • When and how do they change the art pieces?

    • What validation do we need from them.

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[Look for art descriptions. FYI I am not in the video below; those are my genius team members(no pun intended)]
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[ Detailed notes & contacts we used during the research process ]


Analyzed the competitors & gathered some design inspiration! 


I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. Let your users get to know you.

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In addition to this, we conducted literature reviews & heuristic evaluations on different applications used in some of the museums around the world. It helped us learn more around the tech and gaps we can fill through our solution. 

Anchor 3

Envisioning the Solution;

An application showcasing information about the art pieces, its authors & exhibitions at the Henry gallery using with ease. It will compliment user's experience with a

map-view system, and help them navigate with ease.  

In order to give people a mindful solution to aid their experience, I want to show them broad enough information that will help them understand pieces beyond their plaques

  • Credible Information; To disseminate the amount of misinformation online about art pieces, I will turn to reputable sources for accuracy and authenticity

  • My approach is to create an interactive tool which a user can have open as they walk through gallery exhibit to identify paintings, their artists, and more background info about the piece.

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Anchor 4

Crafting the Solution 

Information Architecture. User-task flow. Prototype.  

Early exploration around how would the user flow through the information without feeling overwhelmed. This is where new ideas/functionalities were discussed and mended with the design flow. 

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Anchor 5

the iterations...

The prototype went through multiple iterations. There were four subsequent versions of the product. Each iteration went through usability testing & heuristic evaluation to shape the next version. Below is the first version/mockup of the product.  

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Homepage -
Map based navigation 

Navigation is an essential part of the app. It is important that users can

easily navigate through the massive gallery space,

stay informed about the exhibition and

explore art accordingly. 

Iteration One 

Iteration Two

Final Iteration

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[ From onboarding to global navigation to information cards, almost every screen went through multiple iterations upon testing. ]
final dessert

the final look 

A fresh way to explore 'The Henry Art Gallery'.  

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The Loop; Reflection  


Plan well; anything can happen! 

This has been a research rigorous project; from initial findings to extensive usability testing - research has played a vital role. While working on this project, pandemic (Covid-19) hit, which challenged us to pivot our scope and deadlines. Much of the design & development work was planned around observational studies that we would have conducted in the real world with daily visitors in the gallery.


With Covid restrictions we had to change the way we tested, collected data points, ran metrics and released the MVP. It was challenging & fun; pushing me as a designer, researcher & product manager! 

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