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Ethnography (Master's Thesis)

As my Master’s Thesis project, I created a plan for a mobile application that aims to improve the tourist experience in the Trentino region of Italy. I was responsible for a proof-of-concept case study with elementary school children as well as design and evaluation of pedagogical game elements. 


The Problem:

Currently, no single application exists that brings together the entire Trentino region in an accessible way to tourists. Very few tourism applications engage children as primary users. Children as tourists, and users of mobile applications is not well understood.


The Objective:

Needed to validate the concept that this application is relevant for children by exploring the design space between children’s behaviors, interactions, motivations and the context of tourism, mobile apps, and teaching about Trentino. I then determined how to introduce pedagogical game elements that may appeal to children and encourage learning. I derived a list of design suggestions for creating such an application.


My Contribution:

  • Organized class field trip

  • Defined modifications to application prototype to suit children

  • Prepared devices with children’s safety in mind

  • Took field notes and gathered direct feedback

  • Analyzed the data using grounded analysis and NVIVO10




  • Used participatory design techniques

  • Analyzed the data using grounded analysis

  • Conducted a brainstorming session

  • Organized, created, and conducted a designer workshop

  • Created storyboards to present scenarios to children

  • Ran User Evaluations through small focus groups 


Work Samples and Process photos (click to enlarge)

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