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

 

 

Kids testing the prototype
Kids testing the prototype

The children and teachers used the application to document their trip to the Depero Museum.

press to zoom

 

  • 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)

Device Distribution
Device Distribution

I accompanied the children on the field trip to the museum and explained how to use the application.

press to zoom
Kids interacting
Kids interacting

The children found ways to play and interact using the app. This taught me that we needed to introduce play and gamification in the next version.

press to zoom
Data Analysis Summary
Data Analysis Summary

A visual aid to explain the design and data analysis processes that my group added to the other app-development teams on the project

press to zoom
Hi-Fi Prototype Modification
Hi-Fi Prototype Modification

This is the homepage of the application which I adapted that was originally made in my adviser's lab for University students to use for Life-Logging

press to zoom
Qualitative Analysis Tags
Qualitative Analysis Tags

I used Grounded Analysis to analyze the photos the children took. I used NVIVO10 to tag the photos. This analysis formed the basis of my findings.

press to zoom
Focus of Photos in Museum
Focus of Photos in Museum

A chart I made from the tag breakdown used in the grounded analysis to describe the focus of the photos taken inside the museum

press to zoom
Activities in Photos in Museum
Activities in Photos in Museum

A chart showing which activities were most photographed inside the museum by the children.

press to zoom
Participatory Design Session
Participatory Design Session

During the Participatory Design brainstorming session I ran with the 19 children, I asked them to draw some futuristic tourism applications

press to zoom
Design Studio Facilitation
Design Studio Facilitation

I ran a workshop with fellow designers to brainstorm ideas and then organized the ideas on a continuum considering feasibility and novelty for game-like aspects to add to the children's application.

press to zoom
Storyboard for User Evaluation
Storyboard for User Evaluation

I came up with four scenarios, and created cartoon-like storyboards using www.pixton.com. These were used for User Evaluation with the same class. The storyboards were based on the ideas from the observation of the children using the app at the museum, their brainstorming session, and the Designer's workshop.

press to zoom