About Atlanta Beltline

The Atlanta BeltLine is a sustainable emerging system of parks, trails, transit and development that is reclaiming a 22-mile loop of historic rail lines around the city’s core.
Learn more about Beltline

Problem

How might we improve the art experience on the Atlanta Beltline?

My Role

Michelle and I finished all the work together, spliting each part of the work into halves:
1) Completed the below research activities: observed on the trails, finished basic online research, condcuted 11 semi-structured interviews, created stakeholder relationship map and did competitive analysis on similar projects in US.
2) Synthesized the research results into empathy maps, personas, user journeys and key insights.
3) Analyzed the Atlanta Beltline's current brand system and designed the new sub-brand system for our project.
4) Finished half of the mockups and prototype.
5) Held feedback sessions and concept testing with target users. Iterated on the design.

Duration

September 2018 - November 2018

Project Team

Huaiwei Sun | Michelle Ma

Tools

Photoshop | Sketch | inVision | Framer

Process


Overview of Research

In order to capture users' current pain points and other unmet needs, we combined qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect both broad and in-depth data to better understand the users.

Field Observation & Online Research

During the field observation and online research, we mainly found 4 pain points.

1. The art information is hard to get on the trail. Signage is missing or hard to find.
2. The physical touch points (brochure, booklet, flyers, signage, etc) can hardly add to the interaction between the art work and visitors.
3. Without a powerful automation tool, it's hard for two Beltline employees to manage all the arts' and artists' information.
4. Websites and interactive maps could not provide a holistic experience for visitors.

2017 Exhibition Facts

According to our research, there are only 2 coordinators/administrators who currently manage the program, communicate with the artists, operate and maintain the channels that touch the visitors and general public.

Two Different Websites for Atlanta Beltline with overlaps

Atlanta Beltline website covers different aspects of this urbran redevelopment project, including information about arts, while Art on the Atlanta Beltline website focuses on the art information.

Current Interactive Map

Currently, Atlanta Beltline uses a customized Google Map. There are many small glitches and the experience is not well integrated into the overall journey visitors go through when they are on the trails.


Semi-structured Interviews

We talked to our client first, Chris Langley - Arts and Culture Program coordinator. Then we went to the eastside trail and recruited 10 other stakeholders. During the interviews, we collected the pain points and people's needs related to the experience of arts.


Stakeholder Relationship Map

Based on the interviews and online research, we grouped and mapped all the stakeholders onto this relationship map. The insights included:

1. Since Atlanta Beltline is a non-profit project, it's important to consider different stakeholders' incentives which might be totally different.
2. People's needs also vary a lot. In terms of visitors, there are already different groups, including frequent users like bikers, joggers and infrequent users like local or non-local visitors. It's important to segment clearly and focus on the targeted group.


Competitive Analysis

We studied 3 trails or public art exhibition programs in US and compared them with Atlanta Beltline using different metrics. The things Beltline should learn from them include:

1. Enhance the interactivity and accessibility of the arts. Stick to two of the Atlanta Beltline's principles: equitable and inclusive.
2. Rethink about the sub-brand: Art on the Atlanta Beltline. Ensure a consistent and strong brand presence to the audience.
3. Provide a coherent visiting experience. Fullfill different needs people may have during their visits on the Beltline trails.


Synthesis of Findings

In order to capture users' current pain points and other unmet needs, we combined qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect both broad and in-depth data to better understand the users.

Specific Problems to Solve

Empathy Maps & Personas

Based on the data we have, we created the empathy maps and personas to better empathize with and represent the different user groups.


Current User Journeys

We used user journey maps to help us locate the pain points in the entire journey and focus on improving the holistic service and experience rather than a single website.


Ideation

To tackle the pain points, we brainstormed first and concluded with 3 features.

Concept

A redesigned Art on the Atlanta Beltline website automating the information (arts, adjacent busuiness, history, events, parks, etc.) management process and extracting and bringing all the value of the information to the visitors.

Concept Feedback

Based on the information architecture, we came up with the wireframes and flows. However, we tweaked some functions and revised the information architecture in order to better satisfy the product requirement document.


Prototype - Service Blueprint

Based on the information architecture, we came up with the wireframes and flows. However, we tweaked some functions and revised the information architecture in order to better satisfy the product requirement document.


Prototype - Brand System

After reaching consensus on wireframes and flows, we created hifi prototypes. We didn't use inVision or other softwares to make the prototype. We manually showed all the screens and interactions on my laptop during the team review.

Brand Keywords Extraction

Moodboards

Logo Design


Prototype - Physical Touchpoints


Prototype - Digital Touchpoints


Solution


Concept Testing


Iterations

Based on the feedback from concept testing, we iterated on our design.

Visual Design

User flow - how to collect the business information

Language and User flow - how to group the information update requests

Considerations of accessibility


Final Design

One-stop Information Hub for Visitors

No matter what devices the visitors are using, they are able to find the information they are interested in in a flash

Map and Interactive System

Interactive map provides visitors with more capability to find the information based on their locations. Visitors could also interact with artists and other visitors by liking places or leaving comments

Map and Interactive System

Interactive map provides visitors with more capability to find the information based on their locations. Visitors could also interact with artists and other visitors by liking places or leaving comments

Collaborative Information Update System

Artists could submit update requests of their artwork or their profile information. Atlanta Beltline's Admin will review and decide whether on approve the update requests

Collaboration empowered by mobility

Artists and Atlanta Beltline's Admin could collaborate to complete update processes anywhere with the help of the optimized mobile site which greatly speeds up the processes

Collaboration empowered by mobility

Artists and Atlanta Beltline's Admin could collaborate to complete update processes anywhere with the help of the optimized mobile site which greatly speeds up the processes


Future Work


Reflection

1.Consider different stakeholders' needs and their relationships

Different stakeholders might have conflicting interests and needs. As designers, we should learnto prioritze and strive to find a balanced solution to satsify the different stakeholders as much as possible.

2.Not only about digital touchpoints. Think about the entire journey and experience.

Your brand's and product's user experiences don't only matter when the customers start to use the websites or apps, but also matter before and after they use your products. It should cover all they know about, try, use, comment, recommend your products. The user journey and service blueprint are good tools for me to consider all the touchpoints and different experiences.

3.Build the MVP quickly and validate it to persuade the clients.

What client cares about is how valuable the design is to the customers rather than how smooth the flow is or how fancy the interaction is. Within the limited period of time, I should understand the key value of the concept and embody it in our MVP design. After testing the MVP with the real customers, it's much easier to persuade the clients to buy in with the real numbers and feedback.