Logo Cap Sciences

Service Design Workshop — Cap Sciences

Client: a 5 day UX Design training workshop — Digital Campus Bordeaux & Cap Sciences
Date: 3 February 2019
My Role: team lead, research, design

01. Overview

Cap Sciences is an exhibition center dedicated to Scientific, Technical and Industrial culture in Bordeaux. All year long they present several exhibitions and their program changes regularly. They also host workshops for children and adults, have their own Fab Lab, and offer working space access to businesses.

Brief
For this 5 day workshop Cap Sciences asked us to optimize the global guidance of the exhibition center.

My Role
I was part of a group of 6 people. I co-lead the team with another girl. I was involved during all phases of the project: identifying and defining the problem, coming up with solutions, modelling a prototype and presenting them to the client.

02. User Research — Explore and Define

The main constraint we faced during the project was time. We only had a week, so we decided to suggest solutions for only one or two major issues — once they’d be defined.

From the start we imagined we were on a tight budget, so the team agreed that any major building redesign was not an option, and that we’d stick to realistic and easy to implement solutions.

Prior to the project, not everybody in the group had been to Cap Sciences and knew the building, so before getting ready to write down questionnaires for the interviews we would be conducting on site, we brainstormed on various hypotheses to investigate.

Today’s visitors typology is comprised of:
– Schools: teachers book reservations for children to come in groups and attend exhibits and workshops.
– Individuals: people either book a ticket online for a particular exhibit, or simply come in and buy a ticket. They also can get access to the Fab Lab.
– Businesses: groups can make a reservation for dedicated working spaces.

Preparation

Brainstorming allowed us to clearly see that we had two very different types of users: the visitors and the employees.
We came up with two dedicated questionnaires that would focus on each type’s activities, behaviors, needs and expectations.

Observation & Guerilla Interviews

We had only one afternoon at Cap Sciences, so we opted for a « Guerilla » type interview in a semi-open format. We separated into 2 groups, each focusing on either the visitors or the employees. The idea was to collect a maximum of data about each group, and see if there was global feedback that would emerge from both.


I was part of the group that focused on employees. I interviewed 3 people at three different job positions. In total with my team we interviewed 7 people, during the afternoon, and jotted down many observations of employees and visitors.

Analysis

Back in class the next day, the entire class (11 people) collected all the data we had all gathered — making it much more than what each group had collected.

Every idea and item from both the employees and the visitors was written on post-its, allowing us to easily classify them into themes.

Organizing Data – Identifying Problems

Some of the items we collected include:

Choosing which problems to solve

Now that the questions were much more defined, we chose to develop solutions to better the experience of the visitors.
It was clear that a better experience for visitors would have a positive impact for both visitors and employees.

Then we picked the section of the Center we would focus on. We decided on the entrance area (outside and inside).

We drew the user flow of visitors and detected 6 opportunities for improvement:

Upon entering:
1 – They cannot find information about the place outside of the building
2 – They enter the building and are immediately in between two waiting lines
3 – They randomly pick a waiting line and try to read the signs and boards on the far walls
=> There is confusion, a lack of direction and a lack of information.

After ticket purchase:
4 – They don’t know where to wait for the exhibit they have tickets for
5 – The employee greeting them tell them all of the instructions for the exhibit at once
=> There is a lack of direction and too much information and instructions given all at once.

After an exhibit
6 – They want to see the second exhibit but don’t know where to go or they want to leave but can’t find the exit
=> There are no clear, visible and legible orientation signs.

Two clear themes emerged:
– Management of people flow
– Visibility and legibility of orientation signs

Persona and User Flow

We created the « ad-hoc »persona of a visitor, and wrote down their experience flow from the data we had collected and organized on post-its.

02. Ideation & Mockup — Develop and Deliver

Prototyping Solutions with the Design Studio Method

Now that we knew what problems to solve, we selected a UX Design process that quickly encouraged ideas and creativity from all six of us: Design Studio workshop.

Design Studio is a quick way of generating ideas in a short time. The team simply generates, selects, criticizes and iterates in 4 phases. First, each person individually draws as many ideas as possible. Then we each present our ideas/solutions to the group and they give us quick feedback. Then, individually again, we work on one idea either drawing inspiration from someone else’s first idea, or combining different ideas together. Again, we present our idea to the group and we all choose and vote for the ideas that seem to have the most value.

We applied the process to iterate on the main entrance area and generate ideas.

UX Redesign Suggestions with Lego Mockup

We opted to model the solutions with LEGOs and cardboard, as it is a much more explicit way of conveying physical space and movement of people than a storyboard.

To facilitate the « construction » work between the team, we split up the main entrance area into different parts and each one of us chose which part to work on. I worked on the visitors experience upon entering the building.

Main Entrance’s Personal UX Redesign Suggestions

1/ Managing People Flow

Today, once you push the front door open, you step into a waiting line without having had time to find your bearings. To solve this problem, I suggested adding space and clarity by dividing the main hall into 3 smaller identifiable areas, making the hall easier to navigate and giving visitors time to make sense of the place before initiating an action.

The first area is the space in front of the main door. Opening it up brings clarity. It frees up the access for online buyers who no longer need to wait in line. A greeter now welcomes entering visitors, and gives information and dispatches them where they need to go. It reinforces the value of online buying — visitors don’t have to wait in line anymore— and it brings fluidity within the main entrance.

The second area is to the far right when entering the Center. We suggested making it a dedicated waiting area for visitors who want to buy a ticket.

And finally the third area is to the near right. An area with self-service kiosks to buy e-tickets, mostly for visitors who already know which exhibits they want to see.

 

2/ Making Guidance Signs more Visible and Legible

We went for a new information board layout on the main wall facing the entrance. I recommended setting up a very big logo or name in front of the entrance door, with an underline stating what the place is.

On the large wall to the left when entering, I recommended placing arrows downward and upward on the wall, to help indicate to the visitors that there are exhibits upstairs also. The building’s structure in itself is not easy to navigate. The staircase above the entrance that is facing the opposite direction of the corridor one sees when entering makes it difficult to know if it’s part of a private zone or not. Indicating clearly which areas are part of the museum and which are not sets boundaries and reduces anxiety.

In total, the team presented 6 UX redesign suggestions


#1
 Issue: visitors cannot find information about the place outside of the building
Suggestion —>  Set interactive display boards outside of the building presenting the museum program + practical information (opening hours, prices, etc.)

#2 Issue: they enter the building and are immediately in between two waiting lines
Suggestion —> The entrance area is cleared, giving time for visitors to get their bearings

#3 Issue: they randomly pick a waiting line and try to read the signs and boards on the far walls
Suggestion —> 3 distincts areas are created:
Zone 1: an information stand with an employee greeting and dispatching visitors who bought tickets on-line
Zone 2: self-service machine to buy tickets
Zone 3: waiting area to buy ticket at the selling desk

#4 Issue: they don’t know where to wait for the exhibit
Suggestion —> a dedicated and clearly delineated waiting area for each exhibit is created

#5 Issue: the employee greeting them tell them all of the instructions for the exhibit at once
Suggestion —> Visual boards are set at each waiting area with information on the exhibit, instructions on items and equipment for the exhibit, etc.

#6 Issue: they want to see the second exhibit but don’t know where to go and/or they want to leave but can’t find the exit
Suggestion —> Orientation signs throughout the Center are visible and facing visitors when they are walking about

Presentation To The Client

At the end of the week we met with the client to present all of our suggestions. We presented the User Research, the feedback we had collected, the major pain-points we chose to address, and the service redesign suggestions we recommended. We also briefly suggested solutions for pain-points we had not had time to focus on.

The client was quite pleased with all the suggestions presented and He told us that some of the solutions presented were actually already being implemented.

Personal Feedback & Key Takeaway

I would have really liked testing the entrance redesign directly on site at Cap Sciences, had the timing not been so short, and even though it was « only » a training exercise. Testing even only some part of our redesign, and on a minimal budget, to check on the visitors first impression and to confirm that the confusion they felt upon entering the building was now gone and their experience of the place much better.

I really enjoyed this workshop because it generated a lot of creative energy and ideas. This project was a great opportunity to familiarize myself with the Design Studio method.