Have you ever walked around a city and wondered something like, "I wonder what it was like to walk on this street 50 years ago."  Or heard things like "did you know there's a secret train station underneath the Waldorf Astoria," or "this is the Friends apartment building!" 
History Hunt is a mobile scavenger hunt app for curious, nostalgic adventurers. Users can learn about their city's history and explore what it used to look like through fun, interactive, augmented reality experiences. This is an educational gaming app that can be tailored to each user while involving friends through competition and social sharing.
This project was created as part of CareerFoundry's UX Immersion course.
Project Brief
Enable players to enjoy social scavenger hunts for real objects and locations in their own cities.
Problem Statement
Users need a fun way to learn about their cities through adventure and exploration because they want to be knowledgable about history and share with their friends.
Competitive Analysis
First, I identified and researched potential competitors' apps to look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is an important step to me because it gives me an idea of what user needs need to be fulfilled or what user problems are being solved (or not solved). I also looked into apps that utilized augmented reality to get a sense of how they presented the functionality. Key findings were that all of these apps lacked a concrete purpose beyond just endlessly searching for random objects or could be replaced with a good, free, real-life walking tour guide. Pokemon Go showed me that augmented reality features could be utilized with navigation to enhance the user experience, bringing the screen's content even closer to the user's reality.
User Research & Analysis
I conducted user surveys and user interviews with the main goal of looking at general attitudes towards scavenger hunts, geolocation, augmented reality and learning history. Using insights from these research methods, I was able to pinpoint common trends and themes. 
User Personas
Using the trends and themes informed by research, I created user personas. Focusing on user motivations, behavior and challenges, I created 3 design personas -- The Friend Who's Always Out and About (Adventurer), The Friend You Should Always Bring to Trivia (Intellectual), The Friend Who's Always First with Anything New (Trendsetter). 
User Journey Maps
The next step in advancing through the user-centered design process is to gain a deeper understanding of users.
I created user journey maps to visualize what processes users go through in order to accomplish their goals.
User Flows
I mapped out task flows created in the context of the personas. It is important to know the types of actions users will take and why. By having an entry point, success criteria, and a process flow, I can determine what users need to do in order to complete their goal.
Site Map
To outline the hierarchy of the app, I created a preliminary site map. I decided to do a card sort with participants to see how users would organize the information. Based on patterns I found in the results, this helped me evaluate my site map and gave me ideas on how to better  the architecture of the app.
Sketches & Wireframing
There's a couple reasons why I like to quickly sketch and annotate what I'm thinking the design should look like. One is that I'm less likely to get stuck on something, being able to sketch multiple things out in the matter of minutes. Even fleeting ideas won't be forgotten, serving as good reference later. Another is that I think sketching encourages more creativity, because it doesn't allow for time to get bogged down by details.
If needed, I will hand sketch more low-fidelity wireframes to figure out functionality. After sketching the big picture, I move on to mid-fidelity digital wireframes. This is important because these wireframes can be used to create a basic prototype, testing for things like functionality and interactivity. Designers don't have to worry about the cosmetic details and users won't be distracted by the aesthetics. 
Usability Tests
I did usability tests with a mid-fidelity black and white prototype on an iPhone XS. The objectives were to see if participants understood what the app is, the value it provides, and if they could successfully perform tasks using the prototype. These tests showed me many problems, including insufficient onboarding, confusion on how to find their progress, difficulty customizing scavenger hunts and uncertainty about how to access augmented reality.
Based on results, I made changes to the prototype before creating a high-fidelity color version. This usability testing was an important step for me because I discovered a lot of issues users had that I did not foresee, that were important to fix. I was happy to find that during these tests, once participants understood what the app was, they expressed positive sentiments of wanting to use the app for real.
Overall Challenges
A big challenge for me was software on this project. This was the first project where I used Adobe XD. I need to become more familiar with the Adobe XD interface and its tools in order to more efficiently design with the software. In addition, because of the nature of the CareerFoundry course, I worked independently on this project and sometimes was too focused on details or spent a lot of time on little things. I need to become better at project management and time management when I work solo!
If I had more time, I would go through another round of usability tests to see what users thought of functionality and experience using a high-fidelity prototype. Then I would do another iteration of the app, where I would also spend more time on interactivity and see where I could incorporate useful animations.
Final Design
Click on the buttons below to access the latest prototype and UI kit.
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