SF MOMA Experience Redesign

Have your best day in SF MoMA🌸


Academic Project


SEP 2021- DEC 2021

What I Did

Redesigned the current SF MoMA app and proposed a new onsite device to enhance visitor engagement

Tools Used

Figma, After Effects, Adobe Illustrator


The app offers a great deal of guides but it somehow seems confusing to users at first glance and difficult to know what the app has to offer. And it took users some time to complete tasks such as looking for an exhibit, purchasing tickets...etc

The current problem

The app does not meet visitors' expectation.

I went on App Store to see what users feel about the current app, I began wondering how could the app make onsite experience better?

In order to understand the problem more clearly and to set success metrics for the project, I decided to test users time on task and task completion rate.

My Goal

  • Provide better finability of features
  • Improve visual apperance
  • Provide a better onsite experience


The redesigned app achieve 84% of the completion rate and has a decrease of 40 seconds of time on task.

Demo Video of Redesign Features


In order to better understand the problems visitors might face in the the current museum, I performed competitor analysis to observe what current museum apps are offering.

I also did an ethnographic research when I visited SF MOMA on Saturday, 09/25/2021.
Visitors were asked about their overall experience when they visit museums and if any frustrations occurred.

Competitor Analysis

Ethnographic Research

Learning more about the audience

After the observations from SF MOMA, I interviewed a total of 6 people I recruited online to do a more in depth interview regarding the experience while using the app.

However, after 4 rounds of user interviews I'm not exactly satisfied with the results and the participants didn't completely represent my intended audience.

Taking a step back from user interview

I looked back my research and started categorizing visitors into different types by their intention of visiting. I categorized different types of museum visitors and decided I should focus on visitors who are attracted to object experience and emotional exploration.

And after that I conduct another round of user research again, used screener survey beforehand and did an additional diary study afterwards.

Synthesizing Insights & Finding Opportunities

After taking notes and documenting observations and interviews, I put down insights and then grouped them to find overlaps. 
I map out the visitor’s journey and  marked where the app could come into play and hopefully- find opportunities.

Opportunities Found:

1. Admission

  • Make booking tickets on apps  easier
  • Make the tickets faster to be found

2. Directions between Exhibitions

  • Make directions more accessible and apparent to visitors
  • Provide clear suggestions for users to choose from

3. During Exhibitions

  • Make exhibitions better to understand
  • Provide opportunities for visitors to engage more

4. Purchase Ticket Online

  • Make purchase page responsive
  • Make purchase page user-friendly


These findings are valuable as they help me define objectives for how I can design for success. From understanding the visitor's perspective, I know that I need to provide visitors with:

1. Clear Navigation

2. An Immersive Exhibition

Findings & Learnings

Users hope the app can boost their engagement on-site and help them better understand the exhibition.

I don't think the app is helping me with my on-site experience.

-Film School Student
I would love to see all the features all at once instead of having to go through the tabs to see what the app has to offer.

-Small Business Owner
I wanted to see how that the app changed my understanding or like how it affected my understanding of a gallery that I've seen many, many times.

-Graphic Designer
The map is really hard to use, I spent some time looking for the piece I saw on Instagram.

-Museum Goer

Key Insights

After organizing the data I collected and brainstorming what's working and what's not, I came up with opportunities and furthermore ideate potential features for the redesign.


  • Audio guide is really helpful
  • Information and content of the museum is very complete


  • Users are distracted by the home page and didn’t know how to navigate
  • No indication of current location
  • The “search” function is limited to entering guide numbers
  • Information on app is not well-organized, no hierachy


  • Enhance functionality regarding navigation
  • Crowd meter for visitors
  • Immersive experience using AR/ AI


First of all, I grouped key insights from heuristic evaluation of the app using Rose, Thorn and Bud method from Design Thinking.

Then I brainstormed ideas on each pain point I found.

Here are some of my ideas to provide better immersive experience and better navigation:

Concepts & Usability Testing

In my project timeline I had planned two rounds of usability testing in order to focus on different learnings and drive fast iteration.

Concept 1- Interactive Map


Users get lost in museum and need suggestions regarding directions


Interactive map that shows current location and where the artwork is. Users would be able to search on map and see exhibit details from there.

Concept 2- Simplified Booking Flow


Users want to purchase ticket on app but couldn’t finish because the page is not responsive and hard to use on mobile devices.


Simplify ticket booking, limit information and action performed on each page

Concept 3- Tour Options


Users want to use the audio guide function but when they enter the app the “Enter Number” is just confusing.


Search in “Tour” for better discoverability, users can choose to listen to audio or chat with an AI artist to learn more about the exhibition.

Usability Testing & Improvements

What & How to fix

Users feel like the map does not look interactive.

  • I designed an isometric map to increase affordance of the  map that users are familiar with
  • Added a route indicator to point out directions

What & How to fix

Linear progress bar means very little for users, they would want to know what to expect precisely.Some error occurred when user cannot tap on the date because the spacing is too small on the calendar.

  • Labeled the progress bar in texts
  • Made the spacing and touch area larger

What & How to fix

Some users mentioned that they prefer not using a phone while they are learning about the paintings or art piece.

Therefore, I decided to expand on concept 3 and design an onsite device to provide tour options for users to improve inclusiveness.

Final Design

Information hierarchy on home page

Added chips for categorization and designed a new landing page with ticket-booking CTA.

Sequencing the long form

Simplify ticket booking, segment the booking information and the long form.

Add interactive elements onto the map

Interactive map that shows current location and where the artwork is. Users would be able to search on map and see exhibit details from there.

Onsite device proposal

Onsite interactive device that detects visitors and provide a feature that allows visitors to chat with the artist of the exhibit.

☘️Project Takeaways

The process is never linear.

I bumped into several obstacles during this project. While I tried so hard to focus on following the design process I forgot I should be working towards the design goal and design for the target audience.
Often times I have to slow down and organize my thoughts and remind myself of the product goal and not get lost in the midst of complicated processes.

Experiment different methodologies.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried different research methods including ethnographic research and diary studies. Field studies and people watching could help the project a lot!

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