Partnered with the MFA to create an experience for the visually impaired and the blind at the Museum of Fine Arts.
For my experience design II class we teamed up with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA to create an experience for the visually impaired and the blind at the museum. My team and I worked for the entire semester to come up with an art experience for the visually impaired and the blind.
As a group we conducted research, diagrams and maps. Throughout the project we each took on different rolls, my roll being creating visual deliverables and working on our wireframes for our product. Below is the process of this project.
The current problem is that their is no tool designed specifically for the visually impaired and the blind at the MFA. Our team worked through the design thinking process to address this problem statement in partnership with the MFA.
How might we help the Visually impaired and the blind have a meaningful experience when visiting the MFA?
The first step of this project was mapping out our individual experiences at the MFA. We all went to the MFA and each had unique experiences. This trip to the MFA was focused on observing others and recognizing behavior patterns. We were very aware of the stimuli that affected us during our experiences. After analyzing our museum experience we came to the conclusion that positive/negative responses to an art piece or exhibit was not a good metric to measure our experiences, so we chose cognitive stimulation which extends beyond emotional responses. Cognitive stimulation being more than how something makes you feel or your opinion of it, but rather your immediate reaction and response to it, that is driven by your subconscious and mental state.
The next phase of this project was to bring all of our research together and map it out. We went about this by creating a map thats is modeled after a binary star system to represent the two Key Stakeholders and the levels influence that influence the stakeholders behaviors and interactions. Each sphere is divided into levels with corresponding perimeters. Level 1 are personal artifacts controlled by the stakeholder, Level 2 are factors that the stakeholder cannot control that affects their artifact usage and behavior, Level 3 are factors that influence the environment the stakeholder dwells in and ultimately influences the other spheres.
In this phase of the project we explored many different possible soltions to our problem statement. Informed by the previous stages of our process we began to sketch initial ideas for a solution to our problem statement.
This idea takes what currently is in place (the audio guide) and makes around 10 into guides for the visually impaired. This MFA Guidance System has a completely different interface that is designed specifically for the visually impaired. The new “MFA Guidance System” offers optimized choice with in-exhibit as well as in-museum navigation to maximize social interaction and transform your museum experience. This interface is very similar to an iPhone’s in that it utilizes directional swipes instead of clicks. Consistency throughout: corner button, name at the top. The guidance of this interface and features are communicated through audio. Swipe down to get to tours (home) screen, Swipe back to go back, Swipe up for history of tour experiences