Putting National Museum on the world Map

General Assembly UXDI Retrospective Project 4 — National Museum Singapore

This blog post first appeared on Medium

National Museum of Singapore National Museum of Singapore

Team Members: Zoe & Joyce

My Role:

  • Interaction Design
  • User Interviews
  • Usability Test

How do we put the National Musuem on the world map? The museum attracts a lot of visitors from locals and tourist abroad, but does it provide a good experience both offline and online?

Our client brief:

  • There has been a surge in Mobile Visits to the site.
  • Tasked to remake the website more responsive for mobile / tablet user.
  • Increase the site visit duration.

The Current National Museum Site. The Current National Museum Site.

The National Museum on landing on their homepage has good layout and interesting features like an instagram feed and highlights of events happenings at the museum. But when trying to view the site on my iPhone it does not downgrade nicely to the mobile phone.

Data Analytics

Data Analytics for NMS 50% Bounce, 1 min time on site. Data Analytics for NMS 50% Bounce, 1 min time on site. Mobile Usage is 61.8% Mobile Usage is 61.8%

Looking at the Data of the site the Bounce Rate is realatively high 50% and the time spent on the site is about 1 Minute. It also validates that mobile usage is indeed up.

This was a good starting point to verify that the Museum has indeed more Mobile users coming to the site but they do not stay that long.

Competitive Analysis

Doing a comparisons of sites to the National Museum. Doing a comparisons of sites to the National Museum.

We looked at 3 other sites and compared NMS to them to see what features stood out and what features did not work so well. We compared Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Vasa Musuem and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Good features we found on other museum sites. Good features we found on other museum sites.

Some things we found useful were the Banner with Time and infomation of the museum opening hours.

Good use of photos to attract users to the attractions.

Contextual Inquiry

Later we went down to the site to find out more on the museum. Spoke with some staff. Told us there were no more audio guides andmost tourist and visitors ask for it. We found a visitor using the museum app. She told us the discovered it after seeing a small icon on one of the exhibit displays.

There were School Tours conducted and Kids Activities, since it was the school holidays.

Summary of our visit findings:

Not Enough Signs for visitors, No Audio Guides. Different groups come to the museum for different activities.

Content Audit

Content Audit of the NMS site, listing down the various content and whether it is required. Content Audit of the NMS site, listing down the various content and whether it is required.

Content Audit of National Museum Website

We listed down all the pages of the website and found that the content on the site does not seem to be well curated.

Our Content Audit Findings:

There is no apparent content strategy which we felt NMS needs to improve. A well planned content calendar allows users to anticipate events and bring about higher footfall/ revisit statistics. Eg. if children season happens every school holidays, make sure the content reflects that and draws the relation between the school holiday and the respective exhibit. The parents might then visit the museum because they have come to know that child friendly exhibits will be curated.

Card Sorting and Information Architecture

This round I used Optimal Workshop to sort some of the key labels, in addition to a manual card sort.

Optimal Card Sort (Digital Card Sorting of Labels and information) Optimal Card Sort (Digital Card Sorting of Labels and information)

This round I used Optimal Workshop to sort some of the key labels, in addition to a manual card sort.

We were able to streamline their main catergories into 4 main ones.

Home, Visit, Whats On and About Us

New site map for the museum. New site map for the museum.

User Interviews & Affinity Mapping:

After conducting a series of interviews offline and online, I realised that the Museum has become a place for people to gather an enjoy fun activities, there was an event for children to play at their playground. It host various events such as film festivals. Exhibitions has taken a back seat, as some patrons would go to the event first and consider the exhibitions if they have time to spare after or before their event.

Regarding the Museum Website Not many users we interviewed seem to use the website as it is presented as an information portal. It seems dated. Only if you know what event you want to go you will go to the website to find out about it.

Findings: Affinity Mapping helped us to see there were 2 kinds of users to the museum:

Passive Users & Active Users.


From this then we created 2 types of personas based on the Active and Passive Users.

Meet Patricia White a person who goes for events and knows what kind of events she wants. Her problem is she cannot find ticket information for events at the museum.

Meet Lydia who is a mom and she wants to make sure her kids gets exposed to Arts & Culture and History of Singapore. Her problems are she is unsure if the events at the museum are child friendly.

From here we came up with our Personas Problem Statements:

Defining Problem Statements

We came up with 2 Problem statements for our two personas

I can’t make bookings for events or exhibitions on the museum website. — Patricia

I find there is a lack of detailed information on events on the museum website. — Lydia

Customer Journey Map

To Further understand how our two personas experice the museum we create a Customer Journey Map to find opportunities to improve the User Expereince.

For Patricia: She wants to know if it is convenient to book tickets last minute tickets on the website?

For Lydia: She wonders if the Exhibits are age appropriate and if the kids will be engaged.


Incorporate ticketing purchase on website (Re-direct to sistic for payment gateway)

Implement a filter on the website, with specific filter options Date, Free / Paid and Age group. Show information on events pricing and availability.

Approach we took for our solution

Wireframing and Sketches

We went through a series of ideas for the prototype on the layout and look and feel.

Feature Prioritization

We looked through our features list and used a chart to see what we can implement in this timeframe sprint.

Digital Prototype and Usability Testing

After we created a Digital Prototype we did some usability testing with users.

Some feedback we got:

Not enough information above the fold, we see a banner video it would be good to have some information there.

The filter catergory labels were not clear.

Labels if event was free or requiring a ticket were not clear.

We made the changes and iterated on these feedback.

The New Prototype journey: For Particia she can book a last minute ticket on the site. But her use of the site does not end there, on her way to the musuem she can go use the Map funtion to check traffic (via Google Maps) and Directions from where ever she is. At the event

Demo Video: http://vimeo.com/174770740

New Museum Website Demo

Summary after Iteration

We managed to help solve both our Users problems and needs and help the National Museum Website increase usage on their site by making it responsive, and more usable and useful to the user so they can have repeat visits to the site.

Project Timeline Planning

Scope was 1 year project plan if NMS awarded us the project we came up with a rough draft of 2 week sprints followed by 2 week development time.

We followed that we will use Agile Methods to iterate the design and production of the new website. We decided on a 5 month QA to test the site and leverage existing content there. As the site will have much changes it will need time to port the content to the new layout and track issues in the process and iterate.

Future Developments To put National Museum on the World Map

Overall by helping the two personas types we hope that by making the site more useful they will come back to the site via search to experience the museum online as a teaser and be able to sort out events for their needs.

Creating more media content: We were thinking of having some 360 VR tours on the site, but due to being unseure how to make the media and store and curate the media we did not put it into this prototype. I am not sure of the cost of production of VR media and the storage cost for storing such content.

Service Design

We though through our experience of visiting the museum and found some Gaps in the Actual design of the how people get tickets.

We felt that for events that are free they can streamline the process by giving a sticker to be put on the visitor. A different color for Singaporean and Tourists. And the business can still capture the foot traffice by counting the amount of stickers given out as we will funnel the visitors still back to the kiosks to get the sticks. This helps eliminate the printing of tickets (Which is currently from SISTIC)

Users won’t have to search for the tickets in their bags or pockets and the security can identify them via the sticker on their shirts.

New User Flow:

We did a new user flow for this process.

Lessons Learnt

Understanding and Sythesizing Data was the hardest part for me. I felt it took a bit longer to find users that fit the initial hypothesis.

Digital Card Sorting not that easy to administer, unlike manual card sort, but easier to sysnthesize information. Using Optimal Card Sort I was able to validate both the Manual Card Sort with the results. It is slightly more effective at compiling the results but some users feedback using the interface was more unintuitive than seeing a manual physical card sort.

Making the personas this round was very real to me as I got to practice crating the personas based on actual user needs. It makes designing the website easier as I remember who I am designing for.

It was useful to try and prioritize features before embarking on the prototype. It helps that the personas are always kept in mind when prioritizings features.

Usability testing although shorter than my previous project still was important as it helped us see what parts of the website were under utilize (eg. the header banner just showed a video) and where we can get more actionable use from the user, and where it caused confusion.

Making a project timeline and costing was not that easy. As it was my first time on how to make it I think this will come with more experience with working on more projects and seeing actual cost of making something.

Its 7 weeks past for this course. I feel I have learnt and applied much of the tools for UX in this project. I have a deeper appreciation for how important UX is for Offline Experience as well as online ones.

Tools and Method used:

  • Design Process Double Diamond
  • Contextual Inquiry
  • Competive Analysis
  • Heuristic Evaluation
  • Data Analytics
  • User Interviews
  • Affinity Mapping
  • Personas
  • Customer Journey Map
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Sketching & Wireframing
  • Feature Prioritization
  • Usability Testing

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