STA 468 Interactive Web Design: Project 1 - Three Proposals for Design Intervention and Scholarly Research

For this point in the process, we have been charged to come up with three proposals for pre and post-visit UX engagement with our target persona. After critique last week with my peers and discussion with my professor, I came to the decision to focus on my college student persona, Ellie. (See previous post to get more information about Ellie and personas.) 

The goal for this part of the assignment was to come up with three different technologies or tools for engagement, but I took it in another direction. With the approval of my professor, I instead came up with three scenarios for college students to engage with the museum using one specific tool. As I am writing this post, I now realize, for each of these scenarios, I should come up with a persona to target, as "college student" is much too broad. I will do that in the following post! 

Before I launch into each scenario, I first want to explain the tool I have in mind for engagement. I think as a whole, companies can no longer simply resting on having "the app", visiting their social media, or going to the website to create interest and additional interaction. Guests are not impressed by those features anymore, in fact, they expect a company to have them. What I realized, it's not about the app or the website, it's about the higher level of interaction and engagement those pieces of technology were prompting. So taking a step back, I wanted something analog, something tangible, but with the capability to interact with apps and compute data, but it would not be the main feature. Something a guest might receive in the mail with minimal information to peak their interest, bring to the museum and use in some sort of way to interact with the exhibits, then have something to take home to remember the experience.

When I was a freshman, I took an internship at Shake Shack. In the restaurant, they served wine in these branded plastic stemless wine glasses.

I always thought that was a cool way to put out the product and many people liked to take them back home with them -- especially tourists -- to remember their visit to such an iconic food establishment. These glasses came back into my mind when I was coming up with ideas for interaction tool. 

I knew I wanted to alcohol to be a main feature of this experience. From observation (and maybe from personal experience), college kids love to drink and love to go out and have fun with friends. So why not create an environment where they could get a little fancy and play with their favorite people in a safe place? 

With this idea in mind, I decided my interaction tool would be a plastic drink glass with an embedded RFID chip.

This glass would be like the Shake Shack wine glasses where they would be shatter-proof and branded with the Impression 5 logo with any additional information needed so guests would feel comfortable to interact in the museum without fear of breaking the glass. The chip would be used to gather information for internal and customer-facing interaction. Each cup would have a specific tracking number, and when the guest receives the cup, they would be prompted to go to a microsite to fill out some basic information -- name, age, contact information, what event they will be attending -- so when they came to the museum they would be set up to properly engage with the exhibits.

In the actual museum there would be precise pour drink stations featuring alcoholic beverages of the guests choice. Upon research, there are many options to choose from for precise-pour stations, depending on the budget and level of customization. My recommendations for machines to consider would be Bartendro and Beerjet.

Bartendro is a "precision cocktail dispensing robot...making tasty drinks quickly and repeatably without the mess." It can serve up to 200 cocktails in one evening and takes less than 10 seconds per drink. The UX is open source and can be customized per event and offers data tacking. 

Beerjet is an automated beer dispensor from Austria, pouring beers in any size in record time. 

No matter the direction Impression 5 was looking to go, there are technologies in place to facilitate their users drink preferences. I think Bartendro might be a better fit as it has the capabilities to add data tracking features and build on the existing program platform for customized use. 

There would be some sort of scanner, alerting the precise pour machine the guest had put their cup down to be filled. On the customer-facing side the chip would enable the machine to greet the guest by name and create their drink. For internal data tracking, the chip would collect data on how many drinks the guest has had, what they ordered, timing/frequency of drinks, or any other data tracking information the museum would like. With this information, they could get a sense of the typical amount of drinks their guests have in one evening, what the most popular drinks were, how quickly guests consumed the drinks, and what refill patterns were.

Also, the glass would act as a key feature of interaction with each exhibit. It could act as a key to unlock some special activity or it could act as the activation to start a task. The guest would either be prompted to set down their glass on the scanner to interact handsfree or they would scan their glass and continue with the exhibit while still enjoying their beverage. Using the glass in this way, the museum could collect data on traffic flow, how long people stayed at each exhibit, or any other data information museum wanted. 

So with this "smart glass", let's delve into how it would be used in the three scenarios: a birthday party, open museum night, and a philanthropy event. 

Scenario 1: Birthday Party

For the birthday party idea, the guests would receive the glass in the mail as the invitation. They would receive the information for the party as well as instructions on going to the microsite to fill out their contact information and bringing the glass to the museum. For the party, the person planning would set a specific number of drinks allotted per person, so when the guests arrive they would not have to pay up to a certain amount of drinks. The guests for the party would have a specific set of games or exhibits to interact with as a sort of obstacle course and once they had made it all the way through, they would be able to "unlock" the special birthday surprise (a birthday cake!).

Scenario 2: Open Museum Night

For open museum night, guests over 21 would be invited to come enjoy the museum as is while enjoying adult beverages. When they purchase their admission, they would receive the glass and would be prompted to fill out the information on the microsite. There would be a set number of beverages allotted with admission and additional drinks would be available for purchase. In this setting, they would be able to embrace their inner child while still enjoying the best parts about being a big kid. 

Scenario 3: Philanthropy Event

For the philanthropy event, the museum would be able to be reserved for the evening for student groups or clubs, fraternities or sororities for a fun evening of alcohol education with a cause. The group would book the event and be able to add a fund-raising option. (If the group opts for the fundraising option, there would be one dollar added to the admission fee and would be donated to the chosen cause.) Like the open museum hours, the guest would receive the glasses upon admission and would fill out their contact information on-site. Instead of simply interacting with the museum as is, there would be specific activities in place for alcohol education. The activities could challenges or tasks to go through while drinking, to test abilities while intoxicated. The guests would be able to engage in hands-on experiences to see the affects of alcohol on the human body and the science behind it. 

For all of the scenarios, the guests would be encouraged to take their glasses with them for a couple reasons: the glass would act as a free marketing tool/conversation piece, the glass is reusable and could be brought back and used again, and the guests could follow the website printed on the glass to see their statistics/data tracked on their experience. They website would post a summary of their visit in an infographic that they could download, post to social media or send in an email. The infographic would cover their interaction specific to their scenario. For the birthday party, it would post their ranking in the obstacle course, their performance, how many drinks they had, how their performance was affected linked to alcohol consumption. For the open museum hours, the infographic could be more focused on what exhibits they interacted with as well as the drink stats and their performance. Finally, for the philanthropy event, the infographic would feature the funds raisied through the event, their personal performance in the activities, their drink stats, and maybe even a letter grade in the context of their alcohol education.