Bespoke is a coworking and event space in the Westfield San Francisco Centre in downtown San Francisco that aims to foster innovation between retail and tech in the Bay Area. Bespoke owns several large interactive video screens mounted outside the main entrance of its event space. The screens typically display information about current events in the space, but Bespoke felt they were missing an opportunity to better engage and benefit the general mall traffic that walked by these displays every day. Bespoke approached EchoUser with the idea of using the user centered design process to reimagine how they could better utilize these displays to increase engagement, enrich the mall users’ experience, and ultimately, benefit the Bespoke brand.
Given the wide range of people and things they might be doing in a mall setting, we felt we should start with simply observing how people moved through the space, what activities they engaged in, and if they approached the interactive screens. We camped out in specific areas of the mall and observed people for fifteen minute intervals at different times of day over the course of two weeks. After passive observations, we had a sense of patterns of behaviors, which gave us some insights, but we needed to understand the “why”, the thought process behind what people were doing. So we dug deeper via short intercept interviews with visitors to understand their reasons for visiting and their experiences with the screens.
We discovered people visited this fourth floor space (which is somewhat removed from the rest of the mall) to relax and destress from shopping, escape the chaos of the rest of the mall, as well as kill time. A minority of visitors actually tried to interact with the screens as most visitors thought of the screens as a part of a business-oriented space, separate from the Dome area. Many people did not realize the screens were interactive.
Using the user research findings and a competitive analysis of similar interactive experiences, we developed design inspiration themes and an interaction model. We used these elements to fuel an ideation workshop where we brainstormed solutions and created storyboards. Based on workshop discussion and research findings we crystallized our themes into design principles. We also led a dot voting exercise with stakeholders to choose the top two ideas to move forward with.
Taking the two winning ideas from the output of the workshop, we developed slide-based prototypes of the concepts and conducted user test sessions with mall visitors to evaluate the concepts. The test sessions uncovered further insight into participants’ comfort level interacting in public and exposed a desire to have a tangible outcome from the experience. Given the findings, we decided to move forward with an experience we called “Clear the Fog”, which calls visitors to use their body (waving their arms, etc.) to clear the fog from various San Francisco landmarks.
The evaluative research both served to highlight opportunities for improvement in the designs, as well as validated the design principles developed during the workshop. We iterated the design of the “Clear the Fog” experience based on evaluative learning. The end result was a clear illustration of the key design principles: Environment, Interaction, and Outcome.
As a final deliverable we created a stop-action video prototype demoing the experience.