The Naturalis mobile app

Location: Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden.

Client: Head of Education at the Naturalis.

Project Goal: To propose a redesign the Naturalis’s mobile application based on pillars:

  1. To stimulate visitors curiosity and lead them to ask questions.
  2. To provide visitors new and innovative ways to interact with the museum exhibits.
  3. To improve and streamline user experience with the app.

Working together with the Head of Education at the Naturalis Biodiverity Center we concepted and developed features to reach those goals. The center had recently relocated itself to a newer building in Leiden. In the new exhibits they made a conscious decision to drastically limit the number of plaques with information, with the intention of encouraging the visitors to start asking questions.

Trix the T-rex, the star of the show.

The project was interdisciplinary and I was paired with 4 team members. Two of them from the visual design major and one from the interaction design major. The project lasted 5 months, and was designed to get us working with a client with real problems.

In this project I was responsible for working with the visual designers to concept ideas and flesh them out into digital prototypes. Ensuring they understood where the concept was going and how to create the user experience to support the goals of the feature.

The main focus of our redesign was the use of a ‘scientist tag-along’ narrative and ‘toolbox’ feature. Scientists from the Centers research center would be presented in the app, giving additional context and information to visitors about the work they do. Connecting visitors with the work the scientist did at the center was one of the new exhibits main goals. The toolbox packed a number of ‘tools’ that utilized mobile phones sensors and IoT capabilities to facilitate enhanced interaction with the exhibits.

These concepts were drawn up in Google notes

Unfortunately, it was not within the scope of the project to develop and implement the redesign into the museums app. But, the client met the final prototype with support for the features, especially the inclusion of the centers scientists in the app.

You can see the final hi-fi prototype here in adobe Xd.