Designing a Virtual Scavenger Hunt Experience
I worked on a team of four designers during the Fall of 2020 to ultimately design a scavenger hunt experience that could virtually engage members of the LGBTQ+ community during Atlanta Pride 2020. This project was a part of our Research Methods core class.
While it was not a requirement to work with an industry partner for this class, my team and I knew we wanted to work with Atlanta Pride.
We ended up forming long term professional relationships with the members of the Atlanta Pride Committee and local media companies.
Role: Product Designer, UX Researcher
Tools: Figma, Qualtrics, Miro, Slack, Iconify, Adobe Illustrator
Timeline: 4 months
Team: Austin Peete, Ruvinee Senadheera, Sav Phillips, Sue Reon Kim
Due to the devastating effects of COVID-19 and public health concerns, Atlanta Pride 2020 was held completely virtually.
This created concerns for how engaged attendees would feel due to the lack of a physical community presence.
Our team worked to create solutions to the following questions:
1. How can we facilitate virtual engagement of members of the LGBTQ+ community?
2. How can we uplift the LGBTQ+ community during this time?
Tackling the Problem
Our team approached these questions from a UX Researcher perspective.
We knew that in order to find the answers that would directly benefit our target users, and inform a useful design, we would have to ask the target users themselves about what aspects of community made them feel seen, loved, and heard.
We drafted out a research plan that included:
Semi-Structured Interviews &
Our team sent out a Qualtrics survey via Reddit, Facebook, and other online communities to first gauge previous experience and knowledge surrounding Atlanta Pride and this year’s virtual festival.
Prior to sending out the survey we conducted a series of brainstorming sessions, and question rationale sessions in order to ensure that we were asking the questions that needed to be asked in order to obtain the information that would be relevant to our users’ needs.
The last question of the survey was gauging user willingness to participate in a semi-structured interview.
We analyzed our data using Qualtrics' capabilities and Miro.
Next, using the foundational data from our surveys, our team began conducting 3 semi-structured interviews in order to find out what users might want and need out a virtual event to make them feel seen, heard, loved and connected.
We used affinity maps in Miro to analyze our data.
We obtained 6 key themes from our Affinity Map:
Experience with Atlanta Pride
Streaming Platforms and Devices
From our research we discovered that there are a few design principles that we must consider in developing our design.
Using our acquired user needs and design implications, we developed both an empathy map, and a persona to tell a story from the data.
Our persona, "Dani", was created as a way to connect with our target users. We wanted to make sure we were going to design something that would help our users feel engaged, and meet their needs.
We created an empathy map to dive further into the thoughts and feelings of Dani-who would be attending Atlanta Pride 2020.
With all of these insights in mind, we began our design process.
Plan of Action
We developed a plan to iterate on design ideas while also gaining the integral input from our target users. The steps we would take are:
Expert and User Evaluation
Using the analyzed data from our interviews, and survey, our team of four worked in pairs of two to develop two original ideas addressing the problem space of the Atlanta Pride Virtual Scavenger Hunt.
Design One: An Interactive Map Game
Design Two: A Hybrid Scavenger Hunt Trivia Game
Feedback sessions were empirically developed to offer users the opportunity to candidly share opinions, attitudes, and preferences towards our two designs.
Our sessions were built based on a few feedback goals and known implications, then carried out by a facilitator, moderator and notetaker over Zoom.
We used two affinity maps to analyze the data we received from Design One and Design Two.
Incorporating the data from these affinity maps, we began wireframing.
We used Figma to develop our wireframe prototype.
We used a similar iterative process as the Sketches feedback sessions to conduct Wireframe feedback sessions.
Once we obtained this data and analyzed it, we were able to proceed with collaboratively designing our final prototype solution.
Our team refined our final idea into a high-fidelity prototype design. We collaborated as a team, iterating through many design ideas to craft our final product.
After we completed our protoype we knew that we would again need to consult with the opinions of both experts and users. We began our final stage of evaluation.
My team conducted formal design evaluation and validation testing using expert and user-based methods such as a heuristic evaluation, system usability scale surveys, and remote user prototype sessions. We were able to gain insight from 3-5 experts and 5-7 users in our final evaluation.
Our team developed a high fidelity prototype of a hybrid in-person/virtual scavenger hunt experience.
This design solution was developed by keeping our target users in mind throughout every step of the process.
This design solution is meant to be fun and engaging, while also providing a platform for users to feel engaged, seen, appreciated, loved, and connected.
Our team wrote a final report detailing the conclusion of our project.
Our team walked away from this experience having learned a few lessons:
We learned that time is your most valuable resource, use it wisely.
We learned how to conduct professional design evaluation sessions.
We learned that community engagement and connection across skillsets and perspectives is imperative.
We learned that collaborative design, and constructive feedback are critical in the design process.
Our team formed valuable relationships with:
Key local business stakeholders
1 Media and Digital Marketing company in Atlanta
The Atlanta Pride Committee & Executives.
The Scavenger Hunt subcommittee
Our team gained access to:
Knowledge about how to collaborate with external community partners in Atlanta.
Non-profit practices in Atlanta, GA
Contacts to non-profits in Atlanta.
Long-term professional relationships with media companies in Atlanta.
The opportunity to continue our work within graphic design, photography, podcast production, video editing, product design, and digital marketing spaces.