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Stuyvesant Cove Park Info Guide


Product / UX Designers: Dae Young Kim,
                                             Chel Chan,
                                             Joe Chung,
                                             Yichan Wang
Client: Stuyvesant Cove Park Management
Duration: 3 months
UX Design | Product Design | Information Architecture





What is Stuyvesant Park Info Guide?



Stuyvesant Cove Park Info Guide is a tool to rebuild the connection between the park and its visitors.

The guide serves two main functions which are to:
  1. Introduce the park’s forageable natural resources
  2. Help visitors navigate in the park

Through this crowd-sourced & accessible educational tool, park visitors learn more about their community park and its forageable natural resource.





About the client


 
NYC’s Stuyvesant Cove park is engineered as a native food forest where visitors can consume the plants in the park.

My Role as a product / UX designer


  • Identified problem & opportunity space.
  • Researched users via interviews, focus group discussions, onsite observations.
  • Designed information architecture & created prototypes.
  • Conduct user tests & interviews.
  • Presented iterations and justified design decisions to the park manager
  • Lead & managed the design team’s internal & external communication with the client, interviewees, and user testers.
  • Created and delivered technical instruction for maintenance of the product.
  • Set up project agenda and prepare weekly sync meetings accordingly.





Those who grow up or live in the city do not get to connect with the natural world.



The challenge


  • To help visitors create a mental model of the park’s landscape and facilities. 
  • To restore the human-nature connection.
  • To create an easy-to-access, simplified experience that the client can afford to implement.

The outcome


  • A tool to augment the accessibility of the park’s public facilities.
  • A tool to develop a foraging culture for various users of the park.
  • A consolidated web document that can be accessed anywhere in the park. 


I interviewed the park’s associates, volunteers, neighbors, and regular visitors to better understand and map out the park’s problem space. From the interviews, I found out many problems of the parks resulted from visitors not fully understanding the value of the park.





User Research


User Archetypes



After research on the site, we identified the user demographics by the professions and their social roles.
To understand each user group better, we mapped out the behavioral & attitudinal landscape of each archetype based on specific parameters like the familiarity of the park, personality, and tech-savviness.


Personas



Focus group





Opportunity space and explorations



Understanding the users gave a more clear view of the opportunity space. Stuyvesant cove park is a valuable resource for public education for various communities in the area. Here, two “How can we...” questions arose on how the project can best augment the park’s visitor’s experience.

1. 
How can we inform inexperienced and experienced foragers of the plants that can be foraged in the park?


We sketched ways to reconnect the severed connection between people and nature by helping people notice the value of nature.
2.
How can we inform visitors of what facilities of the park are open and their location?


We also thought of how we can help visitors fully engage with the park.
  • What is available in the park
  • Landmark, key significance of their destination
  • prohibited area due to ongoing construction





1.
How can we inform inexperienced and experienced foragers of the plants that can be foraged in the park?


We started by mapping out the information architecture of the edible plants.

  • the significance of each plant
  • that the plants can be eaten
  • how the plants can be used
  • how the audience can participate in foraging





2.
How can we inform visitors of what facilities of the park are open and their location?




+.
Using existing platforms instead of creating a custom app.


  (Notion & Google-My map)

We wanted to make the info guide easily editable, versatile, and immediately implementable so that the park management and volunteers can easily contribute to the database and map of the amenities and plants.







User tests


After the first design, we conducted both moderated and unmoderated user tests on the intuitive usage, accessibility, and information delivery of the design.


A. Navigation Test


We wanted to understand the user’s mental model and evaluate if users can intuitively navigate through pages and functions to find what they need.

Method


Task
  1. Use the map legend to filter “Park Facilities.”
  2. Identify the location of the portable toilet on the map.
  3. Explain the location of the surrounding facilities.

Outcome

B. 5 Second Impression Test


We wanted to make sure the visual language of the design, such as color, icon, pictures, is legible by the users and correctly delivers information.

Method


Task
  1. Identify Mulberry after seeing a picture.
  2. Find out if it is safe to eat.
  3. Find out if it is easy to forage.
  4. Explain how to forage Mulberries and their use.
  5. Discuss a plant dangerous to forage.

Outcome







Iteration: visual communication


With insights from the user tests, we discovered that the limited design system of the platform we use is not inclusive. We then created a way to bypass the limitation and provide a more comprehensive method of delivering information.







Checkpoints


Things that were in my mind when I was designing:  


  1. Usability
    Does the design lead to the user’s intuitive use?
  2. Inclusive design
    Can the product be used by people with disability and those without tech-savviness?
  3. Fulfilling
    Can the product fulfill both the client’s and user’s needs?





Final design



1. Landing page & directory






2. Wide range of information about plants in the park












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© 2020 copyright by Dae Young Kim