Grand Park, verynice

PART 1: Creating Engagement at Grand Park

PART 1 of 2: Project with Grand Park to design a memorable solution for park visitors so they can have a slice of the park wherever they go.

Expertise

UX/UI Designer

Deliverables

Executive summary, pitch deck & video, prototype

Project Timeline

8 Weeks

Design Challenge

How might we engage art enthusiasts to share their experiences with others about Grand Park?

Problem

During the global crisis of COVID-19, art enthusiasts lost opportunities to connect with art and one another in person at Grand Park. Art enthusiast visiting the park want an experience where they can meet others and share their story of Grand Park.

Solution

An interactive message board to honor Grand Parks visitor's stories during the 10 year anniversary. People will be given a prompt to answer such as “share your favorite memory of Grand Park” where they can write on a sticky note with a sharpie. There will also be a speaker will be set up playing audio recordings of people’s stories of Grand Park to create a multi sensory experience.

Insights

Spotlight Stories: Stakeholder's want to spotlight visitors voices.
Temporary Art Installations:
Temporary art activation are easier to manage for Grand Park.

Overview

Client

Grand Park and verynice were our clients for this project. Out of 12 teams only 5 would be selected to move forward with their ideas.

Our idea Stories on the Wall was sadly not chosen, however they appreciated our clearly defined roadmap for next steps, clearly defined budget, and feasibility of concept.

Brief

How can we enhance the guest experience to encourage visitors to co-create the story of Grand Park so that they can have a slice of the park wherever they go?

Key Considerations:

  • Guest experience ideally bridges the physical with the digital. The physical/analog aspect could include items with a physical presence in the park (i.e., story booth, signage, etc.), whereas digital includes platforms on web & mobile devices, but goes beyond social media.
  • “Slices of the park” are media and cues that could be based on location, history, arts, music, culture, food, activism, health, sustainability, and partnerships. 
  • The ideal solution would be a living, breathing, design that can be continuously updated (vs static page or documentary that only shows a specific snapshot in time).
  • Curation and moderation policies will be important to ensure the safety of all users.

Role

Irene Rivera and I worked on this project together. Irene was the UX researcher and I was the UX/UI designer, however we collaborated on most of the work.

Research

Competitive Analysis

We hypothesized that an interactive art installation in Grand Park would create positive shared experiences with visitors.

We compiled all the direct and indirect competitors to Grand Park in a Google Sheet document. The competitors clarified that idea by how they disrupted space so that users experience them in a different way.

Competitive analysis Google Sheet

Secondary Research

Before I Die

Interactive art can engage people and help them feel a sense of community. 

The Before I Die interactive mural made with chalkboard and paint allows people to contribute to a collective topic in this case death. 

In one day the mural was filled with responses. This proves the popularity of an interactive mural, people want to contribute and be heard.

The Health Benefits of Small Parks and Green Spaces

Health services cost 17% of the annual US domestic product. People visiting parks can help reduce the cost of health services.

Parks build social capital for a given community. Grand Park has many different communities visiting it since it is not just a neighborhood park. How do we build social capital for everyone?

What is Yoko Onos Wishing Tree All About?

Collaboration allows for engagement. The Wishing Tree invites the audience to contribute to the installation. 

The Wishing Tree produces a magical feeling to its audience, seeing everyone's wishes and interacting with the tree creates a sense of connectedness. 

To my surprise Yoko Ono keeps every wish and stores them in the Imagine Peace Tower. What if there was a digital way to save these wishes and store them in a public digital space?

Insights

Sense of community: Interactive art creates a sense of community through engagement and participation.
Push for Interactivity
: People like to share their stories in an interactive experience through collaboration. 
Store the Data
: There is an opportunity for collecting and storing the data from interactive art installations even in a digital space.

Observations

Image of people sitting in shaded areas
Image of Easy Morning event taking place

Insights

Green Open Spaces: Grand Park has lots of green spaces, something unique for Downtown LA.
Limited Shaded Areas
: There is a lack of shade a certain times of the day. People are seen sitting under trees since umbrellas are prohibited.
Busy During Events
: Grand Park is the busiest during events and becomes quite if there isn’t anything scheduled.

Survey

We received 67 responses on our survey and sent it to art enthusiasts on Facebook groups, Nextdoor, SubReddits, and Discord communities. 

Survey responses of what Grand Park means to them

76% of respondents want to share an experience they had at Grand Park.

72% are interested in reading about other visitor’s experiences about Grand Park and what the park means to them.

Insights

Oasis in Downtown Los Angeles

Visitors to Grand Park see the park as a place to get away from their daily lives.

Interested in Other's Stories

Most people are interested in learning about other people’s experiences through participatory art.

Interviews

Marvin, 27

Literature Editor & Music Teacher

“You can be all alone standing and appreciating art then there is someone who comes by and also shares the same interest as you and wow that makes the experience for me.”

Needs: Proactive in environmental conservation, he wants to do "what is right".

Motivations: Sharing experiences with others in real life and digitally. 

Jordyn, 29

Financial Advisor

“I think Grand Park brings people together… there's a sense of community here”

Needs: He’s been very safe during the pandemic and wants places to follow COVID guidelines.

Motivations: He cares about the emotional connection he feels when experiencing a place or art.

James, 35

Data Analysis

“Grand Park is just like home to me because this is a particular place where you appreciate nature.”

Needs: Green spaces are very important to him.

Motivations: Experience new parks around the world.

Insights

Personal Connection: All of them had a personal connection to Grand Park.
Different Interpretations for Art Installations
: They each had a different definition as to what an art installation was to them.
Community First
: They all felt like they were contributing members of their community.

Design

Digital Prototype

Interactive sticky note wall located near the fountain overlook by Grand Avenue. Visitors will be asked to share their favorite memory of Grand Park.

We created digital mock-ups to show what it would look like in the park using Figma and Photoshop.

Mock-up of interactive wall with dimensions designed in Photoshop
Close up of interactive stickies designed in Figma

Physical Prototype

We also went to the park for a day and prototyped our concept. My teammate Irene made the board and tested it with users at the park. The board was created on a large poster foam board with post-it stickies taped onto it.

Testing our prototype at Grand Park

Testing Results

  • 17 people shared their story
  • 2 people mingled for 30 minutes after contributing to the message board
  • Most people spent 5 minutes interacting with our message board

Executive Summary

Completed an executive summary showcasing our concept with a clearly defined roadmap, budget price sheet, opportunities, pain points, and next steps.

Read full executive summary

Results

“Great job outlining a prospective project roadmap and connecting it to the 10th anniversary” - Diaris Alexander

“Great ideas on how to expand the idea via a time capsule, book/zine, and projection.” - Marc Tobia

Reflections

Irene and I work great in a team. We felt safe, encouraged, and motivated during our time together. I wish I was able to prototype with her in person at Grand Park. We also should have focused more on giving our user a “slice” of the park wherever they go. Next time we will make sure our concept answers all of the brief and talk to the stakeholders more about our concept before the final presentation.