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Collaborating with designers, architects, facility owners, and
digital product teams to make memorable experiences

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​Niantic Truffel: A Shared Social Map

For Niantic, the makers of Pokémon GO, we collaborated on the featureset and UX of a new social location app named Truffel.

 

Through innovative co-creation and research techniques like Play Pods and Walkshops, we identified and prioritized features that delighted prospective users.

 

Our [real-people] x [real-world] usability methods sparked deep engagement in our early users and built a firsthand understanding between the product team and the people they were building Truffel for. Our expertise in mapping UX helped make the shared map come to life.

 

As part of a small, agile team, we also created a messaging hierarchy for the new brand, and, with the team, took the app to beta at SXSW.

Collaborated with Wonderment by Design & Asterisk

Oklahoma Health Center, Oklahoma City

Oklahoma Health Center is a vast 325-acre medical campus that houses three hospitals, a medical school, 60 buildings and dozens of parking lots and garages.

 

In tandem with the design of a new signage system, we launched a mobile-optimized website on the MapWell Platform to give visitors accurate and easy-to-follow driving, transit, parking, and indoor walking directions to over 450 discrete destinations.

 

The site and the sign system share the same visual design and nomenclature to ensure a cohesive wayfinding experience. Staff members can update the system as destinations change and move.

Collaborated with fd2s & Assembly Lion

Richard Moya Eastside Bus Plaza, Austin

The Richard Moya Bus Plaza is the first major multimodal transportation hub in Central Texas connecting national, regional and local transit. We took the lead for content development and project management of a wayfinding system designed by LVCK. We wrote the content for a system of interpretive signs to introduce visitors to the many green building features and native, sustainable plantings on the site. The Bus Plaza has been awarded the 2023 Austin Green Award, 2023 Austin Energy Green Building 3-Star Rating, and 2023 SITES Silver. 

 

We also conceived, researched, wrote, and managed the design and implementation of a landmark commemorating the 1968-71 Economy Furniture Strike. Also known as the Austin Chicano Huelga, the event sparked a spirit of activism and community leadership for generations of Austinites and led to advancements in national fair labor practices. 

Collaborated with McCann Adams Studio, LVCK, Jackson & McElhaney Architects, Studio BalconesFSG

EastLink Trail, Austin

The Eastlink Trail travels through diverse and historically underserved neighborhoods from LadyBird Lake to Bartholomew Park in East Austin.

 

We developed the wayfinding strategy for the 5-mile trail that traverses city streets, parks and other urban trails. As part of a larger Interpretive placemaking project, we led co-creation sessions with community members to design the system and determine which stories to tell along the way.

 

We learned a great deal testing prototype signs along the trail with cyclists and pedestrians. MapWell developed content and sourced photos for a series of interpretive signs and collaborated with the Austin History Center and local civic leaders to vet and validate meaningful narratives. 

Collaborated with McCann Adams Studio, Itze Pavon, LVCKAustin Parks Foundation, City of Austin, Public City, MuseWorks, FSG

Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Little Rock

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts undertook a dramatic transformation from a maze-like bunker to a welcoming, light-filled space for social interaction, education, and appreciation for the arts.

 

Collaborating with the architect, branding/signage consultant, and museum staff, we developed a storytelling and playfinding plan to define new ways to engage with the community. With insights gleaned from the stakeholder work sessions, we proposed installations and activations, both hi-tech and low-tech, permanent and pop-up. 

Collaborated with Studio Gang & Page

MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

Our long and productive collaboration with MD Anderson, a global leader in cancer research and treatment, focused on usability and management of their groundbreaking digital wayfinding tools which include touchscreens, a website for personalized directions, and an indoor navigation app. We’ve conducted onsite usability sessions with visitors and staff, heuristic reviews of proposed tools, assessments of digital vendor solutions, and consulted on operational processes and applications to keep the system up to date.

Collaborated with fd2s & Phunware

Wayfinding Management: Models & Methods in Healthcare Environments

How do some of the largest and most respected healthcare institutions manage their wayfinding systems? It takes people, processes and tools to keep up with the ever-changing content in these maze-like environments. Under a grant from the Sign Research Foundation, we interviewed seven leaders of wayfinding systems and published their best practices for keeping their signs, maps, and apps up to date and useful for visitors. The publication is available here.

 

Case studies include: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center • Cleveland Clinic • NewYork-Presbyterian • Medical Center • Penn State Health Medical Center • UCSF Health • University of Chicago Medicine

Digital Wayfinding Trends: Lessons Learned from Museums, Healthcare, and Transit Experiences

Thanks to a grant from the Sign Research Foundation, we assessed ground-breaking digital wayfinding tools in museums, hospitals, airports, and transit systems. The resulting publication illustrates eight case studies and the best practices derived from them—from lessons learned in user experience to system management. The publication is available here.

 

Case studies include: Detroit Institute of Art • Art Institute of Chicago • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta • NYU Langone Health • Chicago Transit Authority • New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority • American Airlines • Houston Airports

NYU Langone Health, New York

As an academic research institution, NYU Langone Health prides itself on pursuing innovative patient experience experiences, all based on evidence-based, human-centered design.

 

For a series of wayfinding usability studies over more than a decade, we’ve pioneered some novel and illuminating research methods such as: scavenger hunts, board games, eye-tracking heat maps, and customized studies with under-represented groups, such as low-vision, colorblind, and non-native English speakers.

 

Each study resulted in actionable improvements to systems, signage, and digital tools to make it easier for patients and visitors to find their way.

Collaborated with LVCK & TwoTwelve

City of Hope, Los Angeles Area

As part of a pilot roll-out of a newly designed signage and wayfinding system, we provided a Reality Check for hospital administration and the design team using our [real-people] x [real-world] usability methodology.

 

To analyze the new system from all points of view, we conducted a 360° assessment, seeking targeted input from visitors, front-line staff, and two patient and family advisory groups. We hosted various tangible exercises with visitors to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the new signage and provided recommendations for the system design and operations as it is deployed to the whole campus and other facilities.

Collaborated with Altitude Design Office

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