Case Study | PlastAR
Designing an AR App to Breathe New Life in a Carnegie Museum of Art Exhibit...
Details
UI/UX Designer, Copy Writer
01/17 - 05/17

Copy + Paste: Hall of Architecture was an eight month exhibit in The Carnegie Museum of Art's Hall of Architecture; the world's largest collection of plaster casts. This exhibit would explore new ways to present information in the space. Part of this endeavor, PlastAR created a Google Tango AR app prototype for the show.

Mentions in the news
The Incline
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Rossilynne Culgan | 10/26/2017

ARPost
Time Travel in Augmented Reality with the Carnegie Museum of Art 
ARPost Team | 10/27/2017

NEXTPittsburgh
Architecture comes alive through Carnegie Museum of Art’s new Plaster ReCast augmented reality app 
Amanda Waltz | 10/30/2017

Carnegie Mellon University News
Augmented Reality App Puts Museum Visitors in Touch with Architectural History 
Julianne Mattera | 12/13/2017

The Architect's Newspaper
Ten architecture shows to see in 2018​​​​​​​ 
Matthew Marani | 01/29/2018

Design
Starting Out
Exploring the hall and interviewing visitors, it was clear the Hall of Architecture's congested and large layout was problematic...
• The presentation of plasters had no organization

• As such, guests didn't know where to start

• The congested layout left little room for relevant information

The result was an exhibit visitors wanted to engage with, but had no idea how to.
UI Design
Partnering with another UI/UX designer on the team, I worked on wire frames, paper prototypes, and play-testing. Finding out the hall was built to bring landmarks to the people of Pittsburgh, I focused on designing the app to treat users like tourists with travel-like features, an emphasis on exploration, engaging experiences, and education.
While play-testing helped identify ways to clean up features, it was discovered that visitors wanted the following:

1. Different amounts of information based on the time they had. A five minute visit gets the same quality experience but less content compared to an hour.
2. Features that worked well with any number of users. Rarely were museum visits conducted alone.

To address this, AR features were designed for group use, and the app split into three sections; each with different amounts of content but the same interactivity. To land the app's tourist theme, I authored content to address users as if they were on a tour. Play-testers responded well to digital prototypes as a result
The final combined result of our UI/UX work is a fun, easy to use app that has been received well by visitors of all ages and backgrounds. The app has already helped many have a more memorable experience at the museum.

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