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© 2019 Sherry Chiu

CARNIVAL SIGN

This local Micro-Amusement Park is at the intersection of VR technology and arcade games, but a quick usability test reveals that people run into a basic issue with park navigation.

OBJECTIVE

Identify pain points in the park's current user experience.

PARAMETERS

▸  What: Can users easily purchase and play a variety of games?
 
▸  Who: Working professionals aged 25–35 who go out frequently for fun. Users were either new or returning patrons who had already visited the carnival a handful of times. 
 
▸  When: Saturday, 3-6 pm.
 
▸  Where: Los Angeles Micro-Amusement Park 

TASKS

Users were observed performing the following tasks and then interviewed afterwards: 
 
1.  Pay and Play an arcade game
 
2.  Pay and Play a VR game

USER FEEDBACK

I gathered user feedback and grouped the issues in four distinct categories. Then I ordered the comments in each category by the level of frequency.

Users didn't immediately know where to start or where to pay for games.

“My first impression is: fun, but confusing.”

Upon entering, half the users wandered to the nearest game before doubling back to the ticket counter. Half the users naturally joined the line standing next to the ticket counter. None of the users realized that they could also pay for game cards at the ticket machines and skip the line.

Users often overlooked attractions that weren't clearly displayed or explained.

“The [Arcade] side seems more crowded and exciting, no one is on the [Midway] side.”

The Arcade sign is prominently displayed and easily understandable to users—everyone knows what an arcade is. On the other hand, the Midway and Club01 signs were nearly illegible, misunderstood, and passed off as decoration. As a result, The Midway seemed less attractive and none of the users realized that Club01 hosted interactive stage shows. The Story Rooms and Deck/Cabanas also had slower traffic, because there were no signs leading to these attractions at all. 

DESIGN SUGGESTION

Overall, more visible and legible signage would help users navigate the space. For instance, installing a directional carnival sign near the entrance, so it is the first thing users see when they enter. Most importantly, directing users to where they can buy their game card would lessen confusion and help them start playing games right away! I have detailed my design process below for a sample navigational sign.

CONCEPT

This Micro-Amusement Park is a new breed of entertainment that fuses science, technology and creativity into amazing experiences. I was inspired by the venue's sleek and modern twist on vintage circus imagery. Thus I combined classic carnival signage (left) with a futuristic and minimal wraparound sign (right).

DESIGN

Each sign clearly labels the various attractions, along with a succinct description. Every element of this design follows the existing brand guidelines: from the Dazzle Camo backgrounds, Franchise Bold and Lubalin Graph fonts, Mohawk Red and Ally McTeal colors, to the filligrees.

MOCKUP

In order to fit the theme of the space, the signs are wrapped around a vintage lamppost. 

APPLICATION

Placing the sign at the entrance will help orient patrons from the moment they enter the space. The sign also hints at the multitude of attractions to be explored.