Postda is an AR tour guide app for travelers to explore Manhattan Chinatown in a playful way. It allows travelers to learn about the history of NYC Chinatown and Chinese immigration through a set of postcards and the Postda app.
(UX Researcher/Unity Development)
Ravyn (Voice Actress)
With gentrification accelerating citywide, rents have risen to an all time high and low-income Chinatown tenants and small business owners are being pushed out from the Chinatown in Manhattan.
Under such circumstances, Postda hopes to bring new technology to create an interesting experience for more people to explore the beauty of the history of the establishment of Chinatown, thus raising people’s attention towards the preservation of Chinatown's original culture.
The first step of the design process was to conduct a user survey. My main purpose was trying to understand people’s general impression of Chinatown, their traveling habits, and their opinions towards AR technology in general. I received 50 responses and then graphed them out in statistical charts. Here are part of the key questions and the results:
Question: What words do you associate with Chinatown?
Audio Tour Service: 34.6%
Tour Guide Map: 51.3%
Question: What would you normally buy to enrich your travel experience?
Make an adventure game
Audio help along the way to save cell power, until at a site of interest show me AR help
Converting Chinese text to English, showing pop-up facts when passing by places
A talking animal tour guide
I want to hear some stories
Question: If there is an AR app that could give you a tour of Chinatown and present its history and culture, what functions would you like it to have?
To further understand the travelers' real needs, Nai-Chen Yang in our team interviewed five potential users and the questions were narrowed from the result of our first round research. Part of the feedback she received are as follows:
"I don't like to book tour guide because it restricts my schedule. I cannot enjoy."
"I don't like to borrow audio guild because I already have lots of equipment, like my camera, smartphone, and backpack. I don't need one more to become my burden. "
Based on the above research, we have the following findings:
People have relatively negative impression on Chinatown
People would find it easier to accept our product if it is something that they normally buy, for example, postcards or travel map
People still want to experience the trip and expect AR contents only appear at points of interest
As a result, we decided to combine GPS, audio guide, postcards and AR introduction in our AR tour app.
(Credit: The above user journey was created by Nai-Chen Yang)