Challenge Brief


Gallery Pal: Design a better experience for art museum guests

Challenge Overview

You are the lead designer for Gallery Pal - a service that helps guests of art museums quickly gain a better appreciation for the art they are viewing, and have a better experience during their visit.

How does Gallery Pal work?

Gallery Pal works with museums to create text messaging codes for pieces of art, which are displayed next to the piece. Museum guests can send a text message, and get a link to the mobile webpage that you'll be designing to learn more about the piece. Below is a storyboard that shows the experience of Angela using Gallery Pal at the Museum of Modern art, and where your design will fit into the experience.

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Your Challenge

For this challenge, you'll design a mobile webpage for a single piece of artwork that visitors can access while simultaneously viewing the piece in real life. Your design should help guests gain a better understanding and appreciation of the art they are viewing, and ultimately, create a better experience of viewing the piece than they would have without Gallery Pal.

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Sample Artwork

We'll use Salvador Dalí's The Persistence of Memory as our example. You can follow along using this painting as the basis for your designs. If you're feeling extra creative, you can pick any work of art that you'd like! Since you'll need to know a little bit about this piece to create you design, we've included a few resources to help you get up to speed! Salvador Dali Persistence of Memory: Meaning of the Melting Clocks Wikipedia: Persistence of Memory

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Persona: Who are you designing for?

Angela, our persona, represents the museum guest that you will be designing this experience for. The persona outlines her feelings, habits, and experiences viewing art at museums or galleries. Use this persona to guide your designs - make sure you are helping Angela have a great experience!

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Expert Interview: What makes a great experience for visitors?

For this challenge, you will watch an interview with Lena Carroll - an experienced tour guide for The Museum of Natural History in New York City. Lena has led many tours, and has great insight into the type of information that helps guests have a great museum experience. Use this expert interview to help guide your design! Watch the full interview here:

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Check out this submission, and use it as an inspiration to get started on your own!

Joe Formica

Joe Formica

Challenge Summary

This challenge centered around a mobile web service called Gallery Pal, which helps museum visitors learn and gain a better appreciation for the art they are viewing.

How Gallery Pal Works

Gallery Pal is accessed through a text message code hung on a plaque next to a given work of art. The user can text in to receive a link to a page that shows and tells them more about the piece they are looking at. 

"What can we show users to give them a better 
 in-person experience with the art?"

Research and Interviews

Before creating any concepts, I used the persona in the brief to get a better understanding of the user, and their preferences & behaviors during their museum visit.

Below is a summary of Angela's experience - she's a casual art fan who wants a little more information about the work she's looking at.

Interview With an Expert

After getting a better understanding of the user, I watched an interview with Lena Carroll, an experienced art tour guide. Her interview gave some insights into what she presents to her guests to make sure that they have a great experience at the museum.

Below are a few of the biggest takeaways from my interview with Lena

Competitive Analysis and Design Inspiration

Before starting my sketches, I looked at several other apps and experiences to 
get some ideas for how to display information about the art.

Crazy 8's and Rough Concept Sketches

After analyzing some other designs, I did a round of Crazy 8's to begin brainstorming some concepts for my design.

Detailed Sketches

After a round of Crazy 8's, I decided to pursue a "flashcard" pattern in my next round of sketching. The flashcards would contain short bits of text over a background image of the work of art.

In addition to just showing text, I also wanted to include cards that prompted a user to look up from their phone, and experience the piece in real life.


After sketching out my solution in more detail, I brought my designs into Sketch to create wireframes. As I moved into digital design (and, testing out the designs on my phone), I made a few updates to the layout and visual style documented below.

Visual Design and Prototype

In my visual design and prototype stage, I made a few small adjustments to make the cards more minimal, as not to dominate any of the background visuals.

In addition to removing the reflection timer from my wireframes, I also stripped down the "reflection" screen to give users a clear cue to look at the painting right in front of them, and to take their time to process, react, and appreciate it

Challenge Checklist

A step-by-step guide to creating an awesome submission

Choose a work of art to focus on!
5 Minutes
Watch The Interview Recording
20 Minutes
Find themes in your research
20 Minutes
Get some inspiration from other apps
30 Minutes
Use Crazy 8's to generate some ideas
8 Minutes