An experimental web application user interface design about Yayoi Kusama’ artwork, “The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens”, exhibited at NGA. The purpose of the design is to turn the exhibition into a website that people could experience the artwork without visit the gallery in person. For instance, this website could continue share exhibition to public when all galleries are temporarily closing due to the COVID-19
“The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens” is one of Yayoi Kusama’ installation artwork which is displayed on its own in a room. It represents a bright yellow room covered with black dots, and a box sits in the middle of the room made by mirrors that reflect the surrounding environment. Besides, a “peep window” on the box allows visitors to experience an endless reflecting a world which is filled with Yayoi’s typical styled pumpkins.
Guide visitors to use the new site without confusion
Consider the acceptability for different user groups
Develop different use cases and personas.
Evaluate the prototype with potential users from various groups
The charm of installation exhibit is fully involving visitors in the artwork and experience the concepts the artist needs to express. Though designing a regular introductory website using texts, images or videos as content can delivery the message to visitors, a website contains 3D/VR tour could offer a dynamic, immersive experience that more likely to visit the exhibit in person. Thus, the UI design of this website should focus on high usability that provide a immersive experience to users.
Since this website is different from general websites, how to make users of different ages, knowledge and fields can use the functions with no issues has become the primary task of UI design. The operations involved should conform to the principles of interactive design, so that a large portion of users can use common sense to complete operations without guidance. However, an optional guidance will help users who are not familiar with the operation. After the first round of prototype design, we invited several people of different ages and backgrounds to help verify the usability of the interface. After that, the prototype of the second design was improved by summarizing their opinions.!
In order to increase the sense of substitution, the homepage of the website simulates the entrance of a real exhibition. And at the entrance, the artwork is introduced in the form of an exhibition board. After entering the exhibit room, the user will choose whether to use the wizard. If so, there will be a different interface to introduce how to use each operation in the 3d tour.
In the process of visiting the exhibition, users will see the "+" symbol next to some iconic and characteristic elements, and click on this symbol to view the detailed introduction. In this way, entertainment and education can be combined during the visit to discover more design details that are ignored during the field visit.
The evaluation phase is an important step in interaction design. The objectives of this prototype evaluation are: 1. Can users get the information and content they need? 2. Can users understand how to use it? 3. Can the designed interaction elements accomplish their functions? 4. Can users achieve it efficiently through simple operations? finally, 5. Are these designs that users need and feel interesting?
The first step of the evaluation process is to prepare the evaluation script for guiding participants during the evaluation. Then print out all the interfaces, ask, observe and collect the feedback of participants on usability. Finally, improve the prototype design of the next version based on the feedback of the participants.
Since this is only an experimental interactive design project, we only invited 5 participants to experience our prototype. However, in order to make the participants more representative, we invited them of different ages, fields, genders and education levels to give feedback. Thereby cover as much test content as possible.