Lingyuan Li
IxD | UX

227 Abolitionist Place Museum App(2017)

Site-specific experience design to help raise the awareness of 227 Abolitionist Place Museum


227 Abolitionist Place, located on Duffield Street, was one of the safe houses along the Underground Railway for African-Americans and indentured servants escaping slavery. A museum about New York slavery abolition history was proposed to be built at 227 Abolitionist Place. The project is to help raise awareness and interest in the museum.


Brooklyn Historical Society (The Center for Brooklyn History)


Lingyuan Li, Pan Pan, Corinna Vong

My Roles:

Visited the site; Conducted expert interviews; Did user research; Ideated and Designed; Conducted usability tests

227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)
1. Discovery

Site Analysis

  • gender

  • age

  • race

  • income

  • educational level

Site Visit + Expert Interview

We visited Duffield Street, BK. In order to learn more background about the site especially 227 Abolitionist Place, we went to the Brooklyn Historical Society and did an expert interview with Alexander Tronolone, the Manager of Teaching and Learning of BHS.

  • "Historic theme that ties together exhibits"

  • "important to tell stories"

  • "accessibility"

  • "information not didactic or dense, be more interactive"

227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)
227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)

Visit Brooklyn Historical Society and 227 Abolitionist Place


What do general people know about 227 Abolitionist Place? What do visitors expect from 227 Abolitionist Place?

Interview + Survey

We asked participants about their patterns of visiting museums and their perceptions of their imagined 227 Abolitionist Place museum.

  • 12 interviewees

  • People would like to learn more from the museum in a more interesting and interactive way


227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)


227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)

Ecosystem Map

227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)

User Journey

As persona Daisy is the hardcore user, we mapped out steps to see what opportunities we can use to help her reach the most important goals when exploring the museum.

227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)

Scroll over the picture above to view the whole journey

227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)
2. Ideate
227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)

How Might We

User Journey Touchpoint: Museum awareness

How might we spread the awareness of the museum?

Winner: Posts, ads + information via digital channels

227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)

Crazy 8's

Winner: AR advertisement


  • Displays inside of the museum

  • Historical scenes depending on the location in Brooklyn

  • Share through a link or app

227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)

How Might We

How might we create an interesting, usable app?

Ideas to consider: 

  • Share checkpoints

  • Posting on social media

  • Audio videos

  • Modern visuals

3-1 & 4-1 Make + Test
227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)

User Testing & Improvements

  1. Make the description + instruction clearer

  2. Adjust the number of locations that users need to collect

  3. Consider more gamification + collection/goals

  4. Re-think ‘Share’ option

  5. For AR part, make 3D model load without tracking the image.

3-2 & 4-2 Make + Test
227 Abolitionist Place Museum App (2017)

User Testing & Considerations

  1. Convert the app to a web page so that users don’t need to download it.

  2. Ask users to provide email addresses or phone numbers so that they can keep their QR codes for free tickets without an app.

  3. Set levels to make the game more sustainable (or interaction within the museum).

  4. A stronger connection between the museum + items chosen.

  5. Should have clearly specified that scanning things were a “luck system”.

  6. Figure out more interesting topics + educational items.

  7. Categorize items for collection.

  8. Improve AR (more 3D model/images & less text).

3-3 & 4-3 Make + Test

Final Prototype