Focusing on accessibility and equality, I realized that most of the people visiting art museums are non-disabled. This sparked the question - why are only few disabled people enjoying exhibitions? What are the hurdles for them to visit?
People with disabilities describe outside of their homes as a “jungle.” While disabled people should not be discriminated to cultural and leisure life, even stated by the UN, in reality, there numerous hurdles for the disabled to enjoy cultural life. Only 3% of disabled people attend art events, compared to 78.3% of the non-disabled audience.
📝 Phase 1: Deck research
According to Korean cultural government research, the number of registered disabled people in Korea is steadily increasing, and half of them are physically disabled. People with physical disabilities show significantly low participation in cultural activities compared to non-disabled people by 35.8% gap. Furthermore, while 78.3% of non-disabled population visits art events, only 3% of disabled shows viewing rate of exhibitions.
While several museums provide disability facilities for the disabled users, it is difficult to find the information as it makes multiple steps for a user to check the disability facilities.
While 78.3% of non-disabled population visits art events, only 3% of disabled shows viewing rate of exhibitions. Moreover, while 38% of disabled people desire for artistic activities, only 18.1% of them participate.
36% of disabled people said public transportation is difficult to use. Furthermore, 63.4% of users answered that subway is their main transportation tool.
It is difficult to pre-check whether the museum is equipped with disability facilities. It takes extra effort for disabled people to search the information.
The main tab curates exhibitions to motivate the user to visit. Exhibitions are recommended based on location, gallery, trendiness, and categories. This aims to familiarize users with art and design culture.
With general information, the detail page highlights disability services, reviews, and navigation catered to disabled users. This aims to help users to find accessibility information fast and simply.
To reduce the burden of traveling, the location tab highlights exhibitions there are close to the user's location. This aims to save time and energy to find art exhibitions in users' lives.
The navigation feature provides customized public transportation guidance and taxi reservation services for physically disabled users. It highlights the subway exit with elevator, disability facilities inside the station, and the number of times to lift the wheelchair.
The saved tab manages exhibitions and museums that the user is interested in. The museum detail page allows users to check current exhibitions, disability facilities, directions, and indoor AR navigation features.
AR camera provides indoor navigation to help a user find disability facilities inside the museum. Users can easily navigate through the buildings to find disability facilities with mobile cameras.
The feed tab highlights the exhibition experience of other users and introduces the link to the exhibition. Also, the review and reservation tab allows users to manage their reviews and analyze their previous visits.
The feature cut production time by 73% to about 4 minutes; more exhibition check-outs accepted; overall increase in disabled user’s exhibition visits; more time saving for users and money for galleries.
Public transportation experience is different between disabled people and non-disabled people. Based on their completely different experience, I learned how to rethink a current design to accommodate users’ needs.
This project started with my daily thinkings of how the situation would be tougher for disabled people. With this mindset, I was able to discover their pinpoints and needs.
During the pandemic, it was difficult for me to meet physically disabled people in person nor find them for interview / user-testing. User-testing is great to validate my design concepts and decisions, and I regret not having the opportunity to find the target user around me. If I have more time, I would like to find physically disabled people around me, conduct an interview, and validate my points.
Based on my research and observation, disabled people rely on digital devices for their navigation as it is hard to find public signage while sitting in a wheelchair. I would like to further design tools for AR indoor navigation to help the user from the exhibition beginning to the end.