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Stratford, ON


Avon River Scavenger Hunt

I had to select a public space in Stratford and spend a minimum of four hours observing citizen activity in the space. I chose to observe the Avon River.  I designed, prototyped and tested a digital prototype that transforms the experience of the Avon River through mobile storytelling, pervasive gaming or playful interaction.  I had to keep in mind a digital media that I wanted and the decisions I needed to be appropriate for both the site and the audience.



I transformed the experiences and activities that a person can have at the Avon River in Stratford into a playful interaction for the user. My digital prototype was a scavenger hunt. Information about the monuments, the natural environment and recreational activities were presented in an engaging manner.  The app provided knowledge and further information about what the user was seeing and experiencing by the Avon River.  The information is organized and visually stimulating.  The app is a scavenger hunt designed for 13-year-olds. The app includes three categories; nature, places to go, and activities.  The user can search through the app and take a picture of the item they choose. If they photograph the correct item, they get a certain amount of points. The app also includes standings and a personal profile which the user can gain points and levels and these can be compared against the rankings of other players.  The more pictures the user takes of different activities, birds, mammals and places, the more points he receives. The prototype reflected my understanding of what the user wants which is be active and interact with the site.  I tapped into the competitive nature of the user and the gamer mindset by incorporating badges and the accumulation of points into the scavenger hunt.

Interpretive Information

The goal of the prototype was to ensure that I developed a creative and engaging prototype to market the Avon River and showcase what the area had to offer to visitors of all ages. It was important to ensure that the information was organized in a clear, understandable and accessible way for the user. The challenge was to design an app that would keep the user engaged in the activities and sustain the user’s attention to fully explore the different categories provided on the app. 


Decisional Information

My decisions were guided by ensuring that the prototype engaged the user and was appropriate for the site and the audience.  The design principles that were used provided a strong visual, spatial and experiential relationship between the layout, flow of information, key interactions and interactive elements. This playful interaction allowed the user to learn about Stratford and all that the Avon River had to offer - nature, places to visit and recreational activities.

The project could improve in future iterations by providing opportunities for user testing throughout the design stages of the prototype. I could have also got more direct feedback from the people that I observed by the River about the reasons they were there which would provide me with a deeper understanding of how that site meet their needs

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