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The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy houses the world’s best collection of Renaissance paintings. The Uffizi Guide app aims to enhance the tourist experience by taking the best of traditional audio guides and adding curated tours driven by user needs all on the user's personal device with a pleasant, on-brand, easy-to-use interface.

This project is speculative and has no affiliation with the Uffizi Gallery.

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Uffizi Gallery App Prototype

An easy to use audio guide app for tourists

Project Overview


April 2021 - May 2021

My Role

Lead UX Designer and Visual Designer.


Conducting user interviews and secondary research, competitive analysis, user flows, paper and digital wireframing, low and high fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, iterating on designs, and creating a final high-fidelity prototype.

The Challenge

Most Uffizi visitors are international tourists that like renting audio guides to experience gallery content in their native language. Usually, visitors come to the museum only once amidst a packed day of site seeing. How can a guide app enhance with the art in the museum, to make users feel they got the most out of their visit without feeling overwhelmed.


Design an interface that is easy to learn for foreign tourists who will likely only use the app the one time they visit the museum.


Accommodate users who want a curated experience as well as users who want to choose their own adventure.


Retain existing best practices from physical audio guides while minimizing drawbacks.


Create a flow for curated tours that helps to navigate the museum.


Encourage the purchasing of paid content and make payment easy.

The Solution

Based on insights gained in research and testing I created an audio guide experience for tourists visiting the Uffizi Gallery for what might be their first and last time. Visitors can enjoy a guided or self-paced adventure or a mixture of both. The app takes advantage of the museum's existing audio guide system and combines it with new features for a smooth gallery going experience.


Curated Tours Based on User Needs

Right from the home screen, users can select one of three curated tours based on how much time they wish to spend in the museum or how many art pieces they want to see. Each tour includes the most significant and popular museum pieces.

Users expressed being overwhelmed with the amount of content museums usually have, and how after an hour, they tended to become exhausted. They also noted that they did not want to miss out on important artifacts. Uffizi Gallery Guide provides curated tours by duration from short 1 to 3 hours with each tour including the most significant and popular pieces.

Familiar Interface Patterns

When visiting the Uffizi Gallery for the first time, most users will be using the audio guide app for the first and the last time. This makes it especially important for users to learn the interface quickly with little or no instruction. To make the interface more familiar, I made it similar to music apps like Spotify or Apple Music with similar playback controls and drawer overlays for easy navigation and more interactivity.

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Traditional Audio Lookup

It was important to preserve the classic numeric-keypad audio-lookup experience. Not only is it easy to use, but the museum already uses this system. In addition to the keypad, the app features an enhanced interface with artwork thumbnails for orientation and written transcripts.  As with traditional audio guides, users who like to go at their own pace and curate their own experience. This feature can be used exclusively or accessed as a popup from within any tour to look up items not part of a particular tour.

Way Finding Aid

Museums can be a tricky place to navigate and finding the specific artwork can be even trickier. To make wayfinding easier the tour list view, and the artwork view show the room number and the artwork number.

Additionally, the tour interface includes a map view that shows the user where the current piece selected is and the last piece the user looked at. The map was specially designed to work without an internet connection to circumvent the notorious connectivity issues in museums.

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Encouraging Content Purchases

Visitors can unlock the Uffizi Guide paid content as part of the ticket reservation process by paying for a QR code at the gallery ticket office, or directly in the app.

Because of the pandemic, physical audio guide rentals have been restricted. Normally tourists could rent an audio guide on site. It was important to come up with an alternate way to cue visitors about purchasing a guide. This can be done during the registration process, at the ticket counter, and with posters and signs inside and outside the museum.

My Process

Check out my process from research to wireframes, to testing to final prototype.

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What I learned

Frequency of use has a big impact

It was not until half way through the project design that, I realized that most visitors to the uffizi would only be going there once and that the experience needed to be as easy to learn an familiar as possilbe to minimize teh need for instruction.

Assumptions help decision making

Assuming that the interent connection inside the gallery would be spotty drove the careful consideration to download content and how to inform users about that process. It also inspired creating that was interactive but not centered on your exact location.

Impact of user testing

No matter how much I tried to anticipate usability and edge cases, as soon as I got to observe people using the app, decisions I had agonized over became very clear insights and insights for changes stood out clearly.

Animations delight and help

Rather than just instantaneous switching from screen, directional animation for drawers and minimizations and moving forward and backward really help in anchoring a sense of position within an interface. I will definately explore more deliberate animations in future projects.

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