Creative Field   Augmented Reality, UX

Time                   20 November, 2016 - 15 December, 2016 

Team     Ravyn (Voice actress), Yun Li (UX research)

Role       Developer, Story and UX designer, UX research

Project Overview

"Manhattan Chinatown ARTour" is an AR tour guide app for travelers to explore Manhattan Chinatown in a profound way. Our main goal was to create a playful experience for travelers to learn the history of NYC Chinatown and Chinese immigration. By following the AR avatar and the route in the app, the player can explore Chinese landmarks / places of cultural significance that are located in Chinatown in the order of the historical timeline. During the exploration, the player will be asked to scan the logo on the postcard at specific timing and location, and they can watch an animation and hear the story in AR mode on the postcard. After seeing the AR stories, they can even send the postcard as souvenirs to their families of friends. When they get the postcards, they can also watch the AR stories on the postcard and vividly explore the players' memories of traveling. 

User Research

To understand the traveler’s need and thoughts toward understanding NYC Chinatown, we made an online survey to understand their behaviors and their impressions toward Chinatown. We received 50 responses and then graphed them out in statistical charts. Here are part of our key questions and the results:


Part 1. Traveling behaviors

Q1. When you travel to a new place, how often do you buy tour guide maps?


Q2. When you travel to a new place, how often do you listen to audio tours?


Q3. When you travel to a new place, how often do you find a tour guide?


Q4. When you travel to a new place, how often do you buy postcards as souvenirs?


Q5. For navigating when you are traveling, which tool do you prefer?


Part 2. The potentials of Manhattan Chinatown AR tour


Q6. Would you be interested to visit Chinatown? 

Q7. How likely would you like to take a tour for learning the history and culture about Chinatown?

Q8. If there is an AR app that could present you the  history and culture of Chinatown, how would you be willing to play with it?

Q9. If there is an AR app, how likely would you like to try it?



Q10. If there is an AR app that could give you a tour of Chinatown and present its history and culture, what functions would you like it to have?

"Historical snappier facts when you hit certain places would be cool."
"Photos of how places looked before?"
"Audio help along the way to save cell power, until at a site of interest show me AR help."
"Historical architecture, info on temples and restaurants"
"Converting Chinese text to English, showing pop-up facts when passing by places, making an adventure game out of where you have to find certain "treasures" or something"
"A talking animal tour guide"



1.  Most travelers like to buy postcards and souvenirs during their journey.

2. Most travelers are interested in the cultural and historical background of the landscape they are visiting, but are not fond of finding a tour guide or listening to audio tours. 

3. Most travelers are interested in using an AR tour guide, and they are looking forward to interacting with playful and historical elements. 


Further Research

To dig into the travelers' real needs, we interviewed five potential users and the questions were narrowed from the result of our first round research. Part of the feedback we received are as follows: 

"I don't like to book tour guide because it restricts my schedule. I cannot enjoy."
"I don't like to borrow audio guild because I already have lots of equipment, like my camera, smartphone, and backpack. I don't need one more to become my burden. "



We decided to combine GPS, audio guide, postcards and AR introduction in our AR tour app. 



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