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Watson Adventures

Service design and UI/UX redesign collaboration with the scavenger hunt company



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Watson Adventures is a company that focuses on scavenger hunts. It is founded in 1999 and has more than 500,000 participants across the US​. Their game is designed for the general public of all ages as well as corporate groups for team building and creating fun ways to explore museums, famous public spaces (parks, monuments), and neighborhoods.

Types of Events 

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During the covid pandemic, the company change their previous in-person interaction to the online experience by using zoom and built a web app to replace their previous paper puzzle-solving mode. Now they are looking for new business opportunities by combining offline and online gaming experiences to create a fun hybrid scavenger hunt journey.

Design Prompt

" Make hybrid hunts a better experience for both hosts and participants."

Why this Challenge?

  • Good for business: can have a presence in more cities and have a bigger market

" We won’t have to pay our staff additionally for reaching the remote location. If a client has a tight budget, we can arrange for a remote host."

Why this Challenge?

  • Zoom setup

  • Zoom via their phone and check
    their game ‘app’ (on a browser)
    at the same time

  • Uses a high amount of phone battery 

  • No  quiet environment

      No stable internet connection

  • Browser-based game:
    how to make “a browser to kind of
    act like an app” (-Stacy)

  • Tight on budget

" The more complicated we make the app the more bells and whistles we keep building into it. The chances of it breaking get higher and higher.” … “we already have a lot of challenges getting it to operate smoothly on Apple and Android"

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Salient Attributes: Public/Private &

In-person/Hybrid Scavenger Hunts

Methodology and Limitations

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The Design Process

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User Journey

Key Screens of App

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​   Progress

  • How the game is conducted

  • Had many assumptions

  • Helped to frame interview questions 

  • Mapped Personal experience and Observations

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Research Goals:

  • Verify assumptions and gather insights from users

  • Understand the user journey from the user's perspective

  • Identify pain points, and feedback about the game experience  

  • Observe communication between the host and participants

Main Insights

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Business Blueprint

User Persona - Host Sarah L.


  • Optimistic and composed

  • She is an actor, has been in NYC for 16 years, worked for Watson for 9 years, into theatre/ orator, music, and acting

  • Easy Money. More flexible and can connect from any place.

  • No restrictions on time and space

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User Persona: Participant

Educator - friendly and extrovert


  • Adventurous want to vent out their office stress and enjoy while sipping a coffee

  • Recommended 2 more friends to join this time

  • Likes to explore places and spend weekends doing something different every time



  • Publicity of the events on social media

  • Incentives for second timers

  • Promo posts look good

  • The onboarding process is so easy

  • Photo and Q to be on the same page

  • Live notification updates from host on browser

  • “I want to learn more things about the place”

  • Website is intuitive

  • Glad to play with friends

  • Rewards for winners?

  • Host communication can only be on zoom

  • Game end announcement

  • A token of remembrance

  • Email messages to be concise and more visual

  • The incentive to fill out the survey

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After researching with users and hosts and considering the constraints. We came out with our suggestions focused on communications, branding and marketing, and the UI that can be improved for the user experience at a lower cost. 

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Meanwhile, we kept our process of doing the interview and tested our idea with users during that. We made some simple mockups to help quickly collect user feedback.

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Feasibility Matrix

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DIY Framework


Risk Analysis



1.No promote about the event on social media

   Solution:  Social Media - posts that promote upcoming events

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2. Unclear information about hunting during the booking process.

    Solution:  Add program explanation on the booking process pages

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3. Some participants don't read the booking mail carefully

    Solution:  Add different options for getting information update when booking

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4. Information hierarchy and structure unclear

    Solution:  Enhance the instructions graphically


5.Suggestion: game route, start and end point.


6.Hard to find a restroom and water during the hunt

   Solution:  Add icons when the clue is close to the rest spot 


7.The unclear question navigation process

   Solution:  Combine location and photo questions


8.Currently, the process of uploading a photo is complex

   Solution:  Simplify & clarify the process of uploading photos


9.No visual indication of the alert

   Solution:  Make an alert for announcements


10.The current alarm is for every team

     Solution:  Host send message to a specific group


11.The way to end the game is not clear.

     Solution:  Add one more step to clearly explain.


12.Photo gallery

     Solution:  Images that can be edited and shared

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13.Lack of incentive for the next hunt

     Solution:  Incentive for second-time customers

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Thanks to Watson Adventures and Marshall Sitten

Team members

Harshi Rambhal

Ju Eun Jeon

Amogh Gharpure

Yiran Chi


Nov. - Dec.2022

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