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Service Design

#UX Design #User Research​#Service Design

UI/UX Designer



6 Weeks


Watson Adventures is a company that focuses on scavenger hunts. It was 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.

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During the COVID pandemic, the company changed 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.

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Salient Attributes:
Public/Private & In-person/Hybrid Scavenger Hunts

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Design Prompt

" How can we make hybrid hunts a better experience for hosts and participants? So the business can have a presence in more cities and have a bigger market."


Technical Limitations: Browser App Zoom Setup 

  • ​" The more complicated we make the app 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"

  • In the hybrid game, players will need to use a "browser app" to answer puzzles and find clues, while contacting the host on a Zoom meeting. For the first-time player, handling two new tools at the same time would be tricky.

  • Uses a high amount of phone battery 

Finance Consideration: Tight on Budget

" 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.

Environment: Interfering

No quiet and no stable internet connection.

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User Journey

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Key Screens of App

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  • 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

Insights & Pain Points

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Business Blueprint

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User Persona - Host Sarah L.

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  • 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

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 the host on the browser

  • Learning during the trip: “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. 

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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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 updates 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 & and 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

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