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CS179: Design of Useful and Usable Interface Systems

February 2018

For four weeks, two classmates and I collaborated to build a paper prototype of Harvard Secrets AR -- an application that uses mobile technology to transform the experience of Harvard tourists. During these four weeks, I conducted contextual inquiries, storyboarded potential solutions, built three iterations of a paper prototype, conducted UI testing, conducted cognitive walk throughs and pitched our product. 

Through our research, we found that tourists encounter three main problems. They are:

  1. confused about what is around them.

  2. barred from Harvard's most iconic spaces.

  3. disengaged with Harvard's history and culture. 

As a solution, we created Harvard Secrets AR. 


Harvard Secrets AR turns the passive tradition of snapping pictures to an interactive experience that allows visitors to discover Harvard’s rich history and lore through their phone cameras.

The application would have a stored list of all landmarks on Harvard's campus and their metadata. Utilizing geolocation, the app will identify which landmarks the user could be looking at and then use the images from the user's camera as an input to an image classification model. Lastly, the algorithm combines the geolocation data and image model scores to identify the correct landmark and display its information.

You can see more about the deisgn process, including storyboards, affinity diagrams and paper prototypes here.

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