Savannah, Georgia is a beautiful city full of exciting sights, historic landmarks, enchanting nature, good ‘ol homestyle country cookin, and so much more. At the north end of historic downtown is Broughton Street, the main shopping drag of the area. This was once a hot spot for tourists and locals alike, but the scene on Broughton has quickly been changing. King Street in Charleston, South Carolina is becoming a big competitor and Broughton Street has failed to keep up. In the recent years, much of Broughton has been bought up by big developers and rent has risen thus driving out many local shops. Big box shops like H&M and J-Crew now take the place of small local restaurants and little mom-and-pop gift shops.
Our objective was to create an experience that would be uniquely Savannah and not only bring people to Broughton, but also keep them on Broughton.
Users and audience
The users of the end product would be the everyday shoppers on Broughton Street. In the beginning, our team was not sure who we would target, but very quickly into our research phase we realized that families with children would be our target — both local families and tourists alike.
Roles and responsibilities
Hannah A. Patellis - Research, Definition, Ideation, Storyboarding, Prototyping, UI Design
Oscar Elmendorf - Research, Definition, Ideation, Prototyping
Breana Russell - Research, Definition, Ideation, Wireframing
Polly Adams - Research, Definition, Ideation, Storyboarding, Illustration, Prototyping
Our research phase included talking directly to store owners on Broughton Street and also interviewing individuals we found on Broughton Street and the immediately surrounding area. Through our research we discovered families were one of the main groups that felt unfulfilled while on Broughton. We quickly realized as we synthesized our research that families with children were the group for whom we would design with the goal of creating an experience that would keep both guardians and kids entertained, while also keeping them on Broughton to better drive business to local shops and sights.
- Local consumers
Designing for children
- Savannah Bee Company
- Preferred experiences over games
- Something technological
- 40% of kids in the USA are exposed to iPads before they can speak
- 70% of children younger then 8 use mobile devices on a regular basis
Designing for families
- Experiences that engage the entire family
- Entertain kids
- Create memories
- Easy, cheap, convenient, prime location
- Empty stores and vacant buildings
- Big box retailers
- Bored kids
Our research pointed us in the direction of designing an interactive experience for families. As we went through the ideation process we focused on a way to create a memorable and immersive experience for both guardians and children. We wanted this experience to directly connect with the shops and sights on Broughton so we could improve foot traffic to local businesses while providing a fun thing for families to do.
We started out with a large number of ideas, some of which included the idea of families “checking out” tablets or some other kind of portable device so they could interact with touchpoints around the street in shops and at landmarks.
After preforming a SWOT analysis along with continuing to gather and synthesize research on our users, we decided on an interactive viewfinder that would turn Broughton Street into an educational fantasy wonderland that would lead users through Broughton from landmark to landmark and highlight local shops for families to discover.
Our interactive viewfinder creates and experience for families with children who want to visually and physically engage with Broughton Street and the larger downtown area. The viewfinder connects to a greater sense of the history of the historic city.
Users use the viewfinder to see an augmented view of the area they are in, overlaid with historical and fantasy images that relate to the greater stories of Savannah.
Users can capture a photo of what they see, including photos with themselves in the augmented views of the beautiful street. They can then send the photos to their mobile devices and continue following the experience from viewfinder to viewfinder throughout Broughton Street with the help of the mobile companion web application.
Viewfinder user interface
Mobile web application user interface
We tested the final prototype in a pilot with five families with children. One family went on the entire tour with us, hitting every single spot on the path. We received positive feedback and families were overwhelmingly thrilled with the experience. Most importantly we got the stamp of approval from the kids, and they’re the harshest critics!