Project Overview

This project was part of a course at Coursera.

My Role: UX designer designing a Zoo app from conception to delivery.

Responsibilities: Conducting interviews, paper, and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, and iterating on designs.

Project Duration: March 2020 to September 2020

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The Problem

Getting around the Zoo can be both perplexing and exhausting. One minute, you'd expect an exhibit to be open after making the long walk from the penguins to the lions, only to discover it is closed. But hold on! You got lost on the map and ended up at the tiger display! What a nightmare!

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The Solution

The Zoo App is a product that assists visitors in planning their path throughout the Zoo in order to navigate more efficiently. Users may choose which animals to see and which activities to participate in, and the app will generate a route for their visit.

Solo Academic
Project Type

The Design Process

Zoo App

The design thinking framework served as a guide for me as I journeyed to my answer. Through user journey maps and interviews, I was able to understand users' problems and identify their pain points. By developing personas and user journey maps, I clarified the Zoo's problems and areas for improvement. I was able to develop strategies for the Zoo to outperform its rivals by performing competitive audits. I took my concepts and created prototypes for them. Finally, I tried my design on real people.

Understanding the User
Zoo App

Interview quotes


During the research phase of my project, I conducted user interviews with 4 people in order to get a better understanding of the problem.

Interview objective:

  • I chose an interview research method because I wanted to see people's emotions about going to the zoo.

  • I asked questions like, "How would you describe your latest trip to the zoo?", "Were there any issues you came across?"

  • I wanted to get a better understanding of how the Zoo can improve its visitor satisfaction.

  • Many of the interviewees expressed confusion about getting around the Zoo and lack of animal information.

  • The information I received during the interviews helped narrow down the issues I needed to design for.

User Pain Points


Finding their way around the zoo is confusing for first-timers and takes up time trying to figure out where they want to go next.


There may not be many events and activities happening, but when they do happen, a schedule and location aren’t provided for people who want to attend or who are curious about what this zoo has to offer.

Animal Facts

Animal facts around the zoo aren’t usually up to date or give more details and facts. Oftentimes these signs are not available in multiple languages.

Zoo App

Persona & problem statement

Lisa is a mother who needs a way to navigate through the Zoo swiftly because her child needs constant visual stimulation and activities to do.

Zoo App

User journey map

I mapped out the users’ steps to see how I could simplify their journey to help them reach their most important goals with the product.

Mapping Lisa’s journey revealed how helpful if visitors had a physical map always at hand or frequent encounters with a directory.

Starting the design

Zoo App

Paper Wireframes

Drafting iterations of each screen of the app on paper ensured that the elements that made it to digital wireframes would be well-suited to address user pain points. For the Animal information screen, I prioritized small descriptions about the animal and the directions button, so the user can begin their route to that animal.

Digital Wireframes

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As the initial design phase continued, I made sure to base screen designs on feedback and findings from the user research.

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Having more details about the wildlife was a key user need that needed to be addressed in the designs in addition to equipping the app with event information for that day of visit

👇View more lo-fi screens on Figma

Usability Study Findings

I carried out two rounds of usability testing. The results of the initial research guided the design process from wireframes to mock-ups. The second utilized a high-fidelity prototype to show which elements of the mock-ups needed to be improved.

Round 1 finding:

  1. Users want to get around to the zoo easier.

  2. Users want a better way to check events going on at the zoo.

Round 2 findings

  1. Saving a zoo route should be optional for users.

  2. Instruction on how to create a route should be available before creating a new route.

Refining the design

Zoo App

I made minor changes to the home page after conducted a usability study


Early designs prioritized Zookeeper's choices. During the study, I discovered that users prefer to see what's new around the Zoo.

Accessibility Considerations


I used icons in the design to help make navigation easier


I used detailed imagery for the animal and activity selection to help users better understand their selection.


Provided the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) filter option for users who use wheelchairs (but are not limited to), so they can have an easy route around the Zoo.

Refined designs

Going forward

What have you learned from this project?

From start to end, designing the LA Zoo guide app was a rewarding learning experience. Starting with user research and progressing to high-fidelity prototypes taught me a lot about the user-centered design process. Understanding how people think and feel is critical to making the proper design decisions along the way.

"Would people grasp the designs?" I wondered as I tested paper prototypes. - It was critical to discover prospective features and enhancements without spending too much time redesigning.

Similarly, the user testing phase is used to get real-world input on the visual design and navigation. I couldn't have created a product that users appreciate without the assistance of those who would use it.

Next Steps

The primary focus for this part of the project was on the core functionality (creating a route around the zoo). Before adding features, it is critical to complete the fundamental functionality. However, in the future, I intend to include:

  • An audio-guided tour feature. Scan the QR to learn more about the animals.

  • A special section for Zoo members to renew membership and more.

  • Order food right from the App.

  • Mobile check-out for in-store shopping.