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Design for Public Spaces, Case Study
Advised by Jill Nussbaum, our Design for Public Spaces team at SVA focused improving the wayfinding experience for users at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). We focused on how we might help visitors find film information at the right time, in the right place.
The Problem

Based on our user research, we found that moviegoers were not finding the right buildings for particular films. Their experience in navigating throughout BAM didn't show the necessary wayfinding information.


Also, users didn't know when the preshow began for the film.

The Solution

We focused on how we might help visitors find films information at the right time, in the right place. 


We used physical and digital wayfinding touch on key moments of the user’s journey. We also noticed a lack of information regarding film location, start times, and pre-show. Orientation was one of the more pressing problems and had the greatest opportunity for improvement.


User Interviews; User Testing; User Research; Persona & Scenario Modeling; Brand Development; Prototype;

Experience Design; Service Design; Concept Design; Interaction Design; UX Strategy


Margarita Yong, Rachel Balma, and Xiaoxi Yuan


Visual Designer & Design Researcher

Site Visit

We visited BAM as a group and took pictures of the space. Throughout our own wayfinding journey, we noted the many aspects that comprised the entire experience. These aspects included finding the BAM building itself, purchasing a ticket, observing the lobby layout, seeing how they integrate membership promotions, navigating our way into the cinema, and paying attention to every detail in between.

Intercept Interviews

We interviewed 10 users at BAM, and noted that many of them were not finding the right film information nor going to the correct building for particular showings. Users expressed a theme of confusion in these areas.

Research Findings
  1. Lack of information regarding policies

  2. Lack of information regarding film location, start times, and pre-show

  3. Difficulty in accessing film information

  4. Inconsistent food and film projection quality

  5. Inconsistent website technical function


We chose to focus on the bolded point above because we felt that orientation was one of the most pressing problems and it had the greatest opportunity for improvement.

User Archetype

Our user archetype is the independent moviegoer. We described them as a frequent moviegoer, avid film water, and tech savvy. We also looked at first-time visitors who fit this archetype. An independent moviegoer stood out as the more extreme user that we could design for. Based on our research and the users we talked to, we observed that many users fit this description.

  1. They retrieve their ticket

  2. Go to the theater

  3. Arrive at the lobby

  4. Get their ticket scanned

  1. They retrieve their ticket

  2. Go to the theater

  3. Arrive at the lobby

  4. Get their ticket scanned

  5. Proceed into concessions

  6. Sit down in the theater for preshow

  7. Watch the preshow

  8. Watch the movie

These are the touch-points that we identified in the customer journey map for the preshow experience, from the moment the user buys the ticket online to when the movie begins.

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