A full process product & service design project that aims to revitalize the Ballet experience so that it appeals to the younger generation (Gen-Z). Studio 22 is a dance studio of the Fairmount Ballet company, which offers an immersive ballet experience with contemporary choreography and interactive technologies.
Research, Prototype, Motion Design, Video Production
TEAM/ Hyelim Lim, Poonam Patel
We chose 22 (Tutu) as the name and morphed it into a simple circular logo. Extracting the curves from a ballerina, we came up with a pattern that also has a feeling of technology/procedure. For the color, we wanted it to be bold & colorful so that we used a series of gradient colors.
For ticket booking, we tried to simplify the whole flow while keeping all the things that audiences may want to know, such as the view angle of a selected seat.
How might we reinvigorate the ballet experience so that it appeals to Gen-Z? The Fairmount Ballet's viewership is in decline, in part due to its stagnant reputation and inability to younger audiences. As the art form's patrons age, we are seeing a decrease in support and revenue.
Utilize the resource to conduct primary and secondary research for a comprehensive diagnosis of the challenge. We conducted a diary study, intercept interviews, user interviews, and market researches to understand the problem.
Synthesize research insights to diagnose the problem and find the opportunity space. First of all, looking at the Google Search Trend, the top ballet companies in North America have experienced significant declines since 2004. Attending the performance of New York City Ballet, we discovered that the majority of the Ballet audience is seniors and Ballet enthusiasts, who watch Ballet regularly.
Who is Generation Z and why do we target them? Generation Z is the demographic cohort after the millennials. They will be the youngest (16-23 years old), most ethnically diverse, and the largest generation in American history, representing a significant amount of purchasing power ($44B/annual). They are often tagged with tech-savvy, gaming, digital natives and they use Youtube, Instagram, and Snapchat a lot.
What are the key insights of Gen-Z? We used empathy maps to synthesize user interviews and concluded with three key insights: Tech-savvy, interactive, and unique.
Where are the opportunity spaces? To find the opportunity spaces, we conducted market research on primary and secondary competitors. In summary, the opportunities are 1. Use modern interactive technologies to enable Gen-Z to participate in the Ballet experience; 2. Offer a unique and immersive experience through all service touch-points of contemporary Ballet.
With objectives and guiding policy in mind, design the action items to fill in the opportunity spaces. Using the user journey map, we mapped out the experience that consists of three parts: pre, during, and post.
Pre: (1) New branding with a stimulating visual identity and young voice that captures Gen-Z's attention; (2) Improved online ticket booking experience with (3) AR preview of the show that establishes excitement and expectations.
During: (4) Improved seat finding with AR technologies; (5) integrated contemporary choreography with projection mapping technology; (6) Technology-enabled participation in the show that the audience can vote for stage changes.
After: (7) Online interactive video to expand the journey with more delight.
Prototype testing with Gen-Z students to validate our designs and iterate. We set up a low-fidelity prototyping environment to mimic the journey we designed. For example, we taped on the floor to create a trail that tests AR seat finding; we created an AR demo with A-Frame to test AR preview; we used the school projector to demonstrate the projection mapping experience.
Feedback 1: “It was amazing. I really liked the technological aspects. Specifically, the AR experience helped me a lot to understand the context first. And stage experience made me feel like I was part of the show.”
Feedback 2: “I really enjoyed the experience. Seeing AR was the coolest part for me.”
Feedback 3: “It was exciting and fun. I was interested that a 3D image popped up in a phone.”
Based on our user feedback, we were able to validate the design solution and iterate with high-fidelity.
Deploy the solutions with proper business plans. Using the cost-benefit quadrant, we analyzed the feasibility of each action item and then plan each one onto the business roadmap.