Increasing replay value for an art guessing game and new user engagement.

In a collaboration between The National Gallery of Art and Pratt Institute, I, Gerard Samson, and a team of 4 other usability consultants came together to assess the usability of their art guessing game, Artle, and past games page through user testing and ideate recommendations based on the results.

The Client

The National Gallery of Art, founded as a gift to the nation, is a art & culture center holding over 150,000 diverse array of art pieces.

The Project Scope
  • Evaluating usability for Artle game and the past games page
  • Identifying pain points
  • Assessing game replayability
  • Ideating design solutions
The Roles
  • UX/UI Designer
  • UX Researcher
The Individual Duties
  • Scheduling user testing sessions
  • Synthesizing testing scenarios and tasks
  • Moderating user tests
  • Maintaining timelines and data through writing notes during meetings
  • Ideating new gameplay
  • Editing the final report
The Usability Team
  • Gerard Samson
  • Jiatong Gu
  • Jiten Thakkar
  • Michaela Jackson
  • Haochen Shen

Staying faithful to client expectations in their personas and testing dimensions.

To kick-off the project, the usability team met with clients to guide our project scope into the right direction.
We stayed faithful to their expectations in target population by also recruiting those who sought fun and interactive activities with themselves or for their kids (fun seekers), mobile users, new users, and art/museum affiliates. 
A screener survey was sent through the School of Information at Pratt Institute as the population had a high likelihood of meeting participant criteria.
A total of 11 participants participated in the in-person, moderated, 30-minute, mobile-phone study to properly observe hand gestures. A pre-test and post-test were also applied to every session.

Restructuring how-to-play instructions, past games button, art information, past game filters, and gameplay to relieve user pain points.

The Problem

8 out of 11 (73%) users expressed confusion with the gameplay in the beginning.

“I’m wondering if it’s all by the same artist.”

– User 2

The Recommendation

Minimize ‘Past-Games’ Button and putting closer to the game interface, such as the left-hand corner, to increase visibility.

The Problem

10 out of 11 (91%) users expressed confusion with the gameplay in the beginning.

“I’m wondering if it’s all by the same artist.”

– User 2

The Recommendation

Arrange the how-to-play instructions to be communicated in the initial pop-up and add pictorial references for easier reference.

The Problem

3 out of 11 (27%) users expressed desire in finding more information about artists but found roadblocks in doing so.

“It would be nice for me to see all four images of the game after I solved it”

– User 9

The Recommendation

Add pop-up showing all art pieces featured and a section with the artist’s biography to ease accessing information about the artist.

The Problem

7 out of 11 (64%) users complained in lack of feedback on changes being made as filters were applied.

“The filter should have options instead of having to scroll down to find them.”

– User 8

The Recommendation

Add an apply button as well as filter tags so user understands what changes have been applied.

The Problem

11 out of 11 (100%) users expressed desire in enhancing gameplay

“Making it more engaging and make it feel like a game, and not just a search engine.”

– User 7

The Recommendation

Adding hints for misplaced letters and correct letters to increase ease of use and replayability.

Limitations in programming obstruct new recommendations, but results validated client’s past tests.


Overall, we gained positive feedback in our presentation with the clients, however, they expressed limitations in programming the changes we’ve made with the user interface. We expressed our own limitation in overlooking their game grouping page for testing.


They were willing to share other possible ideas beyond the recommendations we’ve provided. One example of a future idea would be to add a confetti animation for delight when a user wins. While there are limitations in programming, it is important to note, however, that a potential update in implementation may be given within the upcoming year.


Overall, I felt satisfied with final deliverables as there were many recommendations made within a month. For future directions, if my team and I were to continue on the project, I would like to assess the game grouping pages, work closer with a population of fun seeking parents, and work on ideas to increase replayability through aspects of delight. The experience felt fulfilling as it encouraged me to ideate creative ways to engage with the arts.


Full Report

Slide Deck