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Conversation Wall

A comfortable space for audience members of Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre to discuss themes present in the theatre productions.


12 weeks




User Research, Content Strategy, Interaction Design, Copywriting


Lauren, Callista, Gracie


The Conversation Wall is an interactive installation where audience members of Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (vAct) can exchange ideas between each other. The intent of the installation is to create a safe and comfortable environment for audience members to discuss themes present within vAct’s theatre and performative productions.

Ethnography Research

Preliminary research was conducted by arranging virtual interviews with the core staff at vAct and analyzing online articles related to the organization. As a team, we gained an initial understanding of the organization’s values and external perceptions from audience members.

Poster outlining ethnography research.

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In order to better understand the internal and external stakeholders, I led interviews with 3 audience members, 3 staff members and 5 artists that have collaborated with vAct. At this point of our research, we were struggling to decipher our synthesized information. We received feedback from the teaching staff that it came across that we didn’t understand our organization’s visual brand and their identity.

Based on the feedback, one of my other teammates worked on exploring how to incorporate vAct’s current branding into our work. Along with my other teammates, I re-evaluated our research by affinity mapping and updated the personas to better reflect our stakeholders.

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Posters outlining personas of stakeholders

Journey Maps

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Journey Map based on an updated persona of an collaborating artist.

Once we felt confident in understanding our stakeholders, we moved forward to create a journey map for the audience member and artist personas. The team agreed that the two personas best reflected the theatre production process and experience. I worked on writing and editing the copy of the journey maps.

Visually, we started to understand and apply the visual brand of vAct. Additionally, we began to develop a better understanding of our stakeholders needs and goals. We received feedback that the missed opportunities we highlighted should be more specific and expanded. As a team, we kept that feedback in mind while we moved forward.

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Journey Map highlighting an audience member persona.

Initial Concepts

Based on our personas and journey maps, my team participated in a brainstorming exercise to generate various design solutions. After, we shared and discussed our ideas that were then sorted into similar concepts. We each voted on the best three ideas. As a group, we expanded on each idea until we were confident the concept was fleshed out. I then moved on to aid in the copywriting and editing.

Three developed concepts based on previous insights.

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Reframed Design Problem

Initial Focus

Enhance the longevity of vAct. We prioritized the fostering of their relationship with the audiences and ensuring the accessibility of information

New Design Problem

HMW incorporate vAct’s storytelling strategies throughout their touch-points with the audience to encourage an ongoing conversation and incentivize their return?

After developing our top three concepts, we re-evaluated each concept and our previous work to identify if our focus was correct. We realized that our focus was not in line with vAct’s values and readjusted our design problem.

Participatory Workshop

To challenge our previous understanding of our stakeholders, my team held two participatory workshops. The first workshop was conducted with 3 audience members that we had previously interviewed. The other workshop was conducted with 2 employees of vAct, the Managing Artistic Director and the General Manager.

Each group went through four exercises: Likert scale, Rose, Bud, Thorn, Word Association and Mind Mapping. Based on the participants answers and discussions, my team and I were able to synthesize the information in an affinity map. We discovered areas that we went wrong and confirmed what we knew of both stakeholders. As a team, we were able to identify that both stakeholders felt storytelling, sparking action and connection were extremely important to their experience. Based on our new findings, we re-adjusted our design problem again.

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Main takeaways found from conducting participatory workshops.

Re-Reframed Design Problem

HMW encourage ongoing dialogue and inspire action using vAct’s storytelling strategies throughout their different touch-points with the audience?

Refined Design Concepts

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As a team, we began brainstorming again to formulate new ideas based on our new knowledge from the participatory workshops. Together, we discussed each idea and voted on the best two ideas. Once the ideas were decided, I helped flesh out each concept and wrote the copy for both concepts. At this point, the team felt more confident that our design solutions were aligned to both the organization and audience members.

Refined concepts based on new design problem.

Final Design


Mockup of installation.

The team discussed which concept answered our design problem best and we unanimously decided that the Conversation Wall was the most desirable option. For the final iteration, I worked on the copywriting for the storyboard, the report and slide deck. Additionally, I helped build and design the physical prototype.

This project allowed me to explore and gain experience with various design and research techniques. I developed a deeper understanding for interaction and experience design techniques. In retrospect, I would re-examine how the installation can further push action that is past discussion.

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