User Experience Researcher


Design a tool that will promote audience engagement with Clarke Reynolds’ exhibition Journey By Dots at Aspex.


May – June 2022 | Part-time

1-day Research

Team project

Two colleagues from the animation and visual effects (VFX)


UX Research, supporting design



Secondary data analysis

I used the quantitative data collected by Aspex in order to point to potential people that would benefit the most and have the greatest impact on the galley as the gallery also relies on public contributions.


Based on the Aspex survey:

~90% of the surveyed audience did not have disabilities.

Consequently, the likelihood of these individuals knowing braille is low, meaning it will have implications for the interaction.

Age group 25 – 44 represents the largest audience segment for Aspex

This demographic is not only more likely to have available funds for supporting the gallery through contributions but also holds strategic importance in Aspex outreach, highlighting to us whom to focus our efforts.

Experience Seekers and Trips and Treats visitors represent the main types of audience.

Their top priority is to have a great overall experience, therefore, optimizing engagement with the exhibition through our engagement tool has to ensure their satisfaction.

Exhibition Setup

The exhibition was presented in a single large space, with the narrative of the artist’s life organised into three distinct parts.

Available Materials

  • Braille handouts using a colour system to aid those unfamiliar with Braille
  • Audio recordings accessible by scanning QR codes for the “visible” parts of the exhibit boards
  • Printed paper with information about the artist Clarke and the inspiration behind the exhibition
  • Gallery assistants available to provide initial guidance and explanation of the exhibition upon request.


Needed Information to Produce Material that Engages and is of Use

  • Identify potential gaps within the offered materials
  • Select a type of audience to benefit from it
  • What makes it effective


Team with a preference for an artistic approach over research

Research Question

What it is like to experience the exhibition?


Autoethnography, Observations

Main Insights

  • The exhibition layout is somewhat confusing, there is no clear navigation
  • Individuals without mobile data to access the audio recordings and who do not have prior experience with Braille encounter a steep learning curve, which restricts their ability to fully engage with the exhibition beyond the visual aspects, leading to a quick dropout rate.
Image credit: Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth
  • The Braille handouts lack a clear organisation system for the letters, which is exacerbated by poorly thought-out colour coding, making them cognitively demanding for visitors

Research Question

What are the available materials offered by the gallery?


Autoethnography, Participant observation

Main Insights

Aspex Gallery hosted Family Saturday events that featured interactive workshops designed around the theme of the exhibition, catering to children aged 4-10 years old.

  • The workshops were engaging and succeeded in keeping the children entertained.
  • With effective execution of the activities, one can learn Braille in just one Saturday.
  • Although parents were actively involved in the workshops, the events were perceived more as a social activity rather than a deep immersion in the exhibition.

Research Question

What are the most effective ways to learn Braille?


Informal Learning


I used informal learning around the topic of Braille in order to triangulate my research findings from autoethnography and observations in relation to the accessibility level of the exhibition.

Impact of the Research

  • Successfully led a team that was initially resistant to change, and steered them towards a new direction.
  • Disproved the original plan of creating an engagement tool for children and redirected the team’s efforts towards a different target audience with greater potential impact.
  • Used the insights collected to establish criteria for brainstorming and designing, resulting in a smoother and more precise process.


The collected research data greatly contributed to the production of a well-informed audience engagement tool. 

In retrospect, I should have been one notch more rigorous application of research methods.

The project could have greatly benefited from conducting usability testing of the tool within the gallery environment. This would have allowed us to optimize its performance and make any necessary adjustments based on feedback from the audience. However, due to staff changes that was not possible.