The Urban Guide

TUG is an education-based game that combines urban exploring and cultural immersion in order to make users learn more about the world and their community.

My role
Project Management, UI/UX Designer, UX Researcher
Roles & responsibilities
Ololade Alli Alli - Competitor Research, UI/UX Designer (Low Fidelity & Medium Fidelity), UX Research (Survey Drafter, Analysis of Survey Results, and General Researcher)

Reina Rodgers - Education Specialist, Brainwriting Moderator, UI/UX Designer (Medium Fidelity), Style Guide Coordinator.

Sabine Kwan- Scrum Master, Project Manager, UI/UX Designer (Low Fidelity & Medium Fidelity), UX Researcher (Interviewer & Interview Analysis & Summarizer, and General Researcher)

My Key contributions
UX Researcher
UI/UX Researcher, Low Fidelity & Medium FIdelity
User Testing & User Testing Analysis
Gamification Features
Artifact System/Creation
Tools Used
Figma, Miro
Scopes & Constraints
12 week project - our 12 week project did not consist of just creating a prototype - but also doing. side-tasks of the client - such as creating a gameboard for the client via his own game application.

The first 4-5 weeks were a bit of a struggle as our client and us as designers did not have an entirely coherent vision yet. Our client wanted us to go the Cryptocurrency route - but upon further research and implemented user testing we have discovered that this was not necessarily the correct route to go.

After further convincing our client that in fact, cryptocurrency may not necessarily be the best direction to steer the project in - we managed to convince our client that perhaps artifacts, or gamification may be the best form of action. Thus, we had decided to redesign the game with this direction.


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Testing out concepts, and understanding the TUG
Brainstorming methods on how to improve the TUG. testing out concepts including cryptocurrency and brainstorming methods on how to improve the game.
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Creating Gamification Concepts
Utilizing ideas for brainstorm to create a gamification framework, and artifact features to improve TUG.
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Prototype Creation
Creating our Prototype based upon Gamification concepts and Artifact system.
Problem statement

How might we make the TUG (The Urban Guide) more entertaining and engaging in order for users to have a fun experience and learn more about other cultures while playing the game?


The Urban Guide is an educational cultural-based app that enables users to explore countries of their own choosing by walking to set locations, and learn more about the culture involved regarding those countries by answering questions.

We were tasked to redesign the game, and make it better by adding various gamification features that would help enhance the game-playing experience and make it more usable for players.


Step 1: Testing out concepts and understanding The Urban Guide

We were first introduced to our client, with the intention to redesign his game to make it more interesting and playable for users.

Initially our client wanted us to focus more on a cryptocurrency/NFT direction, but after initial findings from our user testing we decided that this was not the right direction to go in. After futher convincing him, we decided to focus on what was important about The Urban Guide — the game.

We decided to redirect our focus towards making the game more enjoyable and playable.

Initial Features of the App: Cryptowallet (Cryptowallet & Currency Exchange), NFT Exchange (Bidding & Exchanging of NFTs. NFTs in this game would have been images a user chooses to take photos of in a certain location, Leaderboards (seeing one's ranking within the game), Viewing a Museum & its Artifacts (Artifacts would be images of museum items/sculptures/pieces of art from a particular museum that a user could 'collect' and trade with other users accordingly.)

Images included below: Cryptocurrency Initial user flow, low-fidelity prototype sketching, 1st user-testing notes, and summary of 1st user-testing.
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Step 2: Creating Gamification Concepts

Once we decided that Cryptocurrency was not the best direction to go in - we decided to focus on making the in-game experience better.

I started to do this based upon Yu-Kai Chou's Octalysis Framework. According to Yu-Kai Chou's Octalysis framework he believes there are 8 features that are needed in order to make a game more playable/enjoyable for the players.

Based upon these 8 features, I brainstormed a variety of methods in order to improve The Urban Guide. Based on this, our group chose 4 things we needed to focus on that that would be the focus of our medium-fidelity prototype. This woud be: the creation of an in-game economy, a badge & artifact system in which the user is rewarded whenever they play the game or has an achievement unlocked, a dashboard for the user (where they could keep track of all their achievements), and a secret map (in which a user could have an element of surprise while playing the game.)

Additionally, to keep track of everything I created a points system corresponding to each badge the user chooses to collect accordingly.
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Step 3: Prototype Creation

After designing the user flow for the app, and deciding what are the freemium and premium features - we decided to focus on the following features for our low-fidelity prototype this included: Artifacts, Badges, Profile, Map Selection, Gemeboard and Secret Maps.

Prototype Features

Map Selection

Select from a variety of game-related maps, based on country to enrich your knowledge about a particular area.


Complete all the locations (pin-points) on a map to complete a gameboard.

Answer Questions

Go to each location, answer some questions, earn some badges, and enrich your knowledge, as you go to each location.


Earn badges and see your badges in your dashboard.


Collect Artifacts throughout the course of the game, trade with other users, combine artifacts to create secondary artifacts, and collect them all.


View all of your achievements from the amount of badges & artifacts you have, to steps counted, and your place on the leaderboard.

Secret Maps

Unlock secret maps throughout the course of the game and play them to earn unlockables, as well as in-game rewards.

Outcomes & Results

Reflecting on this project I believe a lot of time could have been saved if we had learned how to negotiate with our client and prioritize our time accordingly. Mainly, the struggles our team had to do with managing client expectations, redirecting our client's focus from cryptocurrency to unlockables, as well as convincing the client about the design process - which proved to be effective.

Discovered Navigation Architecture is important. A lot more time brainstorming and doing card-sorting regarding the navigation architecture would have saved time.

Future Steps
Trading Artifacts - players will be ables to trade artifacts amongst other players.
Notification for new game boards and badges - notification alert for when a new game board pops-up in a new city.
Custom Artifacts - premium users can create custom artifacts.
Step count analysis - a dedicated page for step count analysis.
Multiple player option for premium users- multiple players will help users interact with other users from different parts of the world while creating a healthy competitive environment.
User Interface to build games - Premium feature

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