Meow Wolf x MaCher:
Override Guide & OvAR
Taking the immersive art experience beyond Meow Wolf exhibits.
April – May 2022
• UX Researcher
• Product Designer
• Motion Graphic
Client & Prompt
Meow Wolf is a maximalist, explorative, and immersive art installation, with locations in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, and Denver. Their mission is, “to inspire creativity through art, exploration, and play“, with each location designed differently than the others.
The goal of this project was to develop an interactive experience built around Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station in Denver, bridging the physical and digital worlds to drive audience engagement with the brand.
How can we blend the physical and virtual world?
Many Meow Wolf visitors have trouble following the underlying story that accompany the installations, or are completely unaware that there even is a story.
We decided to create a take-home experience of immersive literature, where one can explore further at their own pace while learning more about the Convergence Station exhibit through augmented reality.
During our first meeting, Sam told us about her recent experience at Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart location in the Las Vegas. We learned from her visit that three hours was not enough to understand and to explore everything. She mentioned that her son would have enjoyed a graphic novel to continue following the storyline at a later time.
We found from interviews that the unusual physical layout and the non-linear storyline of the exhibits cause confusion and disappointment for some visitors.
Visitors tend to only scratch the surface of the exhibit’s narrative by physically being there. One day, let alone a few hours, is simply not enough to fully explore and experience the Meow Wolf exhibits. Additionally, considering the limited locations, these exhibits are not easy for people to visit or revisit, especially those who do not live nearby.
Our primary audience are the established Meow Wolf fans who continue to show support even after the visit and like to collect memorabilia. We also wanted to target users who have not been to the exhibits but are interested in experiencing Meow Wolf from their location and at their own pace and time.
Meow Wolf’s unique interactive art experiences and rich storytelling components continue to captivate visitor’s interest in the company and invoke curiosity towards the geniuses behind them, leading to fans gathering in different online communities to connect with fellow enthusiasts. Many people have also expressed their curiosity wanting to know more behind-the-scenes details, such as the artists and music that plays in the exhibit. However, the music is all original soundtracks and cannot be easily found online.
The User Journey guided us by following a visitor interested in the story and purchases the Override Guide.
The Pain Points we discovered here are that visitors may be unsure of the Override Guide’s purpose, being unfamiliar or not understanding AR, and encouraging repeated use.
The opportunities we discovered, were marketing the product to those who enjoyed interacting with the art, wanted further knowledge of the exhibit’s artists, follows stories, a unique design that grabs customers’ attention, and exclusive variations at different Meow Wolf locations.
These findings resulted in blending AR components into the pages of the Override Guide.
The User Flowchart guided us through a step by step process of someone interacting with the Override Guide. This gave us a closer look in the details of the interactive behaviors between a user and the product.
The storyboard was another tool that guided us with a visual representation in how the product is used. It created a situation that evoked empathy for whom we are designing for.
Information Sketch & Orthographic
Bill of Materials
When the user opens the app for the first time, they will be welcomed with a single-page onboarding that explains what they can do in the app.
The AR camera serves as a the main page and primary feature of the app that reveals the art installations when pointed at the image markers found in the book (Override Guide).
Music Player & Download
Christina’s research (Reddit and other forums), found that fans love the music that plays at the Convergence Station, yet have no idea where to get their favorite songs.
We decided to add a music player that plays the Meow Wolf music while you browse amazing art and search for hidden clues. A player can also download songs and listen on their phone anytime.
Finding Hidden Clues
To further the story after the visit, we added hidden clues that can expand the lore within the Convergence Station.
Turn, flip, and zoom in at the art installations to find hidden clues!
Meeting the Artists & Crew
As you explore the art installations through AR, you can push even further and dive into the vortex of the creative minds behind the installations.
Refined & Updated UI
High Fidelity UI
Final Proposed Designs
2D renders by Jiashi
This project has shown how important a strong foundation in research can guide a project towards the goal of a design challenge. Tasked to develop an interactive user experience focused on the Convergence Station, we brought our individual strengths to the table.
Sam was able to bring her in-person experience and field research from visiting a Meow Wolf exhibit, Omega Mart, located in Las Vegas. I was able to interview my sister who visited Convergence Station, located in Denver. Jiashi examined other existing products and services that ties the physical and digital world. Noelle researched the design trends that influence Meow Wolf’s look. And Christina, analyzed the Meow Wolf subreddit community to gather insights what the users’ needs and pain points were.
Beyond what each of us had found through our research phase, we combined all of our design skills in the product design process as well, from UI design, prototyping, video editing, animation, orthographics, down to the details of the bill of materials. Collaboration and time management was key to this excellent group experience and kept our team ahead of schedule.
We had fun and all hands were on deck with the high performance we dedicated to develop an immersive user-centered product. Studio 22 was a memorable experience and it was an honor to have worked on this team!