Minnesota State Arts Board

Concepts for a mobile app
that helps history lovers
interact with the past.


As part of its Artist Initiative Grant program, the Minnesota State Arts Board asks each grant recipient to create an experience for community members that lets them engage them with the funded project. My project involved translating a journal from 1921 into a graphic novel and the original proposal for the community experience was to conduct a walking tour of places in the journal.


A mobile app that helps users interact with the past instead of just guiding them from place to place.

Methods, Tools, Deliverables

Deep dive
Comparative analysis
Usability study


Lo and high fidelity prototypes
Interactive prototypes

User interviews

Talking to history buffs

Some of the things I heard when I interviewed users:
• Walking tours often feel like a checklist to complete
• Too often walking tours don’t let participants engage in the surroundings

What history lovers really like is the process of exploring history. They want experiences like tours to give them them the chance to do that.

How could I create an immersive digital experience that helps participants explore the physical world at their own pace and uncover things as they go?



A walking tour app that uses locations from the graphic novel as a way to frame an exploratory experience for people. It is organized by general locations that ask participants to arrive at a start point but lets them uncover their own path from there.

Based on the interviews, I wanted to avoid an experience that made participants feel like they were performing a checklist. So instead they scan their surroundings with their phone, choose from points on the screen look interesting to them and go from there.