top of page
Taking the Experience from a Fun, Family Trip to a Mission
Putting Yourself into the Narrative of a Cause

Project Overview

Speculation:  As a non-profit, it is simply not enough any longer to believe a cause is good enough or important enough that others will see your vision and become committed donors. Looking to the hundreds of thousands of people that come to this historic site a year, engaging visitors and focusing on their goals and needs is vital to a positive experience at Colonial Williamsburg. And a positive experience is vital to advancing from a visitor to a supporter. Efforts must be made to increase awareness of those needs and empowering the front-line employees to be a vital part of influencing the experience for the visitors by aiding in programming decisions and site wayfinding.

New initiatives had begun from new leadership last year, and it was the appropriate moment to gain insights to the behavior, goals, and needs of the visitors as well as take into consideration the expertise of the employees who can guide the story and experience for them. The scope of the site including the size and constraints due to the historical nature and the depth of the programming can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed when visiting the site. This feeling can hinder being able to make decisions and choices for an optimal experience.

Hypothesis: For an experience to be considered of high value and exemplary service, visitors to Colonial Williamsburg need to feel engaged, at their individual comfort level, by an empowered staff that inquires about their needs and goals and provides information and/or resources to help them transition into the experience. Creating this type of experience could lead to more financial security with more casual visitors becoming contributors to the fund-raising efforts.


What I learned: Looking at a service is very different from exploring solutions for a digital product. However, a digital product can be a part of a service. Service Design is about the process. Is it working well? Where does it falter? Where does it excel? Looking for moments in a service that can last for a while as in this case. Perhaps our user/visitor first heard about a museum a year ago and decides to think more about a family trip next summer. With the nuances that surround a service, it can be challenging to focus on one area that will make it successful.

Current State

This is where we look at how the service works now for our guest

In a Journey map, we explore many touchpoints of our visitor's experience including the          pre-service and post-service. The service is the actual visit itself. We also want to capture not just the steps of your journey but what she does, what she is thinking, and how she feels about her experience. 

This map highlights our pain points of feeling overwhelmed and unprepared for the visit. Without understanding the size, the limitations of transportation in a historic environment have created an unsuccessful beginning for our user

Capstone Current State Persona_Journey Map Revised.jpg


A package that bring history to your house.

After identifying the touchpoint that creates negative feelings for the user as being the first moments, I decided to add a new service of ordering an Explore Box before the visit. 

This package will contain educational items as well as trip planning tools and what to expect items. The next step was to start to identify how the new service would work and who would need to be involved with a storyboard.

Capstone Future State Persona_Journey Map (1).jpg

Future State

Putting the pieces of who, what, and when in place for the new service.

A Service Blueprint looks at all of the additional touchpoints and steps in the new service. Who is now involved in providing the package - order fulfillment, agents, third-party delivery service? When do they get involved? What are they working with for the new service?

All of these pieces are in a blueprint that provides the functional foundation. While it seems very simple to state that the solution is simply sending a package before the visit, but the blueprint demonstrates that it must be scrutinized for every detail to be successful.

Next Steps

What I want to do next: Continue to co-design prototype the Explore Box with first-time visitors. To observe what would be of value to them in setting better expectations and understanding.

bottom of page