Tate Halo

interview, observation, affinity mapping, ideation, survey

Emotion Logger


Goal: Design a digital interactive technology that encourages Tate Modern visitors to "leave a trace".

Outcome: A design for an interactive digital experience, using wearable emotion loggers, kiosks, and projections.

My role: Our team of four worked very closely, so it is difficult to divide contributions distinctly, but I helped...

Too much to read? You can download a PDF summary of the project.

Just the deets, please!


The initial brief challenged us to design a way for visitors to "leave a trace", so we needed to understand the Tate Modern's visitors and how they were already interacting with the museum. What did they do? How did they interact with the art? What were they interested in?

We did:

Patterns emerged when we coded our findings and dumped our data into virtual affinity diagrams on Miro.

Affinity Diagram
Affinity diagram of the observation interview data (participant and data point) to identify patterns

From these, we synthesized the Solo Visitor (our primary persona) and the Social Visitor (our secondary persona), both of whom desired to share their experience of the museum but had different behaviors. To better understand their behavior, we created user journeys to put them into context.

Primary Persona, Alice Roebuck Secondary Persona, Patrick Sulter
Our personas, based on our observations and interviews

Based on our understanding of the museum visitor from our research, we established design goals to be addressed:

Throughout the process, we had developed an inspiration board and collected desk research. With these materials in mind, and our persona and user research, our team used Crazy Eights to sketch out concepts, which resulted in about 28 total concepts. Two of these ideas were then selected through dot voting to be further refined: (1) a halo visualization for visitors to display and communicate their emotions, and (2) a system of handcrank for visitors to generate electricity depending on their reaction to the art.

Sketches and dot voting
Sketches created during our Crazy 8s ideation session, and our subsequent dot voting

We then split into two teams to further develop these ideas. The handcrank idea was discarded because it fell short of our design goals upon further exploration, so that team proposed an alternate version of the halo idea—thus the two concepts were either a wall display halo or a wearable halo, both of which allowed visitors to interact with their data after collection.

Desirability surveys involving storyboards, demographic questions, concept-related questions, and the Microsoft product reaction cards were used to test real visitors' impressions of one or the other of these concepts. These were conducted through guerilla research in the galleries. (Here is a copy of the survey if you want to check it out.)

From 13 responses, we found the appeal of both ideas: immersively interacting with data and having a memento of the visit. We ultimately combined both into final concept, the Tate Halo.

Future user journey for Patrick
Future user journey for Patrick (secondary persona) with Tate Halo, to flesh out what our new design would add to his experience


Modern art invites interpretation and reflection, so each person's visit to the Tate Modern is unique. Our team of four discovered that visitors wanted to share their unique experience, so we envisioned a technology for visitors to record their emotional responses within the gallery and use their data to spark conversations online and offline.

Emotion Logger
The emotion logger's paper prototypes'
Lo-fi wireframes of the kiosk showing the user flow
Lo-fi wireframes of kiosk screen when viewing logged emotion points and casting halo

The data would be synthesized into a color-coded Halo that summarized their emotional journey, which could then be projected to be compared with friends side-by-side, exported to be used in digital conversations, or juxtaposed with projections from other visitors of the day. Mid-fi wireframes were created to help user testing participants better visualize what the screen might look like in real life.

Welcome screen wireframe Map of Tate Modern with emotion points logged wireframe
Examples of mid-fi wireframes of kiosk screen when viewing logged emotion points
Tate Halo kiosk mapping process
Animation showing one of the flows for users casting their halos at the end of their visit
Halo projected onto Turbine Hall
Projections of visitor's Halos and envisioned usage


After creating prototypes of the wearable devices and screens, and a mockup of the wall (see above), we conducted a quick round of 4 evaluations in order to provide the basis for future improvements. The results of these were combined and deduped into a spreadsheet for easy communication of improvement recommendations, potential future considerations, and positive comments.

Evaluations spreadsheet
Evaluations spreadsheet that summarized our findings, based on the Rainbow Spreadsheet method