Building a non-profit's first digital product
Cool Culture is a non-profit organization that provides free museum entry to 50,000 families attending Headstart programs and Title I kindergarten classes in New York City and its boroughs.
Cool Culture has traditionally distributed paper passes for museum admission, but wanted to create a membership solution and corresponding content to help parents find new museums to explore.
- – Individual interviews, including extreme users
- – Participatory design
- – Design charrettes
- – Most Cool Culture parents have limited phone data and use it judiciously. The app was designed to minimize data usage – including few, low resolution photos and a minimalist, flat design. We also included a Wi-Fi symbol in individual museum profiles to help parents know whether or not they would need to use data while at certain museums.
- – Parents with preschoolers are often traveling with strollers. Parents wanted to know whether museums were wheelchair accessible, because accessible places are easier for strollers, too.
The beta version of the app was built in just four weeks and has the following features:
- – All of Cool Culture’s 90 partner museums are included in the app. Each museum profile includes hours of operation, transit directions, accessibility information, and Wi-Fi availability.
- – Programming information is available, too. View what types of activities, like workshops and gallery tours are offered for young children and their families.
- – Plan a museum visit by searching by your interest and location. In our beta version, families can search by borough and museum discipline, whether it’s art, science or history to find a new place to explore.
- – Cool Culture families can check into museum using their digital pass. Families can check into museum using their individualized ID number to access their digitized Family Pass, which they can show to admission staff for entrance to the museum.
Press + Impact
After the build was finished, I was responsible for communicating the roll out of the app to Cool Culture’s museum partners and families. Aside form managing the project, I helped secure partnerships with Datakind and New York Tech Meetup.
- Now That Everyone's Got Smart Phones, We Need Apps That Serve Low-Income Groups, Fast Company
- 50,000 Families to 90 Museums in 4 Weeks, ThoughtWorks
- Why Don't More Poor Kids Get to See Art?, NationSwell