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The San Diego Air
& Space Museum Gamification App

An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum houses a collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft from all over the world.


SDASM would like to increase it's ticket and membership sales. Therefore they wanted to create a scavenger hunt experience that guests could play while at the museum, testing their knowledge of Air & Space while exploring the museum, and encourage them to return often to complete more tasks, score more points and climb higher on the leaderboard.

My roles:

  • Creative Direction, strategy & branding

  • UX / UI


  • Two weeks of UX and visual design before handing off to development.

  • Currently in development.

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Service Name

The Challenge

Guests love to visit the San Diego Air & Space Museum as a special day, rather than return to the museum over and over again with a membership. Membership is a wonderful value for local guests if they want to visit often, but despite this membership sales are down. How do we increase membership sales?


Why is this a problem?


The average member is worth 4x more than an average visitor (they purchase their membership, food, gifts and sign up for events). Members also have higher retention rates than visitors, and the average net revenue of a renewed member was 66% more than a new member! In addition to members being worth more over time, it costs less to keep a member than it does to attract a new one.


The Solution

The more often guests play the scavenger hunt app, the more points they score, and the higher they climb on the leaderboard (which is also displayed in the museum), entices them to return to the museum to keep their high score. To increase membership sales, there is a membership CTA button revealed every time a category has been completed in the app, plus clearer membership and ticket sales CTA buttons on the website redesign.

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The User Experience

Service Name

This app was made with young users in mind aged 7-18 who know technology well, who are in elementary or high school, and are curious about air & space. The young enthusiastic user's interest in returning to the museum is directly connected to their parents who are looking for a fun day out to entertain their kids with educational and exciting outings, but also looking for budget friendly options. Where parents might have splurged on a single ticket in the past, will most likely be enticed to buy a yearly membership to the museum to save money on repeat visits. Increasing the visibility and awareness about memberships is also a huge improvement, serving membership CTAs within the app, and having more primary CTA buttons on the new redesigned website, as well as new detail pages optimized for membership and ticket sales packages and information.

User testing:

  1. Identify personas

  2. Identify critical tasks

  3. Use optimal workshop for user testing

  4. Analyze results


The Visual Design

The visual design for the app has easy to read typography, exciting and juicy photography to retain interest, and color blocking using the museum's rebranded colors to separate categories. Iconography was also used consistently to strengthen the user experience throughout the app. The app is straightforward and simple to keep users focused (and not distracted) in a crowded museum filled with artifacts. The app adds fun and guidance to guests, but does not take away from the exhibits. The app should be a secondary tool, to the museum who is the main hero.

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Service Name

Final Thoughts

What started as a scavenger hunt app, turned into a fun and educational way for kids and families to return to the museum over and over, naturally promoting more ticket sales and membership sales. It also increased awareness about the museum's membership plans which previously had low visibility. For holistic marketing, we're also working on launching the new SDASM website with clearer ticket and membership call to actions, and clearer ux for membership detail pages outlining each level's savings.


Business Outcome


The new website and app will be built internally and will launch live to the public in 2023.

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