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Case Study

Scavenger hunt mobile app

  • Scaventure is a mobile app that provides users with an interactive and custom scavenger hunt experience

  • It is designed to give friends, colleagues, or any group the ability to quickly set up and participate in scavenger hunts

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What I did

  • My role as a UX/UI Designer for this project included understanding the product space and user through research, conceptualizing a solution through user journeys, user flows, and wireframes, and ultimately reaching a solution through prototyping, testing, and iterating

  • Scaventure was a personal project I built as part of my UX Immersion course at CareerFoundry to demonstrate my learning process and execution of the end-to-end research and design process

The Problem

While there are quite a few scavenger hunt apps out there, many of them are targeted towards large group events such as corporate retreats, and are therefore complex to set up and can be overwhelming to the user.

Our users need a way to quickly and easily set up and invite people to custom scavenger hunts.

Competitive Analysis

To begin, I downloaded and played around with scavenger hunt apps and analyzed strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This is an important beginning step because I'm able to draw inspiration and get fired up at the opportunity to improve on poor design decisions or missed opportunities I come across.

  • High-level key takeaways

    • Lack of an intuitive home screen with a practical and actionable dashboard

    • No straight-forward quick way to create a new scavenger hunt, set objectives, and begin 



User Interviews

Then, I conducted and recorded 30-minute interviews (over the phone or on video chat) with 8 people to gain insight into user's overall behavior when it comes to playing different types of games, as well as their feelings when it comes to their phones and playing interactive games with their friends (video games and otherwise) 


The main research goals were:

  • Find out what drives people to play games in general 

  • Identify what people do for fun/entertainment in the context of their phones, and why

  • Understand what features of specific games people are attracted to in order to find out what game elements should be considered in this app

View interview questions


Results and Affinity Mapping

I organized the insights from the interviews into a physical affinity map, but also created a digital version for the sake of this case study. When possible, I sometimes prefer a physical affinity map (as long as findings are recorded and photographed sufficiently), because I think some physical movement helps to encourage an engaging discussion and provides a break from looking at a screen.


Main takeaways:

  • Most people agree that they enjoy games that are interactive, and being able play with their friends or even strangers makes it more fun

  • A sense of competition gets people more invested in the game

  • People can get very easily deterred when there are too many steps for set up

  • They get annoyed when it isn't clear and straightforward how to get things going and get started

  • All of these things are even more important when doing something with their friends, where they are even more likely to back out and try something else 

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User Personas

Using the insights from my interviews and affinity map, I created personas for our target users. The first persona (Nathangelo), represents the casual users who are more likely to be invited to a scavenger hunt than create their own. They enjoy playing interactive games but aren't the one that is creating and setting it up, and therefore need an experience where it is simple and straight forward to join or accept an invite to a hunt, and then understand how the game works.


The second persona (Gloria) is the president of a student organization at her school and is tasked with organizing activities for people to do around campus. She represents the users that are creating scavenger hunts and need to be able to easily set up custom objectives. She also needs simple ways to invite people and get people to join. 

PERSONA Nathangelo.png

User Journeys

With personas established, I created user journeys to map user's thoughts and feelings as they navigated the app.

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User Flows

After creating personas and user journeys, and before the information architecture was drafted, I created User Flows to work through what screens would be needed to complete some of the key actions users would take as they navigated the app.

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Information Architecture

After thinking through some user flows with my personas in mind, I drafted the initial architecture. Then, I did a card sorting session to test it and get an understanding of how others would group the different aspects of a scavenger hunt app, and I took those findings and made site map 2.0. Then, later in the process after some testing and iterating, a final 3.0 version was made to address the different flows that fall under "Hunts", the inclusion of the search and chat features, as well as to expand what was available to the user within the settings.

Site Map 1.0
Site Map 2.0
Card Sorting
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Site Map 3.0
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Low-fidelity Wireframes

Based on my sitemap, and keeping in mind the goal of easy setup and inviting, I drafted some ideas to explore onboarding, creating hunts, and chatting with friends.

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Mid-fidelity Wireframes & Prototyping

After thinking through user flows and drafting wireframes with pen and paper, I created grayscale wireframes in Adobe XD and used them for the first clickable prototypes and usability tests

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Usability Testing

The Mid-fidelity wireframes were tested with 6 participants. I scheduled and recorded video calls in which the participants were asked to share their screen as I gave them prompts and actions to complete while commentating their actions, thoughts, and feeling throughout. I nearly ran into issues with the recording process, which highlighted the importance of doing test runs.

Test Plan 

Research goals:

Assess the learnability and efficiency of key tasks, identify common errors

Test Objectives:

Observe the user experience of the following features:

  • Creating a new scavenger hunt 

  • Inviting people to a scavenger hunt


Moderated remote usability tests


  • 6 Participants recruited within my network

  • Participants are considered to be part of the target audience


Click to view full test script 

Affinity Map & Rainbow Spreadsheet

After going through the recordings, I organized the results and insights into a rainbow spreadsheet and an affinity map. The participants generally were able to navigate the prototype with ease, but this testing and analysis did provide valuable feedback.

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Implementation of Feedback

Search functions

  • Some users became slightly confused and had a little trouble when completing the search task due to the "Find hunts based on" feature which was on the home screen.

  • This ultimately bogged down the experience and was unnecessary, especially because the primary use of the app is to create or participate in hunts with a known or semi-known group, and not to search out and find random hunts.

  • I decided to eliminate this on the home screen, and I added "Recent Searches" to make it easier for users that began searching for a hunt but didn't join one at that time. 

Create Hunt / Join Hunt buttons

  • When asked to create a hunt, a couple users clicked join hunt which highlighted the need to distinguish these two buttons more clearly, which led to revisiting the copy and hierarchy of the buttons.

  • The resulting revisions were to change "Join a hunt" to "Join an existing hunt" and create a clear differentiation of the buttons by having more of a contrast between the fill and border color choices. 

Style Guide

After addressing the issues brought to my attention from usability testing, I was ready to focus on developing the UI elements into a style guide to make it easier to create consistency across the app. 

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Home Screen Evolution 

After creating several different ideas for the home screen dashboard, I did some preference testing to gain insight on people's feelings towards the dashboard buttons setup, and listened to feedback to land on the final home screen. 

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Hi-fidelity mockups

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Next Steps

  • More usability testing

  • A/B Testing with different hunt screen setup

  • Refine onboarding to be more informative of the ways to join a hunt

  • Create an option to add admins so a user can restrict who can and can't make changes to the hunt

What I learned

  • It is very important to spend time thinking about research objectives and goals and the planning aspect before just jumping into writing down the questions to ask

  • Make sure you do a dry run for testing, and have a Plan B when things go wrong

  • The idea of traceability - make sure you are anchoring back to initial goals and objectives

Thanks for viewing!

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