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User Research, Interviews, Audits, Personas, User Journeys



User Stories,

Wireframes, Low-fidelity Prototypes



Mockups, High-fidelity Prototypes, Usability Testing, Accessibility



Design System, Final Design, Takeaways,

Next Steps

Beautiful Landscape
I designed a digital mobile storefront for ordering snacks so that visitors can order to pick up whenever they want. Browsing the menu online and ordering ahead should be as much fun as being at the theme park. The experience within the Universal Studios Theme Park app will elevate the users' enjoyment of their favorite themes and stories digitally while it intends to drive sales revenue.

This digital experience aims to 1. increase happiness at the park, 2. cut the queue time, and 
3. improve net promoter score.


Project Duration

11.11.2021 - 01-11.2022

Nine Weeks




UX Design Specialization

My Role

Designing an mobile experience for the Hopping Pot from conception to delivery


Conducting interviews, paper and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies

Case Overview
When visiting theme parks, the guests have to queue for many different rides and activities. More queues at a snack shop, just to buy some light snacks, add stress to their overall experience. They may skip snacking altogether which results in reduced revenue for theme parks and less enjoyment for customers.
Users interviews.jpg

I conducted interviews through video calls and in-person interviews to understand their recent experiences at a theme park. A primary user group identified through research consists of adults and young parents who love to visit theme parks at least once a year or more and enjoy the pop-culture icons. They are also very interested in snacking and expect new snacking experiences at the theme park.


This user group’s favorites were themed food/snack and themed everything. The research revealed that many of them enjoy fully-immersive experience from food to shopping to rides. However, they sometimes feel that finding and ordering food can waste a lot of their time. They prefer to plan ahead with friends and family. As they almost always want to make the most time at the theme park, they don’t like waiting for food or tables or crowds at the snack shops.
Users interviews Notes
User Research

Theme park visitors do not like wasting time finding food and snacks. They would prefer ordering while they are in lines for ride and time it for pick up. Wait time display on food ordering app would be helpful.


Theme Park visitors want that their digital experience merge with their physical themed experiences. They don’t find it pleasant to use the apps that does not enhance their themed experiences.


Theme park visitors like to optimize their time and they find it annoying when they can’t filter to find food or snacks that is to their price range, type of food, location, themed food etc.


Theme park visitors like to plan ahead. They usually and read blog posts, themed park channels, etc. They dislike when they can’t find recommendations and reviews. Including these can assist with their decision-making.

Harold Vanderbilt

“I want to live a life full of imagination and creativity. I love stories that touch me in many ways that bring nostalgia of my childhood.” 








University Student

Phoenix, Arizona

Lives with Parents

Intern at a travel magazine

User Story

Harold is about to finish his degree and is working as a writer at a travel magazine since he loves to travel and find new experiences. He travels to LA or Orlando with family for vacation yearly and theme parks are always included in the itinerary. Sometimes, friends would join at the theme parks and they would do cosplay for a day there, enjoying themed rides, themed food and all-around themed experiences. He does a lot of planning ahead as he divides his attention between family and friends. He wishes planning for meals and snacks are as much fun and exciting as the ride experiences.

  • Want to experience movie brands like the Wizarding World

  • Enjoy iconic rides and food in a very unique environment

  • Shop snacks and take home souvenirs that are unique to the theme park experiences.

  • Get affordable food options with short wait times

  • “I want to know what the space and environment looks like whether it's special and unique or just a regular dining hall.”

  • “I'm not happy with finding food. Sometimes, I'm too tired to find affordable options.”

  • “If it's too busy, grab & go option will entice me but I don’t want to wait in line but pay ahead and pick up quickly.”

Emmy Tadashi

“I love my family and we always create memorable moments together.” 







Master’s Degree
Orlando, Florida
Lives with two kids
Interior Designer

User Story

Emmy would research ahead where to go, which rides to enjoy, and plan meals in-between so that she can make the most out of her family time inside the theme park. If the kids need snacks in-between meals, Emmy would walk around to look for food carts but when it’s too crowded, she would prefer to find one on the map or order ahead so that she does not wait in line under hot sun (or rain). She loves pointing her kids out all the little details of themed buildings and sometimes, she would do “treasure-hunting” with them to keep themselves entertained while waiting for the rides. The family loves taking pictures with characters as well as all the food they enjoy together!

  • Raise kids with much love and attention

  • Visit theme parks often to meet with characters and enjoy rides

  • Plan ahead of time to pick rides, food, and shopping to maximize the time spent with family at the theme parks

  • Treat family all the themed food available

  • “With family, finding food that satisfy everyone's needs is sometimes difficult.”

  • “Snack shops usually have only popcorn, chips and unhealthy drinks. I don’t want my kids eat those all the time.”

  • “I wish there is a place on app where it lists place-specific memorable snacks that are offered by the theme park.”

The Hopping Pot_edited.jpg
Harold is a theme park enthusiast who wants to order unique and themed snacks while he is waiting in line for the rides so that he can pick up after the ride to reduce queue time at the theme park.
Emmy is a fun mother who needs to plan ahead for her kids’ meal and snack time because she wants the family to be healthy but not go hungry!
Competitive Audit.jpg

Goal: Compare the food menu experience of snack shops (of competitors' theme parks and around the theme park) on mobile app/website.

Competitor's Positionings
  • Dino-Bite Snacks in Disney Magic Kingdom positions itself as a family-friendly, fun, imaginative shop that is themed within the Magic Kingdom. Its menu offers “Disney” branded snacks and ice-cream that attract kids and adults alike. Its application offers easy-to-use features that keep the shop visible digitally in everyone’s palms.

  • Traffic Cart in Legoland positions itself as a quick grab-and-go no-frill cart where anyone can pick up a pretzel on the go. It does not even market the cart much but rather a very basic offer to those who don’t need themed experience or unique experience in the theme park. 

  • Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen in SeaWorld positions itself as a unique pretzel kitchen that offers “a twist on the beloved theme park pretzel”. It targets a specific audience who love pretzels and would want to try many different flavors and dipping sauces. Their menu writing is friendly and formal that targets adults rather than kids.

  • Starbucks on City Walk positions itself as an everyday coffee with cool and chill moto such as “Starbucks for life!” “Whatever the weather” to attract younger adults. Their menu offers a wide range of beverages for individuals, with a customer base that loves coffee and offers snacks that go with coffee mainly.

  • Auntie Anne’s on City Walk positions itself as a neighborhood “ovens” where they market “freshness” as their secret ingredients. A wide range of pretzels in both traditional twists as well as bite-sized nuggets are available and target “on-the-go lives”.

  • Clear call-to-action buttons 

  • Shop image to entice customer to visit

  • Accessibility information provided

  • Prices are not visible until in the cart

  • Direction to store not available in app

  • Direct competitor products don’t offer order to pick-up options

  • Direct competitor products provide a limited amount of accessibility features

  • Direct competitor menus provide few images to no images

  • Offer more “themed” actions and experiences to bridge between physical space and digital space 

  • Offer images of snacks and beverages

  • Offer ability to purchase snacks in-app with order now - pick up later option

User Story.jpg

Mapping user journey at the theme park revealed how a mobile ordering app would help the users optimize their time and maximize their satisfaction on themed experiences.

User Flow.jpg
User Journey

Starting the Design

Paper Wireframes

The themed snack ordering app will let users browse menu, order items, and get directions for pickup. While they are in queue for their favorite rides and attractions, the themed snack ordering digital experience with complement their personal experience at the theme park.


The app will optimize their time by allowing them to find themed snacks and place a pickup order on the digital storefront. We will be able to measure effectiveness by analyzing the number of views, orders made, and directions asked.
Digital Wireframes
Because finding snack shops and ordering snacks should be an enjoyable experience at the theme park, the homepage offers enough information for users’ discovery, and assists them by providing critical information about their orders. Digital wireframes mainly focus on the user flow.

Short preview of the shops and two action buttons helps users to find what they want

The user summary panel shows real-time information for the orders they made

Wireframe 01.png

When order is confirmed, this page should provide users with the next steps they will need to follow to pick up their orders. They are also given options to explore more at the theme park.

Wireframe 02.png

Order confirmation page shows time to pick up the order and inform users the order status

Tips page encourages users to explore more food and snacks option that they might want to discover at the theme park

Low-fidelity Prototype

While inside the theme park and the app, the users will begin their dining experience at dining home page button on the menu bar. From there, they can identify shops on the location map and explore menus and order through the app. It will also provide information about their order on its dining home screen. 


View low-fidelity prototype:

The Hopping Pot Low-fidelity Prototype

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Low-fidelity Prototype
Usability Study
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Usability Study: Findings

I conducted two rounds of usability studies. Findings from the first study helped guide the designs from wireframes to mockups. The second study used a high-fidelity prototype and revealed what aspects of the mockups needed refining.

Round 1
Round 2
Usability Study.jpg
Round 1
  • Users want to know where they are currently located first before ordering

  • Users want clear and quick checkout

  • Users want organized and well-displayed information

Round 2
  • Users want to find order and direction more easily after their order

  • Users want more customization options

  • Users enjoy themed pages with graphics

Mockup Banner.jpg
The second usability study revealed that some of the users want customizable menus. A themed “customize” button is introduced to give user an overlay of options they can choose for certain food menu items. I also added wand animation at the top to signify “added”.
The Hopping Pot Hi-fi 1.0 Menu
The Hopping Pot Hi-fi 2.0 Menu.png
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The Hopping Pot Hi-fi 1.0.png

Earlier design confuses the users because of the lack of graphic hierarchies. Users took a significant amount of time figuring out the shop's initial landing page. After the usability studies, I broke the banners into smaller buttons that hover above the map to give it a sense of hierarchy.

The Hopping Pot Landing Page
High-fidelity Prototype
Hifi Prototype 2.0
High-fidelity Prototype

The final high-fidelity prototype tackles complexity of a snack shop embedded within a theme park app while delivering a unique themed shop experience for users. It meets the user needs for pick up, order and customization.


View high-fidelity prototype:

The Hopping Pot High-fidelity Prototype

Design System
Design System - The Hopping Pot.jpg
Design System
Accessibility Considerations 
High Contrast

High contrast colors are incorporated into the final high-fidelity prototypes for users with visual impairments.


Animations at the checkout inform users their actions and their current place in the process.

Icons with text

Major iconographic buttons are accompanied by texts to ensure readability and understanding of the interface for all users.


Going Forward

The app provides users with enhanced and immersive experience of the shop in the wizarding world and the theme park that would increase guests' happiness and satisfaction. It also provides options for users to order ahead to cut their queue time at the park. This is scalable across other themed shops whether they are Wizarding World shops or other well-loved IPs.
What I learned:

I personally enjoyed designing a digital experience that complement physical themed stores. Integrating a new experience to an existing one takes many usability studies to figure out the correct flow. But each iteration of the design is a progress towards an easier and fun experience for the users. There are many things to discover and learn directly from the theme park enthusiasts.


Each iteration of the design progresses towards easier and fun experience for the users. In order to scale this, it will also need a lot of investment for creative assets and interactions as each location needs customization. There is an opportunity to gamify the theme park economy that supports the theme park's revenue stream.

Three things I would have done differently if I need to do over:


1. Research more on the existing app. Although I did a competitive audit, I did not hear directly from the users. Finding out about what users like or dislike about an existing app and its existing design would inform me to make better decisions on what to keep and what not to keep in the integration.


2. Focus more on a specific feature. Earlier in the design process, sticking to one or two highest priorities would help the design more in terms of clarity and use outcome.

3. Think about scalable system ahead of time. Theme Park like Universal Studios have many different stories and characters that thinking about the system-level earlier would help in making design decisions. It will also allow us to design for cases that do not have theme stories.

The Hopping Pot.jpg

Final Checkout Process Design

Checkout 01
Checkout 02
Checkout 03
Checkout 04
Checkout 05
“The app is very fun to use and it will make my ordering experience much more enjoyable with the themed characters and items I love.”
Checkout 06
Final Designs
Prototype Flow
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Find Shop
Order on Mobile
Get Directions
Next Steps
I would want to hear from users how often they would think about or use this application to supplement their theme park experiences and which part of the mobile ordering journey they find least appealing because further improvement requires metrics to fine tune the experience. 


At the same time, I would explore how best to scale this across theme parks through a consistent design system for different themes and characters.

  • Conduct another round of usability studies to validate whether the pain points users experienced have been effectively addressed.

  • Conduct user research to find out what kind of themes they would like to see in their app so that the app can provide integrated experience of digital and physical theme park.

  • Test scalability of themed experience within the theme park app for other major franchises.

  • Work with engineers to see how to best implement various customized and themed graphics with efficiency.

Next Steps

Happy to grab a coffee to hear your thoughts! ☕️🧠
Reach me at
Thank you!

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