a Product-Service System to Facilitate Interactive Communication Between Tourists and Urban city

  • Role UX Researcher | Service Designer | UI Designer | Visual Designer
  • Date Apr, 2016 – Jul, 2016
  • Type Service Design |graduation project

“Bubblit” is a product-service system to create emotional memories for urban tourists by facilitating interactive communication between tourists and city through advanced ICT technologies in smart city context.

Ethnographic Research: Immersive Observation

I started this project by walking in Milan city for immersive observation. I walked as a general tourist for 5 hours, and changed the sites for 7 times. From streets, to souvenir shops, and then to several main tourist attractions in Milan, both indoor and outdoor. I observed the infrastructures and tourist people with my camera and notebook.

Ethnographic Research: Interview

To build up empathy with users in ethnographic research, I have also interviewed nearly one dozen of tourists at the Duomo Square. This interview was mainly focused on the tourists' motivations and their behaviors on city trip. Then I collected the three most inspiring stories from the interviewees.

Ethnographic Research: Questionnaire

In addition to observation and interview, I also conducted a survey with the quantitative technique questionnaire to enrich the result of the qualitative research. The questionnaires were submitted on-line to 50 tourists and I collected finally 47 responses.

Ethnographic Research: Synthesis

After organizing and analyzing the research material, I chose “tourism experience “as the start point to dig deeper about the tourists’ needs and wants concerning with place, time and people elements.



Then I figured out the design challenges based on the previous research:

How might we explore communicative possibilities and new balance between technology and people, to enrich and improve tourists’ experience on city trip?

How might we open up a channel to allow people and things to develop and improvise a dialogue, thus help tourist feel involved in tourism city and connected with the surrounding people?

How might we design a service system to help urban tourists create, keep and share emotional experience memories by creating interactive encounters with the city and other tourists?


Based on the previous ethnographic research, the final project Bubblit is born.

Bubblit is a product-service system to create emotional memories for urban tourists by facilitating interactive communication between tourists and city mainly through BLE Beacon technology in smart city context.

Main Features


Service Maps: Offering Map

Service Maps: Stakeholder Map

Service Maps: System Map

Service Maps: Customer Journey Map

Service Maps: Service Blueprint

Service Maps: Business Model Canvas


I started to brand the philosophy of the Bubblit concept by creating a mood board.


The concept of bubble as a service name comes from the characteristic of the bubble thing. The messages which are dropped and triggered everywhere in the city are like those invisible but touchable bubbles.

Communication: Posters

The delivery methods of the effective communication are constructed and organized through both off-line and on-line informational channels.

Communication: Label

Bubblit also offers labels to stick on the glass door of the shops, bars and restaurants which has the partnership with Bubblit to inform and attract the visitors who walk by that the service is available here.

Digital Platforms: Website

The official website of Bubblit is one of the crucial digital channels to reach the users. The website plays an important role to help users plan their itinerary taking the credible tourists flow statistics as reference before departure.

Digital Platforms: APP for Smart Watch

The Bubblit APP for Apple Watch is an important supplement for the cross-platform products system to be used on-the-go.

One of the most distinguished features of the APP is that tourists can drop memory bubbles not only in the conventional media forms, but also they can share their heartbeat in haptic vibration form to another Apple Watch wearer via the Digital Touch function. It’s an intimate way to feel companionship and share inner emotions on the way.

Digital Platforms: APP for Mobile Phone

The APP for smart mobile phone is the key digital platform for the whole tourism experience.

In the iterative design process for the mobile phone APP, I started with outlining the main structure and interactive methods of the APP, with key flows in wire-frames.

In the next step, I flushed out the details of each screen, develop visual aesthetics, and generate hi-fi mockups for key flows.

After the hi-fi mockups are well delivered, I used the InVision tool to develop a click-through prototype to communicate and test the UI interactions, screen transitions, and key flows of the experience.

View and interact with the prototype: https://invis.io/QC7ROCMMF