Rixing Type Foundry, the world's last remaining foundry producing Traditional Chinese letterpress, has long been committed to sharing its cultural heritage with visitors through guided tours. However, the quality of these tours varied, and the time and labor-intensive process was becoming a financial burden. To address these challenges, Ting-Han Chen introduced a self-guided service, freeing up staff time and ensuring a consistent visitor experience.
The new service is a visitor-centered framework that includes points of interest and a corresponding web-based mobile guide. Visitors can explore the foundry at their own pace, clicking on numbered signage to learn about artifacts or shop for souvenirs. This self-guided approach allows visitors to create their own journey, enhancing their engagement with the foundry and its history.
The mobile guide is a web-based system compatible with most smartphones. No app installation is required; visitors simply scan a QR code to start their tour. The user interface adapts to the visitor's system display preference, and all tour content can be reviewed after leaving the foundry. The guide was developed using Squarespace, a coding-free responsive web design platform, with audio and video content stored on the Vimeo cloud platform for easy updating.
Creating a consistent user experience was a key challenge in designing the mobile guide. Each web page UI needed to be carefully arranged to guide the user through their tour and maintain a consistent experience. The result is a seamless, intuitive guide that enhances the visitor's journey through the foundry.
Rixing's transformation into a visitor-centric destination was underpinned by extensive research, including value propositioning, stakeholder interviews, and design workshops. The self-guided service framework was then implemented as a mobile guide, enabling visitors to learn about the foundry, its artifacts, and letterpress-related knowledge, and shop for products during their self-guided tour.
This innovative approach to visitor experience has not gone unnoticed. The design was awarded Silver in A' Meta, Strategic and Service Design Award in 2023, a testament to its creativity, technical excellence, and positive impact on the visitor experience at Rixing Type Foundry.
Project Designers: Ting Han Chen
Image Credits: Image #1: Photographer CrisKa Photography, The Digital Guide Designed for Rixing Type Foundry, 2023. Image #2: Creator Ting-Han Chen, The Map of Points of Interest in Rixing Type Foundry, 2022. Image #3: Photographer CrisKa Photography, The Digital Guide Designed for Rixing Type Foundry, 2023. Image #4: Photographer China Productivity Center, The Video of the Guided Tour shown on a user's screen, 2022. Image #5: Creator Ting-Han Chen, The UI designs of the Self-Serviced Mobile Guide, 2023.
Project Team Members: Ting Han Chen
Project Name: Rixing Go Digital
Project Client: Ting Han Chen