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How might we keep people informed and excited about the Ottawa Art Gallery’s new location while it is closed?

The Project

The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) closed to move to a larger location during the summer of 2017. They began OAG Out There as an outreach program based on a cargo bicycle with activities for public engagement. I was contracted to help design the functional, visual and user experience elements of the bicycle.

My Role

UX Design, Project Managment

The Users

We targeted users likely to encounter the bicycle in downtown Ottawa and at outdoor cultural events. 


Rob McGuire

Age: 47

Occupation: Accountant

  • Lives downtown with his wife and their daughter.

  • Likes to take his wife to the National Arts Center on date night.

  • Brings his family to Jazz Fest and other music festivals in Ottawa every summer. 


Tommy Fletcher

Age: 8

Occupation: Grade 2 Student

  • Enjoys going to the park to play.

  • Attended art camp last summer.

  • Likes drawing characters from his favorite Pixar movies.


Alicia Gellman

Age: 21

Occupation: Barista

  • Draws and writes in their journal every day.

  • Designs posters for her friend's band on the side.

  • Currently studying art history.

Experience Goals

Through working with the OAG we established several goals to target with the OAG Out There initiative:

  • Drive new OAG Membership

  • Educate about the OAG’s new location 

  • Promote upcoming OAG of events

  • Create a fun, interactive experience

Experience Types

I defined three types of experiences users might have with the bicycle to better understand how we could accommodate them.

  • Mobile Interactions: Very brief interactions where the bicycle comes to you.

    • Example: someone is in traffic and sees the bicycle only giving them a few seconds to decipher its messaging.


  • Short interactions: no more than 5 minutes. The bike is in a fixed position and someone decides to check it out.

    • Example: A short craft, or giving away free food/drinks.


  • Long Interactions: longer than 5 minutes, possibly advertised beforehand. 

    • Example: Having an art instructor teach a free sketching class in a park.


We collected images for inspiration to guide our visual and conceptual approach to the cargo bicycle.  As a result I decided to target 3 key themes:






The design used white and magenta from the OAG’s existing branding and an illustrative pattern through a collaboration with a local artist. To promote curiosity the pattern incorporates subtle differences through the bicycle. A large logo application was also used to ensure users recognized the OAG.



We collaborated with a local bicycle company to build a bike frame from our designs. I also designed and built the front box area to accommodate outreach actives including a door that can serve as extra counter space.


The Result

To communicate the OAG’s values we created a bicycle that is a work of art in itself. To serve the OAG's needs it is welcoming for our target users and functional as a mobile outreach station. 

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