Plain or Fancy



“Plan or Fancy” is an in-gallery and web-based interactive application that encourages visitors of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts to explore, consider, and share their own sensibilities in decorative art.

As a complement to a section of the special exhibition from Museum’s Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts (ESDA), the application allowed the visitors to decide for themselves whether an art piece is plain or fancy and whether it suits their personal style.

Rapid Prototype

Experience Design

In-gallery Test

Project Scope

Plain or Fancy logo

Interpretive Goals

1. Invite visitors to consider their own preferences in decorative arts

2. Allow visitors better understanding of their own style

3. Demonstrate that daily choices in decorative arts are complex and based on multiple, simultaneously existing cultural perspectives

Target Audience

1. Those interested in European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

2. General visitors who enjoy learning about themselves through art

3. Participants who enjoy learning through interactive experiences

Core Experience

 Visitors are exposed to 16 masterpieces in the gallery.

The in-gallery app presents visitors with an object from the exhibition that is open to debate, accompanied by a statement for consideration.

Visitors are then asked for their personal opinion – Is the object plain or fancy, their style or not, and why.

The feedbacks would be tweeted to a shared account.


The application was created as a set of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and media files. It was displayed on two iPad kiosks in the gallery, as a web-based presentation in MetMedia, and integrated into the Museum’s social media efforts on Facebook and Twitter, opening the discussion to global online visitors.

Try the web version here.

During the development process and the post evaluation process, I have been assisted with modifying the information architecture for the app, conducting in-gallery user tests, structuring the interactive experience to yield strong data collection (mainly working with twitter API) and writing heuristic evaluation report.  The project was finished in a short period of time by using Agile method.

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