Diriyah Season 2019 Digital Wayfinding App

Each year Saudi Arabia host an unmissable mix of international sports and entertainment events taking centre stage within at a UNESCO heritage site, Diriyah, the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

In 2019, Diriyah Season took place in an area over 2 million square metres. The festival had 9 zones, each hosting a range of sports or entertainment. From international sporting events such as Formula E and World Heavyweight Title Boxing to the Diriyah Music Festival featuring Usher and Akon, Diriyah Season is like no other event in the world. 

To compliment a visitors festival experience at Diriyah Season, we were also contracted to develop an iOS and Android-compatible mobile application to assist the physical wayfinding design. Our remit included accurate 1:1 scale mapping for the complete site, a zoning and colour coded strategy, a dual language naming strategy and the design of bespoke icons for all services and facilities, all working within the brand guidelines for the Diriyah Season event.

Diriyah Festival 2019

The design of the mobile application involved understanding what visitors gripes were from the year prior, and how best to address these through the new app. We understood that three key areas needed addressing:

1. Parking: 

Where is my car parked? Where am I going to park? Where did I leave my car?

2. Making sure visitors do not miss the event they are going to see:

What time is my event starting and where am I going?

3. Facilities:

Where are the toilets, washrooms and food and beverages?

The team developed a set of user journeys to understand different need states across different days and arriving via different transport nodes. We then developed the wireframes and UX/UI elements and visual design based on these scenarios, iterating some elements as the event schedules and locations naturally changed and tweaked as deadlines loomed.

From the development of both the wayfinding strategy and user research, we had an understanding of visitor profiles, journeys and use cases, based on data from the previous year. We mapped the visitor journey, both digital and physical, to ensure that the app would hit the right touchpoints and make sense in-situ for visitors. Testing user flows helped to determine where content, prompts and a blended balance between digital and physical wayfinding would enhance the user experience across the large geographical site of the Diriyah Season.

The visual design of the app reflected some of the key elements of the Diriyah Festival brand,  both the static wayfinding design and the digital products, website and other digital elements that were used across a portfolio of products.

The size of the Diriyah Festival posed both excitement and a challenge for visitors and operators alike. The festival held 9 event zones, each hosting a range of sports or entertainment.  To help visitors create their personalised festival experience, a search functionality for all sports, entertainment and facilities allowed users to like and store their chosen events, set alarms, so not to miss the start of the event, and locate their parked car when leaving the event, all within the MYDS home button on the app.

We developed a simple IA that helped create easy to access loops of information via the My Diriyah Season ‘MYDS’ icon at the base of the app. This allowed our team to design an interface that worked via events taking place across the season broken down into two tabs on the app, sports and entertainment, and third tab for all the facilities that included toilets, washrooms, prayer rooms and F&B.

By allowing your personal events to be listed in the MYDS icon, you also had the prompts to set a timer based on your event you were experiencing and this would set an alarm based on time slots prior to the event.