Designing a New In-Theater Audio Experience For People With Disabilities

GalaPro is a mobile app which helps theater-goers with disabilities (visual and audio impairments) enjoy broadway and theater shows.

As the Creative UX/UI lead, I developed the wireframes and user flow, designed the experience and user interface, managed contract designers and worked with engineers to launch the application. Designing challenges included: mobile application and disability standards, and theater phone usage restrictions. This required most theaters to re-evaluate their rules for people with disabilities.

  • Creative Direction
  • Sketch + Invision
  • Photosop + Illustrator
  • Mobile Application Design


We needed to visually map out the application map, so the team was in sync with where and how users could flow through free experiences and purchase in-app services.

The Wireframes

These wireframes took on a more defining purpose than simply layout placement. The client wanted to also define copy/character counts for the ideal placement and how third party experiences would happen. Due to the expedited nature of this project, the engineers began developing the layout while we designed - and then developed the front end.

Additionally, this app required various complexities from:

  • Ability to adjust the brightness
  • Avoiding Modals/Pop-ups when possible as they don’t work well with Voice-over on iOS- unless they are fully coded for accessibility
  • Language preference settings done during onboarding to be carried through all service options (accessibility as well as translation)
  • Allowing the user to toggle a service on/off
  • Designing the app in either a midtone/grey based app that stays at relatively the same luminosity in regular or inverted mode... Alternatively, we needed to explore whether we needed to design a dark version for when they are using regular mode and a light version for when they use inverted that it is always dark visually.

Below is a selection of the wireframes:

The Designs

Due to theater rules, the application needed to remain dark to eliminate brightness that could distract other attendees, so I had to design within these constraints.

GalaPro is available in most major theater districts (Broadway NYC, West End London, Chicago and Los Angeles to name a few), so I designed an easy accessibility option to allow users to change locations by placing the change location feature in the top left of the screen. When this option is toggled, the show list below refreshes.

For the main content on the landing page, I wanted to showcase shows using the beautiful imagery of each show poster coupled with text of the title and run time. I also included a text link to view show details. The text aspect was important for Audio Describe users. Audio Describe allows the device’s operating system to read the text of each show’s details to make this information available to users with visual impairment.

© 2020 Heather Stickell. all rights reserved.