Melissa Lu

High Line

Interaction design case study on the High Line in NYC.

High Line Camp Night

An interaction case study.


Brand Overview

The High Line is a non-profit, donation-based organisation that restored an old, elevated train track and turned it into a public park. It attracts visitors from all over the world and spans from the Meatpacking district to Hell's Kitchen.

Brand Research

  • Hosts many events

  • Active on social media

  • Lacking small donations

  • Mostly tourists

Insights from Interviews

  • Navigational issues – People have trouble navigating when they are up on the High Line.

  • Lack of shelter – During windy or rainy days there is nowhere to hide from the weather.

  • Lack of contextual information – There is little to no information about the surrounding area in terms of history or architecture.

  • Limited awareness in digital media – Locals, especially, are unaware of the High Line’s online presence and missing out on events.

  • Missing interactive components – People want something else to do, other than admiring the scenery and walking.



Initial Idea

Problem Statement

The High Line is one of the most visited tourist destinations in New York but very few visitors actually give anything.


To get visitors to donate by making it simpler to donate during and after the visit.

Target Audience

Tourists – Since they don’t have the opportunity to visit often they should be able to have the best experience possible. Tourists seem to know more about the High Line than locals because of the research prior to their visit whereas locals tend to visit to enjoy escaping the city. Furthermore, tourists may not have access to the internet to check for information.

Refining Idea 6*


Families like to spend time together but don’t know what to do.


The High Line will host a night under the stars. Families can camp there for the night while attending events such as video screenings, star gazing, scavenger hunts, etc.

Where it goes

Admittance through donations when reserving a tent. The special event will bring families closer and the community together as one while increasing donations.

Target Audience

New Yorkers – After conducting interviews at the location we learned that there are many more tourists than New Yorkers, even though the High Line is more accessible to them. How can we make the High Line somewhere locals would want to go to?

Problem Statement

The High Line is one of the most visited tourist destinations in New York but it doesn’t meaningfully connect with real New Yorkers.


Organise a camp night for families to create unique and meaningful memories associated with the High Line.


User Flow

  1. View information online.

  2. Enter personal details and reserve.


3. Download mobile app via link in confirmation email.

4. Wait until reserved day.


5. Scan QR code to check in at the High Line.

6. Use map to explore and check schedule.

7. Use Star Gazing function to see constellations in the sky and learn about them.



This idea of a camp night is something the High Line has wanted to do. However, they have not successfully launched this because of complications in permissions, as it is a public space and involves minors staying in a park overnight.


Discarded Ideas


Idea 1

Insight – People like to eat.
Concept – The High Line will collaborate with Seamless. Visitors will be able to order food directly to any bench on the High Line through the use of a DOOH or Seamless app.
Where it goes – Visitors will be asked to post a photo of their food or of themselves with the new service on social media with #donate2highline in order to raise awareness that it is donation based and to show the benefits of having the park.

Idea 2

Insight – Visitors like to take photos but the weather doesn’t always cooperate.
Concept – Photo-taking DOOH with customisable backgrounds (e.g. sunny days) that instantly print with a QR code, which can be scanned via WeChat.
Where it goes – The photo will be watermarked with “#donate2highline” and sent to the visitor through WeChat. They will have the option to donate using WeChat to receive an unmarked photo.

Idea 3

Insight – People like to play games.
Concept – A gaming app set in a virtual world where visitors have to find hidden codes in the real High Line to unlock areas/items in the game. The purpose is to build your own High Line that can be connected with other social media accounts and friends.
Where it goes – Choose to donate to gain more items or to further their development in the game or they’d have to visit the actual park for the codes.

Idea 4

Insight – People like to see the sunrise and sunset but few actually do.
Concept – For a small donation people will receive daily texts of the sunrise and sunset from the High Line’s view.
Where it goes – This will allow the High Line to have periodical donors, which can help with planning the funds. Users are encouraged to share the images to raise awareness.

Idea 5

Insight – People are more likely to donate when they get something out of it directly.
Concept – On messaging apps with stickers (e.g. Messenger, Hangouts, Kakao, Line, WeChat) will have High Line sticker sets for sale, funds accepted as donations.
Where it goes – Users will send stickers to raise awareness. The set will include flowers, planets, buildings, and animals seen on and around the High Line.

*Idea 6

Insight – Children like to do what they’re not supposed to do.
Concept – Host a night under the stars in which families camp overnight while learning about the stars and interacting with other families through activities. Admittance will be through donations for a period of time before it becomes exclusive to members.
Where it goes – Families would have a great time they’d be compelled to become a member and donate monthly to access perks like this camp.

Idea 7

Insight – People like to dress up in costumes and take photos.
Concept – Old fashioned costumes from the 1930s. Visitors can dress up, take photos, post of social media and raise awareness about the need for donations.
Where it goes – Increasing the overall awareness and accepting donations for the costumes.

Idea 8

Insight – People are not willing to donate because they don’t or can’t visit often.
Concept – Team up with Google and Amazon to deliver and retrieve cardboard VR headsets to people who cannot travel or when the weather isn’t permitting so the High Line can reach a larger audience. Users can experience the history of the park – exploring what it used to look like back in 1930s when it was a train station up until present day.
Where it goes – The service would be donation-based, however much the users donate will be matched by a donor.

Idea 9

Insight – People like to see their work on display.
Concept – At night under the Chelsea Market tunnel (part of the High Line) will be a projection of chosen designs made by anyone using their app or on an onsite DOOH with optional donation.

Idea 10

Insight – People like to interact and learn new things.
Concept – Around the park there will be signs with information about the surrounding flowers, plants, and animals. Using location services on Snapchat there will be different filters depending on what’s in the area, one of which would be “Run on donations.”
Where it goes – Visitors can send the photos to friends or post it on their stories to raise awareness.