Wynn Resorts

An academic case study exploring how modernizing the Wynn resort's mobile app creates a desirable digital extension of this iconic Las Vegas brand



January - March 2019


iOS Mobile App


Research, Product Strategy, UI & UX Design




The Wynn Las Vegas & Encore Resort is recognized as the number one luxury destination in Las Vegas, and the winner of the most Forbes Five star awards in the world. When tasked with selecting an app to analyze and improve, I jumped at the chance to take on the iOS extension of this iconic Las Vegas brand. 

The following case study showcases how I  redesigned the mobile app of one of my favorite Las Vegas resorts as part of an academic assignment. The purpose of this project was to gain experience in working with pre-existing brand assets, as well as translating the Wynn's recently updated website into an iOS app. Please note that I am not affiliated with the Wynn Las Vegas in any capacity, and the views presented within this case study are strictly my own.


In an Industry Which Thrives on Guest Satisfaction, the Wynn Las Vegas App is a Clear Setback for the Brand

The Wynn Las Vegas app is frustrating, confusing, and outdated. Along with unintuitive navigation and limited features which serve little purpose or value for the consumer, the following factors also prove to be problematic:

  1. Users are prompted to call the front desk from the app to make a reservation.
  2. Lack of features compared to competitor resort apps.
  3. Outdated interface design.
  4. Three apps are currently in use - Wynn Resort, Wynn Nightlife, and Wynn Poker.


How might the Wynn Resorts app be redesigned for consumers to enhance the user experience and improve brand sentiment?


To Create a Personalized Digital Experience Akin to the Resort Itself

Integrate features and incentives to increase revenue for the business, as well as incentives to retain and grow long-term brand loyalty.

  1. Eliminate opportunities for user drop off from the app.
  2. Introduce features to contend with competitor apps.
  3. Design an intuitive interface that feels cohesive with the resort website.
  4. Build a more engaging and seamless experience to improve user feedback and brand sentiment.


A Modern Mobile Companion Designed to Revolutionize the Luxurious Las Vegas Experience

Introducing the new Wynn Las Vegas mobile app for the iOS platform, a newly enhanced digital product to complement a world-class experience at this iconic Las Vegas resort. The new iteration of this app has been designed to lead in every aspect, and to offer a better-designed product for both the business and consumer.


A Design Blueprint to Lead to Better Outcomes

Being an academic project, certain deadlines were required throughout the semester to submit deliverables including personas, wireframes, style guide, and the final prototype. All students were encouraged to branch out from the assignments core requirements and put to use the methods they felt were best to reach a desirable solution. I created a scope and timeline to track and account for methods and techniques that were specific to this re-design, including market research, competitor analysis, and also the final user testing phase as I recognize where this would produce the best outcome in the end.


Using Design Thinking to Develop Innovative Outcomes

A user-centered design process was followed to identify, dissect, and strategically tackle the problem at hand and reach an attractive solution for consumers. This framework helped guide the research and design process while ensuring the needs of the customer remain at the forefront.


A Range of Tools to Build a Better Customer Experience

For this project I was able to select and utilize a range of tools that allowed me to organize research, ideate, and prototype as an independent designer. I also opted for tools that could be used to explore animated interactions with, and relied heavily on tools that allowed for remote user testing. The selection of tools used for this project include the following:




Using Secondary Research to Gain an Understanding of the Problem Space

Before we could jump into designing, it was important to define who is most affected, where and why communication barriers occur, and what the outcomes are based on current practices.

Insights collected from medical journals and media publications revealed that medical patients in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) are the most vulnerable when it comes to communication barriers. This is often due to miscommunication or misinterpretation as a result of language barriers or unclear physical gestures.

Further to this, environmental impediments are also problematic, with research showing that ICU patients encounter challenges when trying to use the call button to initiate communication of basic needs.



of ICU patients ask for items not indicated on the communication board

Hoorn, S. Ten, et al. “Communicating with Conscious and Mechanically Ventilated Critically Ill Patients: a Systematic Review.” Critical Care, vol. 20, no. 1, 19 Oct. 2016, doi:10.1186/s13054-016-1483-2.



of reported sentinel events in ICUs were caused by communication errors

Cheung, Karen M. “Whiteboards Key to Improved Communication.” HealthLeaders Media, 6 May 2010, www.healthleadersmedia.com/clinical-care/whiteboards-key-improved-communication



of ventilated patients reported a high level of frustration in communicating their needs

Happ, M. B., et al. “Nurse-Patient Communication Interactions in the Intensive Care Unit.” American Journal of Critical Care, vol. 20, no. 2, 2011, doi:10.4037/ajcc2011433.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222584/



of hospitals in the US encounter patients with limited English skills daily

“Hospital Picture Boards Break Language Barriers.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 4 Sept. 2007, www.nbcnews.com/id/20588960/ns/health-health_care/t/hospital-picture-boards-break-language-barriers/#.Xo5JJG57lYg



of exchanges between nurses and non-vocal ICU patients about pain are unsuccessful

Happ, M. B., et al. “Nurse-Patient Communication Interactions in the Intensive Care Unit.” American Journal of Critical Care, vol. 20, no. 2, 2011, doi:10.4037/ajcc2011433.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222584/



of conscious patients in ICUs are unable to use the conventional call systems

Happ, Mary Beth, et al. “Overcoming Speech and Language Disorders in Acute and Critical Care: 40 Years Later.” Geriatric Nursing, 13 Apr. 2020, doi:10.1016/j.gerinurse.2020.04.008. 


Asking Travelers for Feedback to Understand the Consumers' Habits & Expectations    

An online questionnaire was created to discover how likely Las Vegas residents and travellers are to use a resort app, what their booking habits are, what features they feel would be useful, what competitor products they use, and what challenges they've encountered with resort apps in the past. The questionnaire was distrbuted using SurveyTandem.com and Reddit via the r/LasVegas and r/SampleSize groups. More than half of the respondents had made reservations using resort apps, and their responses showed that most of these apps have little purpose for the user once their trip is over.



Conversations With Experts Provides Insights Towards a Solution

Prior to teaming up with Amanda, I used LinkedIn to reach out to personal contacts and various individuals my research pointed to as being key stakeholders and users of medical communication boards to set up interviews with via Zoom. My goal was to learn more about the experience of using medical communication boards from a care providers perspective. A total of three semi-structured interviews took place which revealed insights about different features they felt could be added or improved upon, various challenges and constraints each expert encounts in their field, as well as who the key competitors are in the market today.



Visual Insights Provide an Empathy-Driven Glimpse Into the Critical Care Experience

As Amanda and myself began to dive into the problem space, stories from her experience as an ICU nurse helped to paint a picture of the first-hand challenges care providers and patients experience that had not been revealed from the research. We decided to use a modified photo study to delve deeper into the qualitative significance of the issue surrounding communication practices in a critical care setting. While most of the images were captured by Amanda to document specific moments throughout her day, other images were gathered from Google to accurately depict issues that were not photographed due to the sensitive nature of the environment. This approach helped to capture insights that would otherwise be difficult to observe, and also helped to contextualize and acknowledge gaps between the research and what is represented in the photos.



Using Ratings & Reactions to Discover How People Feel About Existing Products

To illustrate the competitive landscape, we used G2's Competitive Matrix Grid as a tool to visualize how the products mentioned during the interview phase stack up in terms of functionality and desirability. AppFigures was used to retreive insights for each product based on AppStore feedback which was then plotted on the grid based on the total number of reviews (Market Presence) against the overall rating (Customer Satisfaction). Overall, each product received fairly positive ratings which showed us that people covet a digitized communication tool; however, there was room for improvement which was shown when we started to dig a bit deeper to read what users had to say. Patterns started to emerge, indicating both accessibility issues and technical barriers.



Evaluating the Competition to Gain Insights into How the Problem is Currently Being Approached

To round off research findings, a high-level competitive analysis was carried out to evaluate products indicated during the interview phase as common tools used in clinical settings today. This helped us recognize which features are standard across a range of products, where new features are beginning to enter the market (such as head and eye tracking), and to also reveal gaps and opportunities we could possibly tap into in an effort to stand out in an already competitive marketspace.



Empathy findings are unpacked and synthesized into compelling needs and insights.


Drawing Connections & Organizing Information to Develop Deeper Insights

From analysis to synthesis


Putting a Face on 'Who' the Product is Being Designed For

To get aligned about who the product is for, we decided to personify a primary, secondary, and tertiery stakeholder into three personas. 



A focus on idea generation and how people might navigate the product.


Visualizing Ideas & Inspiration to Shape the Artistic Direction of the Product

Mood boards are one of my favorite contributions to the design process. They allow us to communicate the pictures we have in our minds, transfer the right mood, and bring the emotions expected from a product to life. When considering the target audience for this product, our goal was to create a design that feels friendly, evokes feelings of trust and tranquility, while placing value on simplicity and accessibility.



Building quickly to think and learn.


Bringing Ideas to Life: Translating Concepts into Tangible Prototypes

The next step in the process was translating the Brand Concept into something tangible.



A chance to refine and improve the solution.