ArtSpace

ArtSpace is a social networking app designed for artists to streamline the discovery process in networking and connecting with resources in their cities. The platform is curated to artists and their specific artistic needs to excel professionally and enter established art communities.

Artists are empowered through community. Engaging with like-minded individuals and mentors exposes them to opportunities and insights aiding growth and diversification in their network.

ArtSpace is a physical space to make and appreciate art.

It is the space for artists to connect and inspire one another.

ArtSpace is the digital space assisting new and under-exposed artists to discover and engage with their cities' existing and established art communities.

Project Overview
This case study captures my process in creating, ArtSpace an extensive 10-week project from research to brand identity in the form of 2 week sprints.
  1. How ArtSpace Works
  2. How I Discovered The True Problem to Solve For
  3. Ideating A Solution
  4. Making Sure it Works With User Testing
  5. Reflecting On What I Learned
  6. Bonus Content - Creating Brand Identity
Type
Timeline
Individually Guided Case Study
10 weeks (2-Week Sprints)
Tools
Platform
Figma, InVision, Photoshop, Indesign
IOS
Roles
Research, UX|UI Designer, Branding
Design Methodology
Empathize
Define
Ideate
Prototype
Test
How ArtSpace Works

Filter

your connection preferences.

Reveal

your matched connections
& preview connection candidate profiles, portfolios, & groups...

Communicate

start a conversation to uncover something new from an established user.


Focus

on what matters. Create art and network. Leave event reminders to the ArtSpace Calendar.


Connect

add new connections to your network and revisit your previous ones.


Discover & Diversify

your ever-expanding art community.


Discover Your ArtSpace

Creating ArtSpace

Empathizing

Understanding the Problem
Art and Culture fuel Miami and are constantly inspiring people from around the world to visit, do business, live and enjoy. Florida welcomed 121 million tourists in 2021. With the increase in tourism and pandemic changes, inflation followed: Rent costs increased by 58% in less than 1 year.

What impact did this inflation have on Artists and their ability to obtain studio space? Where were they creating the art that makes Miami so special?
58% of a circle40% of a circle40% of a circle34% of a circle
58%
40%
26%
34%
Miami-area apartment costs have increased by 58% since March 2020.
2-Bedroom apartment costs have increased by 40% averaging a monthly cost of $3,897
1-Bedroom apartment costs have increased 26% averaging a cost of $3,184 (an average size of 875 square feet).
Studios apartment costs have increased 34% averaging a monthly cost of $2,662
Gorilla Interviews & Pivot
UX isn't all shiny laptops and polished screens. Sometimes it's about trekking the steamy streets of Wynwood and conducting gorilla interviews with real artists to determine you need to pivot.

I found that, Artists thrive on community. According to my interviews, the most prominent problem artists were facing was the lack of resources empowering them to discover and connect with the existing and established art community.

Although inflation adds additional stressors it was not their leading challenge.


" I like to meet other people because you know, as an artist, I think we thrive on community.

"A lot of museums around the country do a really great job of interacting with local artists & community events, but they're pretty much the only ones doing it.
" I find it difficult to actually find art communities. I've been looking online and I don't know if I am not looking in the right places or the wrong way, but I find it very difficult.
Miami based Music Producer | 28
Honolulu based Classical Artists | 30
Miami based Digital Arists | 33
Letting the Data Speak
Affinity Mapping
Post empathizing with my target users, I used the affinity mapping method to sort the collected data. The affinity mapping process lead me to define a theme and insight to create my user persona.

Each interviewee had 4 art boards. The first art board held the raw interview notes and quotes. I created stickies directly from these responses to identify pain points, motivations, and behaviors. You can check out a diagram of my process on the left! Or you can visit my full affinity map using the link here: 
View the ArtSpace Affinity Map Here
Chosen Theme 1
Insight
Community & Network
The lack of art information, social and professional, act as a blocker to art community engagement and networking opportunities. Art communities provide collaboration, mentorship and diverse perspectives between artists.
The Pivot in Summary
My initial problem space was driven by the effects of inflation that block artists ability to create and succeed.

Based on the data I had found in interviews and secondary research, I believed that high costs of living forced artists to live in small apartments resulting in a desperate desire to rent art studios outside of their homes.Through interviews and data analyzation using an affinity map, it was revealed that Artist’s biggest problems did not revolve around solely renting and affording a studio; many of them had adapted to working where ever they found inspiration.

The larger problem was the struggle finding a community to grow, collaborate, and network in. My research proved that there was very few platforms for artists to connect on or find information in regards to art events, workshops, and exposés.

Many artists become frustrated when relocating to a new city like Miami due to lack of artistic resources that allow discovery and connections with like-minded talents. 
"A wide and diverse group of peers contributes to the creation of an enhanced artistic identity.
How might we streamline the process for new and under-exposed artists in Miami to discover and connect with the existing community of artists?

User Centered Design

Meet Jaimie
A classical artist new to Miami who struggles to discover and connect with the established community.

After empathizing with the key users and analyzing the data, I began to Define. I created a user persona based on my key findings and insights above. This persona lead my design intentions. I also created a user experience map to better understand which stage of Jaimie's process creates the most opportunity for a solution.

Creating a Solution

Brainstorming with Epics & User Stories
Creating epics and user stories to define the most impactful task flow was the first step in defining my solution. My task flow revealed the pages I needed to include and design to bring my solution to life.

The chosen epic, Communicate & Connect was weighed as the strongest epic with the most value. As I found in my research that Artists rely on connection, I found it most valuable to create a solution for them do so.
Chosen Epic
User Story
Communicate & Connect
As an artist I want to communicate and connect with other artists and art professionals in my  city so that I can build my art community and network.
How to Enable Communication & 
Connection?
I created a task flow that allows users to filter their connection needs to communicate and connect with direct individuals or resources. This way artists who are looking for mentors can find mentors. Artists looking for studio space, can find studio space. The flow allows users to filter and view potential connections profiles, message to communicate, and add to their network for connection.
Sketching Those Big Ideas
An idea is only in your head until it isn't... Sketching my ideas big or small helps harness what can come to reality. I sketched multiple iterations to find the best design for my key user.
Make connections screen
Available connections screen
Selected users profile
Chat Screen
Event pop-up (shared from user in chat)
Event added to in-app calendar (upon accepting)
Make connections screen (added latest connections)

How Usable is it?

Iterative Validation
Utilizing my wireframes for user testing I found accessibility issues in item sizing. I also was made aware that I am not the user and although I may find something obvious, that is not always the case for others. I took a step back to refine my design based on my testing feedback.

Creating a Solution

Filter

your connection preferences.

Reveal

your matched connections
& preview connection candidate profiles, portfolios, & groups...

Communicate

start a conversation to uncover something new from an established user.


Focus

on what matters. Create art and network. Leave event reminders to the ArtSpace Calendar.


Connect

add new connections to your network and revisit your previous ones.


Discover & 
Diversify

your ever-expanding art community.


Key Screens

Empowering Artists to Discover & Connect with the Established Art Community

Reflecting

What could I have done better?
In the end, ArtSpace is a social networking app for artists. I would have liked to develop a stronger solution to maintain a safe online community. I would like to integrate reporting and censoring features to ensure all users feel safe, confident and secure when building their networks.

In addition to adding safety, I would like to explore how to allow galleries and museums to use the app to post events or gallery openings for ArtSpace users to see. Right now the app relies on the sharing of knowledge from one user to another. I would like to create a more prominent page that shows events near the user. Perhaps a backend for established professionals and companies.
My key take-aways
I expanded my knowledge on problem solving in a few short weeks developing ArtSpace. One of my most impactful takeaways was to not solution before researching and defining the true problem. Before speaking with my interviewees and performing additional research, I believed that artists were experiencing a lack of studio space and that studio space is what they needed to be successful. I could have developed a pretty and functional app to find studio space but without a true purpose or problem to solve it would not have found success. I learned to listen to your key users and design for them, test your solution, and always ensure you know the value you are adding to the table.

This being said, the design process is not a straight or unobstructed route. Things will never be perfect, which is why it’s important to remain dynamic in a process that revolves around iterative validation and user testing.

Who likes to know the end of the story before they read it anyways?

Brand Identity

Setting the Stage
The visual experience of ArtSpace had several available directions. Just to paint a picture for you, the identity could be minimal - gallery style or it could be very Bauhaus utilizing primary colors. With so many possibilities I broke down ArtSpace's main intention and brainstormed adjectives to describe the welcoming, artistic community.

Note! Problems may appear large and hard to grasp all at once so it is important to take a step back and break those problems down into digestible pieces. We all know Rome wasn't built in a day!

Inviting

Adjective: attractive, alluring, or tempting. offering the promise of an attractive or enjoyable experience

Inspiring

Adjective: having the effect of inspiring someone

Verb: fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Creative

Adjective: relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

Supportive

Adjective: providing encouragement or emotional help.

Dynamic

Adjective: (of a process or system)characterized by constant change, activity, or progress. positive in attitude and full of energy and new ideas.

Noun: a force that stimulates change or progress within a system or process
Empowering Artists
My brand is more...

Electric > Dull • Fun > Serious • Explorative > Standard • Illuminating > Concealing • Community > Disconnection • Vibrant > Idle • Dynamic > Stagnant • Passionate > Apathetic

Utilizing the foundation or adjectives and more A than B list, I created a mood board to project the tone of the app. Once I found images that aligned with my foundation I started to brainstorm a name.

Naming was more challenging than I thought. I wanted to be creative and clever but hit a total mind block. I moved onto color and from color I moved back to the name and then back to the mood board and then to the world mark creating a designer's web of ideas. I found that this process allowed my creativity to flow, all I had to do was refollow my web and make sure all items aligned with one another.
Icon & Logo
Word Mark
Branding Sketch Summary
Visual Identity
UI Library
Atomic Design by Brad Frost details all that goes into creating and maintaining robust design systems, allowing you to roll out higher quality, more consistent UIs more efficiently than ever before. This method provided me with a structure not only for formulating my design, but also in creating building blocks for constructing my design system and pattern library.

Utilizing the atomic design system I created pattern libraries for ArtSpace to boost my workflow and keep the 4 C's in check (consistency, continuity, context, and complementary). This opened a doorway to a confident cross-platform design.

Check Out Something New!

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Let's work together.
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