Micah Etheredge
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InStudio

 

WHAT IS INSTUDIO?

A STUDENT PROJECT - GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 2016.

 

An app that provides a unique insight into the work space of visual artists. Demystifying how artists create their work - what materials they use, their failures, successes and everything in between.

 
 
 

MY ROLES

 
 

1. DEFINING THE PROBLEM

Through some analysis of the state of the art industry I defined what I thought to be a problem facing art lovers and artists alike. 

2. RESEARCH

After defining my research goals I conducted a series of interviews with a range of Art Lovers and Artists. Further, I conducted a thorough analysis of my possible competitors.

 
 
 

3. SYNTHESISING RESEARCH

 I collated the data from interviews and competitor analysis into meaningful formats using techniques such as Affinity and Empathy Maps. Though this process I uncovered some compelling patterns that helped direct my ideas.

4. IDEATION

Armed with insights from my research I developed multiple concepts. User flows, feature prioritisation, card sorting and site mapping all assisted in constructing a solid final concept ready for prototyping and testing.

 
 
 

5. PROTOTYPING

To refine my concept I built and tested several prototypes in rapid succession. Starting with low-fi paper prototypes and finially building up to a higher fidelity. Each prototype provided valuable insights to feed into the next.

6. TESTING

Crafting specific task scenarios enabled me to maintain a consistency across all tested users and uncover measurable patterns that helped refine subsequent prototypes - all with the aim of building a more compelling product.

 
 
 

DEFINING THE PROBLEM

 
 

Art lovers need a convenient way to discover artists and follow their creative journey’s because they’re curious and want to see the process through the eyes of an artist.

 

 
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INSIGHTS

CUSTOMER INSIGHTS THROUGH INTERVIEWS & COMPETITIVE RESEARCH

 

Armed with a new found empathy for the end users I synthesised my research, focusing the scope of the product. Clearly defined research goals were crucial in uncovering useful patterns. Key insights uncovered during research were:

 
 
 

Art Lovers discover new artists primarily though social media or blogs.

Seeing the work in person was important to the target audience. Particularily when considering a purchase. 

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All interviewed were interested in observing the art making process.

The suggestion of artists live streaming their work was surprisingly, not a feature that was desired. Users wanted the flexibility to play video content when it suited their schedule.

 
 
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PERSONAS 

A CONSTANT REMINDER OF WHO I AM DESIGNING FOR

Joanne and Karen are an amalgamation of the research conducted and helped to maintain a clear focus of the products goals.

 
 
 
 
 

IDEATION

DEVELOPING THE CONCEPT

 

This phase was all about 'flaring' - thinking big and broad about how these new found insights might transform into a real product. Building user flows, designing a site map, conducting card sorting and defining the feature list all helped develop InStudio into a product ready for prototyping and testing.

 
 
 
 
 

CHALLENGES

 

Mapping out the users journey through the use of flows diagrams proved to be a critical, albeit challenging process in understanding how the product will help the user achieve their goals. It took many iterations to develop a series of flows that I thought could be used to design from. My biggest challenge was maintaining focus on the users journey rather than defining every page and function the user might encounter - also known as the 'site map'.

 
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PROTOTYPE & TEST

DESIGN - TEST - REFINE - REPEAT

 

Starting with a pen and paper I sketched low fidelity wireframes to create the fastest possible prototype that would either validate or highlight issues with my design decisions. With InVision I was able to quickly create hotspots over these paper prototypes to allow participants to step through my defined 'task scenarios' with minimal effort. The feedback from this early testing was critical in refining my designs and helped to avoid unnecessary time spent in higher fidelity.

 
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HIGHER FIDELITY PROTOTYPES

Once the user flows were refined with paper I moved on to higher fidelity iterations. Three rounds of prototyping and user testing uncovered a plethora of potential issues, resulting in a much more fluid and focused experience for the end users. I was pleasantly surprised at how much friction was removed by simple UI and navigational changes to the app.

 

 

DISCOVERY FLOW FEEDBACK

Participants were confused between ‘select’ and ‘review’ artworks.

Participants liked selection feedback.

“I’m not an expert - having all the artworks on one page would
give me some context and allow me to make comparisons.”

“I didn’t know what to expect when I continued” was a pattern that I observed among multiple participants.

 

ARTISTS FLOW FEEDBACK

Transition of choosing artworks to determine artists seems to be a point of confusion.   

'Hearting' or following artists seemed to be a well understood design pattern participants were familiar with.

 
 
 
 
 
 

CLICKABLE PROTOTYPE

The final prototype used for testing required colour imagery and more 'real' content to avoid confusion from participants and garner more accurate results.

Try the prototype below or view within InVision.