CAPSTONE PROJECT TOWARD MS IN USER CENTERED DESIGN
Role: UX/UI Designer
When: September 2021
Duration: Ten Weeks
What: Capstone project toward the completion of an MS in User Centered Design at Brandeis University
Statement of Purpose
With a background in fine arts I maintain relationships with many working artists who have come to me for help over the years. I have worked pro-bono to help fellow creatives, including visual artists, musicians, actors and more put together spaces to share themselves and their work, while hearing the difficulties they deal with. Working in social media now, I learned that there is a lack of artist specific spaces that create both a professional showcase of work while increasing exposure to various opportunities and fans.
For my capstone project toward my MS in User Centered Design at Brandeis University, I explored creating a social environment where creatives can easily share their work and gain exposure to help encourage and support individuals who may be struggling in the creative field, and otherwise not be able to continue to pursue a creative career.
Understand the needs of creatives trying to share their work for personal and professional gain
Creatives of all kinds (visual arts, musicians, actors, gallerists, etc) who share their work in the digital realm
Creatives lack the resources, skill, or time to create personal portfolios to display their work and experience
Create a social product which will allow creatives to share, connect and explore and grow personally and professionally
The initial phase of research centered on discovery and understanding how existing products are, or are not meeting the needs of creative users. In order to learn more about this I shared a survey within my network, and on social platforms to reach creatives from a variety of different creative fields.
Making sure to get multiple creative fields and demographics represented, I proceeded to interview a number of survey participants and get more specific and in depth needs and requirements.
After interviewing a selection of potential users, from a variety of creative fields and backgrounds, I did an affinity mapping exercise to find common themes and trends producing the following key takeaways:
Creatives are sharing their work with the goal exposure
Creatives share their work with the goal financial gain
Creatives need a way to compete with big influencers
Creatives are struggling to meet the time and effort required to achieve their goals
Based on the surveys and interviews, the top used platforms for Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube. Based on this I did a quick competitive analysis to review the creator tools and resources
Lastly, in order to make sure I design with the creative user in mind, I created two personas reflective of the demographics, needs and wants of the interviewees to keep in mind when beginning design.
Based on the research findings, I created journey maps to accompany the personas and outline a concept for design. Each journey map describes the opportunities that accompany the different paint points and goals of the users.
The initial designs were created with the intention of a user experiencing a start to finish experience within the Maker app. In order to achieve this they include all stages of registration, onboarding, and exploration of all potential features Below are a selection of screens from initial design.