Capstone One – Commish
An Artist’s Dream
The story of “Commish” is not a long one. It came from a desire to get artists more commissions so that it would create more opportunities for beginners and experts alike.
I created a prototype that included the following steps; empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping and finally testing. At the end of the project, I was able to make selling custom-made artwork as easy as selling ready-made products online.
With the help of my mentor, Ashley, I conducted interviews, defined my personas, clarified my user journeys, and evaluated my designs for user testing.
Selling Artwork should not be hard.
After I knew that I wanted to create a platform for both artists and their customers, I made an online survey where I could get some more feedback about where these artists get commissions from. It was a short survey with 4 questions; what are you a fan of, where do you get commissions, are you an artist, and how old are you?
- Out of 18 people who contributed to the survey, half were artists and half were customers.
- Most of them preferred to get their commissions at conventions/events.
From there, the interviews started.
I decided to go right to the source and conducted user interviews for both the artist who does commissions and the customers who order them. I interviewed 3 artists and 3 customers/clients.
Insights I gained:
- Artists want to be compensated for their work. So they needed the option to be paid up front for the commission.
- Clients will find an artist that has a different style they like and normally commission that one.
- Clients normally want a finished product.
- Communication can be an issue of clarity on both sides when commissioning. Being informed of what the artist needs to complete the commission efficiently, through pictures and descriptions.
With the insights that I got back from the interviews, I came up with four personas; 2 Artists and 2 Clients.
I defined each artist and client with,
- the problems that they face,
- their motivations, and
- the goals they want to achieve
These Personas helped me with a starting point on my user journey and flows.
Seeing how much of communication can be messy, so I came up with a user story that mapped out both the artist and the client’s views.
I marked the MVPs with a purple diamond.
- It was important that the artist had their own account that they can tailor to their brand as an artist.
- There needed to be a clear understanding of what the artist needs from the client.
Ideas that emerged:
- Creating custom accounts is great for matching clients to artists, but if they can’t get a commission easily then what is the point. I needed to create that ordering a commission flow for the clients.
The sketches that I did were a great starting point for creating my wireframes…(what I like to call the skeleton of my final product).
Thoughts during the sketching:
- I took a lot of inspiration from other social media and art selling sites.
- With people’s interests in mind, I wanted to create categories for them so that buyers could browse if they chose to.
- The most important screen that I wanted to focus on was the Artist’s page. Where the idea would be for them to have a list of different commissions that they offer and their prices.
When starting on the wireframes, I kept everything mostly black and white so I could focus on what was important. And that was the content.
- Through Figma, I was able to create screens with ease and efficiency.
- With these low fidelity mockups, it made understand where I need to put in the elements and give myself and idea of how they would react.
All of this was a great jumping point for me to start creating my style guides for my favorite part, designing the UI.
“Digital Design is like painting, except the paint never dries.”Neville Brody
It was finally time for me to start designing my high-fidelity mockups.
- Since I was having both an account creation and a commission ordering route, I differentiated them by the account sign up being a lighter mode, and the ordering and browsing to be a somewhat dark mode.
- My main goal was to make the platform be user friendly and using rounded edges makes it seems more inviting.
- Also I wanted to make sure that there were illustrations that were solely dedicated to the app, so that you knew what you were there for the moment you open the platform.
I created a prototype and I did two rounds of testing with users that would use the product. In between rounds 1 and 2, I reiterated my designs that had the most critical problems that needed to be addressed.
The feedback that I got from users were:
- Ordering a commission was painless.
- They had enjoyed the style and layout of the app.
- At the end of the ordering process, there needed to be a confirmation screen that sent you a receipt via email.
- Possibly creating a messaging system to talk directly to the artist.
- All were able to complete the tasks; but didn’t know what the artist was comfortable drawing.
All in all, I had successfully created a process that made it much easier to order a commissioned work from artists than the other leading art and craft sites. When I was creating the flows and sketches, I was focusing on the account creation more than the commission screens, but I was able to refocus on what it was I originally wanted to solve. My only disappointment is that I didn’t have enough time to do every screen I wanted.
Things I would have loved to have added:
- A messaging feature to talk to the artist.
- A route for how artists can set up their list of commissions for their page.
This project really brought out my confidence in my design decisions and in my abilities to be able to solve any problem that is at hand. In my usability tests, all of my testers really like the design of the screens. I have complete certainty that in any future projects I am assigned to, I will create great designs and usability.