THE PROBLEM

There are countless mediums to connect people interested in other creative areas, whether it be art, music, modeling, etc.. However, nothing of quality exists for those in the dance community. This is a community filled with extrememly passionate, talented individuals that are constantly looking for inspiration.

THE IDEA

Based on research and conversations I've had with countless friends and connections the past few years, the idea is to build a professional network for dancers online.

MY ROLE

  • Branding – Established brand style, guidelines and identity.
  • UX Design and Research – User journey mapping, user research (qualitative & quantitative), user flows, prototyping, user testing.
  • Visual Design – All visual design for the product (emails, marketing, iconography, typography, product UI, etc.).
  • Front-End – Established a front-end framework and owned all HTML/CSS.

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

I had already done extensive research the past few years, but needed to verify there is a need in the market. I need to pinpoint what exists, what doesn't exist and what could be done better. I focused on many different areas that range from emotional impression, overall customer experience, onboarding, UX, user flows and market features.

USER RESEARCH

Based on my competitive analysis, it appears there is clearly demand for the product. However, I still need to validate my assumptions with what I believe is my target market.

I was able to conduct multiple interviews. I put together some quick, prototypes (I start on paper and move to digital) to provide context and visual aids for the interviewees. Although I don't want to sway the interviewee in any direction, I do think it's essential to help them conceptualize my idea.

User Interviews

  • Duration: 30 min each
  • Interviewees: 7
  • Participant Profiles::
    • 5 Female, 2 male
    • Ages 18 – 54
    • Coaches, Choreographers, Professional Dancers, High School Dancers
  • A Few Sample Questions::
    • What value would this provide you (if any at all)?
    • Do you visit any dance-related sites now?
    • How would this help you in your dance career?
    • Where do you go when looking for dance inspiration?
    • What specific features would you find useful?

USER PERSONAS

After reviewing data, this seemed like a good time to identify some lean personas I'd be designing for. I ended up creating three different personas. I will iterate on these as more research is conducted.

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

After gathering feedback, I had a good idea of the features that we should consider for our MVP. I put together a tentative sitemap, to allow for development to begin.

USER FLOW

Even though there are plans to build native Android and iOS apps, I chose to conceptualize a mobile-first design for the app. The benefits, to me, are two-fold: The first, and most obvious, is providing a positive user experience for mobile users, before native apps are available. Secondly, I find that's it's advantageous to strip things down and really focus on the content hierarchy on small screens, then move to large formats.

“Even though there are plans to build native Android and iOS apps, I chose to conceptualize and build a mobile-first design for the app.”
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THE FUTURE

After more user testing and solidifying the IA, views and layout, it was time to build a design system and pattern library.

We had a beta release a few months ago. From that release, we gathered valuable feedback both quanitative and qualitative in nature. We are soon going to be releasing a redesigned landing page that we suspect will greatly improve user acquisition rates and improve the onboarding process. There will be an inhanced focus on invitations and social sharing in the user onboarding flow.

In the meantime, you can view some shots of a few views that are currently being adjusted.

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