July 25, 2018Comments are off for this post.

2HP Process

I was teamed up with Kim Lavia, and we were assigned the task to create a mobile app UI library for a community-based app that helps its users find fast and free parking spaces around them while also offering exclusive deals and promotions. The demographic was for males and females between the ages of 20 and 40, who were on the go, creative, and resourceful. By late 2017 I revised my design with new eyes.

Kim and I were to both go our own directions, keeping the same “Why?” of our inception sheet in mind. Our realization was that the main goal of this app would be to help the user feel less stressed and at ease before even finding a perfect parking spot.

2HP is a simple community-based app, helping its users find free and low-cost parking in their area, offering to filter the map by different features like duration, proximity, price, and traffic. The mobile app would also be offering exclusive deals and promotions to the community of users. The goal was to create a mobile app directed to males and females between 20–40 years old who are fun, resourceful, creative young professionals. The wireframes given to the team gave us the layout and showed the pages for the navigation, filter features, location pinpoint, and directions to use while driving to the specified parking space.

Starting with an inception sheet, Kim and I decided the simplest reason to have this app created is to let the users enjoy their time and feel less stressed over a task as simple as finding parking. We expanded from there to the moods we wanted to evoke: friendly, peaceful, relaxing, and ready to go, among other keywords to expand to the design elements. Because we had to have two directions for this app, our design elements started to split up. We did have similar ideas for our styles, such as to have a simple, open, and balanced space, and to keep the colours bright and warm, to evoke the feeling of waking up.

Once we finished our inception sheet together we went our separate directions: mine was to go a fun, “cool mom” feel, while Kim was to go for a more sophisticated “yoga mom” approach. The first time around I started with a moodboard full of bright colours, amusement park rides, and sunrises, and moved into my style tile using bold lines and rounded edges for a fun and casual appeal. For my revision, I still wanted the same feel, but I wanted to put the experience of the time since creating this to use, so I picked a new colour scheme, that to me read as relaxed, yet energetic. The design I created in January 2017 featured Nanito and Open Sans, a rounded sans serif for header text, and a simple, standard sans serif for body text for legibility. For my revision in August, I decided the typeface choice I originally made didn't fit the audience I was to make this for, so I changed the typeface to Fira Sans, a legible sans serif that has a modern feel to it.

Originally, my biggest challenge with this project was finishing my style guide before finishing the prototype. I was not sure how the elements would react together. Even though I had a colour palette and icons ready, I still questioned whether the icons would fit over the dark blue, or the light blue, or maybe even the red better? My solution was to input my elements into different variations over the existing wireframe, so that I could see how each element interacted with each other. Doing this I could see if the buttons look good with colour, or look best white against the coloured background. This solution worked best for me, and still holds true months later, easily switching colours, text sizes, and icons to see what visually looked best, eventually being able to input all of the edited elements into my style guide.

Putting this project together with Kim was an exciting challenge, and even more so revising it with fresh eyes months later. Even while we worked side by side giving each other feedback, we never crossed paths design-wise, because there were so many directions to take. To split up and come back together with different directions with the same core idea was very interesting to see. This was a great experience to come together for this team project and I hope to continue learning different design aspects, especially for mobile app design.

July 25, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Michael Adamson Process

Michael is an established classically trained abstract painter in Toronto, but wanted a new way to show his art to expand awareness and engagement at a global level, but unsure how to go about it. With Liz Kucharska and Tara O'Doherty as my mentors for this project, my brain spun with ideas of where to take this exciting project.

After meeting with Michael, so many options were spinning in my mind. Michael had ideas that expand much past where technology stands today, and as great as they were we had to think realistically what could be produced that was still on the verge of something new and great. What really sparked my imagination was AR/VR (augmented reality/ virtual reality) used to showcase paintings in the user's own home to see how a painting or sculpture looked in their home, or to see it in a gallery setting on their phone which is not widely used among fine artists.

Knowing I wanted to go a direction that isn't commonly used in the fine art world, it started a struggle to research artists portfolio's that included augmented reality or virtual reality. I had to look at a broader range. I started looking beyond artists themselves, and into galleries and art auction websites. This is where I started with a competitive/ comparative analysis to see how other artists, galleries and auction websites showcase their work online to see what is working in the art industry and what is not.

Once I thoroughly researched the competition for Michael Adamson, I dug into looking at the people who are interested in Michael's work, and want to buy it. Roughly 30% of Michael's clients are returning customers, who are over 40 years old and pay anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 for an original piece by Michael. Through my research younger people were interested in investing in these pieces of art, but couldn't yet afford it. That is when it was decided to not only create a portfolio app that had AR/VR, but also a shop where people with lower incomes could get replications of Michael's artwork.
I had two types of user profiles, the new customer, who is under 35, not yet ready to invest in a painting but wants a small memento of Michael's work, and the returning customer, who already commissioned Michael for a painting in the past and loves the style and has the money, so they want a second to match. I wanted to create something that both types of users could easily navigate and get to what they are looking for right away.

With this information, I started a customer journey map to iron out pain points, to give the user the best experience.

After drawing multiple lo-fidelity wireframes I was ready to go into Sketch and start the mid and hi-fidelity screens. From all my research, I wanted to create something simple and clean with a bit of a sophisticated feel. I picked a limited colour palette of muted colours with a bright orange as call to action buttons, letting the art itself become the focus as it would in a gallery space. Along the same reasoning is why I chose thin-lined but sophisticated looking icons.

Creating this app from start to finish was a challenge to create in three weeks on my own but I am happy with how it came together in the end. The one thing I would change for the next project is to put more work into researching the user needs.

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