A creative marketplace AR mobile app
9 Muses is an iOS based app aimed to connect creatives and their potential clients through a vendor's marketplace where clients can receive live samples of creative's work onto their medium of choice through the use of Augmented Reality(AR) and tap into the vendor's network of other creators for future collaborations.
*This is a speculative project
Choosing the right artist or designer can be a daunting process, with so many styles to choose from and not knowing who to trust. Will their style match yours? Do they work by themselves or with others? Then you'd have to keep track of the various different platforms used to book each vendor. Some by phone, some through site A, B, C, and D, while others in person.
As the sole designer on the project, I led a user discovery research to explore two key users: artists/designer and the clients. I had surveyed 15 artists/designer (3 were also interviewed) and 4 clients (2 were also interviewed) to learn more about their general booking process as a vendor and client.
Through this process, I validated that for both vendors and clients reliability, scheduling and transparency were important factors and miscommunication was a key pain point for both parties.
Go deeper: View my full recap of user discovery research
I conducted an indirect market competitive research to understand, compare, and contrast current trends in existing marketplace platforms and find places of opportunity in the already expansive network.
Using the information gathered in the primary and secondary research, the MVP target user was defined: Amy Park, the bride. Her user journey map was also created to better understand how she would use 9 Muses for her wedding planning journey.
After defining our MVP user, Project Goals were also defined to set as guidelines to be used during the design-decision process and to determine the shared goals amongst the business and the users, while keeping in mind the technical considerations. Their shared goal was to create a positive client-booking experience.
WHY AUGMENTED REALITY(AR)?
As mentioned, miscommunication was a key pain point for both vendors and clients when taking on projects. During my ideation process, I found inspiration from products intended for art. The INKHUNTER app, for example, allows its users to choose uploaded artwork from artists and using AR technology to virtually try on a tattoo on any part of their body so they can see how it would look before it gets inked. It gave clients control of their vision and ability to better communicate with the artist. How might 9 Muses similarly aid in creating a positive collaboration between artist and client? How might 9 Muse streamline communication?
Implementing an AR feature in 9 Muses would allow artists to upload pre-made templates of their artwork and enable their clients to virtually see how a sample project may look on a specific medium, manipulate the placement and size before booking the artist/designer. Which could save time for both the client and artist and help streamline communication.
After the initial research was completed and comparing the app maps of competitors, an App Map was created to determine the key screens that would make up 9 Muses.
TASK & USER FLOW
With the App Map as a guide, 4 user tasks flows was used to highlight the screens and user actions taken to complete 4 main tasks on 9 Muses:
- New user sign up process
- Find a local vendor
- Use AR feature using the vendor's template
- Book vendor and attach saved images
The 4 user task flows combined together to map out a unified user flow:
A roadmap was use to highlight the key features and ranked based on effort vs impact priority matrix. It was also used to answer:
- What are the screens that would make up the MVP?
- What features would make the app fun, easy to use and memorable?
- What features would make the most impact?
I made rough sketches of the app's main screens and defined each screen's elements before moving onto Sketch App. The sketches were then used as a guideline to design the mid-fidelity wireframes that were polished according to the set style guidelines and a hi-fi prototype was used for usability testing.
PROTOTYPING + TESTING
Usability testing was conducted using 2 methods while remote testing:
- Observed 3 participants as they test the prototype on Marvel (Moderated)
- Recruited 17 participants to test prototype on Maze (Unmoderated)
Each participant were to complete the same 4 tasks:
- New user sign up
- Find a local calligrapher to make invitations
- Try the AR feature using a artist's template
- Book artist and attach sample image
Go deeper: View my full usability testing findings
Participant's feedback and suggestions from the usability testing were organized onto an affinity map to highlight the successes as well as find other windows of opportunity and areas for improvement. The next steps were placed in a priority matrix to determine which actions would have the most impact and could be iterated first.
Some quick wins (high impact, low effort):
- Rearrange the position of templates
- Enable AR feature on homescreen
- Make main navigation more prominent
- After image is saved to project gallery, redirect user and enable them to send inquiry to muse
During the usability testing I discovered that users wanted to have quick access to templates and had prioritize seeing those earlier on in the discovery page rather than a gallery view of completed projects. For the iterations I focused on the quick and impactful wins that would allow the users to use the AR features earlier on in their experience.
WHAT I LEARNED
- Complex system of marketplace - you're not only designing for potential clients but the vendors using the system and the business
- Turning a complex process to a streamline one
- Prioritizing - pinpoint the key screens for minimally viable products given time and technical constraints
- Branding: the importance of color and logo design in marketing a potential product
- Design other key screens: user profile, message center, store, and favorites
- Integrate ability to connect and book within a potential vendor's network
- Test new iterations and screens with previous and new participants
- Add more interactions to make prototype more seamless and lifelike