Artwalk App

We explore how artists build communities and how to expand that experience globally in the physical world and into the digital world.

 
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Shared Experiences Build Communities

We no longer experience life through our senses, but instead through our devices. The problem is so bad that both Apple and Instagram have both built tools to try to get people to use their products less. Can our phones help bring us together instead of keep us apart? What if our phones could guide us to the most interesting cultural experiences happening each day? Artwalk is a vibrant, curated, daily calendar and supportive community for art events. People start their day by swiping through a series of screens to see what’s happening in the world of art, dance, theater and design. 

 

Role
Product Designer on a 5 person founding team. Responsible for designing and shipping a full end-to-end experience. Founders are Benjamin Millepied & Nicolas Brittel.

Goal
Build an engaged community for the Arts that’s active both in the real world and also in the digital.

 
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Trustworthy Arts Community

Problem
We researched digital and real life communities such as Tumblr, FB private groups, & The Wing. We found that communities are built through shared experiences and trust.

1) How do we create art events that are trustworthy?

  • We utilized our founders personal connections in LA to invite premier Artists & Orgs. This ensures our events are high quality.

  • Because of the personal connection, we have a small but strong community already.

2) Users want variety, but also needed an impetus for action. How do we give that to them?

  • Prioritize populating the app with compelling events and artists, therefore giving reason for the art appreciators to use our app.

  • Follow Artists, save events. Users become art curators.

Artwalk is a two-sided marketplace where artists and organizations need art appreciators in order to thrive. This is a symbiotic relationship, and we did our best to maintain the balance.

 
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Artists, Organizations, & Art Appreciators

Constraints & Process
Design for a start-up with limited people and limited time was difficult, but the PM and I found a process that worked for us. We decided to evolve design & product concurrently, updating flows as we solidify and scope a core product. We kept an updated and exhaustive document owned between the two of us, that was our source of truth for product flows. We utilized this doc so our team could visualize how each section related to one another and how a users would access each section of the service. Below is an example of how we visualized an Artist/Org would add an event.

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Iterations
We hypothesized that prioritizing the upload flow for art and events would be a good place to start building out core functionalities. This also addresses our users wants and needs. We tested iterations of different ways to upload from the bottom navigation toolbar. Two things have to be true about our toolbar:

1) If the person was an Artist or Organization, they can upload from any main page.

2) The Art Appreciator must have similar toolbar functions as the Artists & Orgs without the ability to upload.

We decided to use a FAB to add events & projects for the Artists & Organizations because it kept our toolbar consistent with Art Appreciators. We considered how the FAB is a familiar interaction pattern and we wouldn’t have to teach a new interaction.

 
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Shipping Theseus’s Paradox

Outcome
A shipped product is half the battle! We soft launched the product in the app store May 7th.

Learnings
I gained a greater understanding and empathy for how innately communities are tied to our identities. Shared experiences, whether in real life or digitally, is what builds and strengthens bonds. People thrive the most when they feel a sense of kinship. But there’s still much work to be done as we start seeing some feedback from our non-beta testers.