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Introducing an application for creatives users to connect with one another and being able to manage your schedule all in one platform.

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Project Overview

The Product:

Creator’s Network is a social application designed as a one-stop-shop for those who’d like to manage their schedules, events, collaborations, and tasks. The purpose is to help users keep their schedules and tasks organized, as well as create a social space to be more open with meeting other creators and collaborating all in one place.

My Roles

User Experience Designer

User Experience Researcher

Visual Designer

Responsibilities

User interviews, Paper prototyping, Wireframing, Usability testing, Digital prototyping

Tools

Figma, Photoshop

Timeline

August 2022 - December 2022

Problem:

Though making connections with other users on a social media platform and scheduling is not a new idea, other applications don’t have all the features to manage events  and connect with other users in the same application.

Creators such as social media content creators and artists need a way to connect with other creators and manage their schedules while having all this information in one place. 

Goal:

I designed Creator’s Network, a mobile app that provides users with a one-stop-shop to consolidate scheduling, tasks, meetups, connections, and collaborations. With this all-in-one platform, I hoped to create a tool that improves upon existing products by supporting efficient search, personalization, and social interaction.

“I wish there were more social media apps, sites, or like spaces that were designed for artists to become friendlier with each other.”

“The most challenging thing about being a content creator is staying organized and having goals, schedules, and being consistent with posting on a daily basis across multiple platforms.”

“I think meeting in person is ideal, but social media is just easier and so accessible nowadays.

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Understanding the User

User Research Summary:

After performing a competitive audit with similar products, I didn’t necessarily find that any of the platforms included all features I was looking for with my idea in mind.

I conducted interviews to understand the users I’m designing for and their needs, I conducted four interviews on different types of creators- artists, small business owners, and influencers.  A primary user group identified through research was any type of creator who want to create collaborations and connections with other creators while balancing their daily schedules.

This user group confirmed that socializing and instigating the initial interaction with other creators was not the only factor limiting users from connecting with other one another. Other user problems include the saturated market of users on other social platforms, not having many connections to begin with, and allotting a certain amount of time to networking, especially when working another full time job.

Link to Interview Script 

PAIN POINTS

Lack of social media apps, sites, or spaces that are designed specifically for artists to create relationships can shy some creators away from connecting with one another

1

Creators find it challenging with staying organized, having goals, schedules, and being consistent with posting across multiple social media platforms

2

The oversaturation and targeted marketing of other social media applications has made it more difficult for creators to find and build more authentic relationships on those platforms

3

SOLUTIONS

Creating an application specifically catered towards creators that has relationship-building features such as collaboration requests and event spaces

Creator’s Network provides a one-stop-shop platform that allows users to manage their schedule, create task lists, collaborate with others, organize events, and more

I hope to target building meaningful relationships by strictly avoiding marketing so the main focus is to organize schedules, and create and maintain relationships

User Personas:

Using information gathered from my user interviews, I created a high level overview of the target audience. The user goals and pain points will help us gain a better understanding of the problem.

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User Journey Map:

Shown below is the series of experiences Jackson and Amanda have as they download and use Creator's Network. Each journey describes the steps and thought process of the users discovering and using the map, as well as their experienced emotions along the way.

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The Design Process

Paper Wireframes

There are several key features in my application such as a calendar, messaging, events, an explore page, and more. With this many features, I had to think of a cohesive design for the homepage. My design for the different feature groups gravitated towards a design that has the same familiarity as using other popular social applications.

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Digital Wireframes

I wanted to keep the design as concise as possible but to also include all features with the application purpose in mind. With the quick-access design, users can easily and quickly complete tasks to manage their schedules, tasks, and events.


Link to digital wireframes

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Another notable key feature that helps users save time when collaborating and creating events is the event feature within the messages. With this, users can send out an event invite where others can view details, accept/decline the event, and information can be added to the app’s in-app calendar.

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View Digital Wireframes:

To view the digital wireframes of screens, follow the link below! 

High-Fidelity Prototype (v1)

User Sign-Up

Creator’s Network onboarding process allows the user to customize their profile by selecting categories that peak their interest. There’s also a convenient feature of connecting with contacts they already have on their phone or other social media applications that users can opt-in or out of.

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Homepage

The homepage of Creator’s Network will show a user’s day at first glance- displaying their daily tasks with checkmark buttons for completion and their upcoming events. Additionally on the homepage, there are quick-action buttons for creating a new event or task.

Different groups of the application are briefly shown here as well. There are task buttons for the explore page, calendar, messages, and the user profile to easily and quickly navigate through the app.

In-Message Event Details

This is an example of one of the key features in Creator’s Network. The design implementation shows that within messages, users can view details of an event and accept it.

The goal of this feature is for users to send/ receive event invites and information directly through the in-app messages to keep events organized by group and that it would save in the user’s in-app calendar upon acceptance.

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Usability Study Findings

Introduction:

I conducted a usability study with 3 different users where users were asked to follow several prompts of navigating through the application and to provide details of their experience from open-ended questions. I conducted a study on the first iteration of my hi-fi prototype, took in and implemented feedback from the users, which is showcased in the Hi-Fi Prototype v2 shown later in this slidedeck.

Findings and Feedback:

  • Users found it clunky and inconvenient that a task bar didn’t exist when navigating off the homepage

  • Some tasks were moderately difficult to complete. Page navigation for some actions took longer to complete

  • A user stated some tasks are “simple for anyone social media savvy”

  • Users like certain features that streamline event planning processes which are useful and easy to perform

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Refining the Design

New Design Implementations

Shown below is an updated bottom taskbar. User feedback helped us discover that navigating to the “Events” page took longer than anticipated. Since viewing events is a key feature to the application, it was added to the taskbar and the profile was moved to the hamburger side menu.

Before usability study

After usability study

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Before usability study

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Before receiving and implementing user feedback, the bottom task bar was only on the homepage. Shown to the left is a non-seamless action of the application and the steps the user has to take to return to the homepage after viewing messages.

After usability study

I’ve added a bottom taskbar to all main group pages of the application for users to easily navigate across different groups. Interact with the updated application at the link below!


Link to live prototype

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Going Forward

Takeaways

Impact:

Creator’s network can be an application that benefit creators such as small businesses, content creators, artists, and more. During a user interview, a participant stated: “I wish there were more social media apps, sites, or spaces that were designed for artists to become friendlier with each other- just [something] to strengthen my relationships with connections I have”. I believe this application captures that and performs actions that meet those points.

What I learned:

For being my first official UI/UX project, there was a lot of trial and error. I had to figure out and decide what made the simplest and efficient design in Figma while also keeping the design file organized. I watched a ton of design and tutorial videos to create this project while also learning even more while doing a design challenge on the side.

Final thoughts and if I had more time...

There are several things I’ve thought of to improve this application whether it be something in the design file for organization or an actual design implementation to better benefit the users. Some examples include making use of variants or overlays in Figma to avoid making a lot of frame duplicates, and including more accessibility in the app so any step is straightforward for all users.

 

With this being my first big UI/UX project and case study, there are things I missed such as creating a lo-fi prototype. This could’ve been used for user participants to interact with and give feedback to. I did create 2 hi-fi prototypes, but I feel that the lo-fi prototype would’ve saved me a good amount of time and given more guidance for the hi-fi prototype. 


Lastly, I would have liked to conduct more in-depth research on my target audience to really understand their struggles, needs, and wants. I feel as though I had adequate research for the overall scope of the project, but there is always room for improvement and I would have liked to spend more time with it to explore other possible design solutions.

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