Freelance / Sep - 2014 / 4 months
Founder - Vibhu Pillai, Backend Dev - Vineeth Venugopal
UX, UI Design and Front-End Development
Concept Nation is a startup in India whose mission is to become a platform for people to share and discover ideas that are popular in the zeitgeist and a space for artists to sell and promote their work.
General users, 'Citizens' can create concepts based on a theme where 'Artists' can post their relevant artwork into. Concepts are ideas and a collection of artwork based around a theme, anything from general topics like nature, moods and social issues to private topics like personal events.
Vibhu, the founder, approached me initially to update the current design, since Concept Nation had been up for some time and was getting some traction. There were also issues with users understanding the value proposition of the platform which he also wanted to address.
The goal was to further develop the MVP, setting up a foundation for further explorations and understand where the real value of the platform lay.
During our intitial discussions, I talked to Vibhu about existing traffic on the platform, to understand what users were doing and get insights into how we might update the design.
Lots of drop offs from the landing page - Call to Actions weren't strong enough or the page wasn't engaging for the user.
High drop offs from the shop page - People did not understand the associated social platform.
Less than 1 % of users were creating concepts - Lack of clarity about how the platform worked.
Primarily referral traffic - Users were engaging on social platforms, and were coming in directly to internal pages.
Users voted Artwork - Users engaged with interactions they understood.
Users following Artists - Users engaged with interactions they understood.
I also did an assessment of the current design to become familiar with the UI and information architecture to identify areas where we could quickly improve upon. I identified the following areas which needed to be tackled -
Create navigational structures that help the user identify content (concept vs. artwork) and understand where they are in the platform.
Create a consistent and scalable visual language by harmonizing the layout, the use of color, typography.
Lastly, allow for serendipitous discovery by showcasing relevant content at the right places in a user's journey.
Understanding that we wanted to communicate the platforms mission to the audience, I developed some wireframes to communicate my approach to Vibhu and soon after started building. We performed some quick iterations on the visual design and had something that we were satisfied with quite early.
I built the application using Bootstrap framework, as it was the most updated and modern web framework at the time. We managed to get a lot of work completed in a short time, part of which is shown below.
Concept Nation was my first big design project after school, and it was a great experience applying what I had learned at school into real life projects. With the project, I realized how important it is to structure the content and build an information architecture that reflects what users mental models are and how important it is to convey information in a way that they can relate to.
The other important part of the project was the development, and from the intitial stages of the development, I wanted to build a platform that would be easy to hand off and build on top off as the project progressed. I created and reused elements of the main data objects like 'Concepts', 'Artists' and 'Artwork' across the platform to build consistency and familiarity in the design and to make the code more effecient and easy to understand.
Most of my time was dedicated to refreshing the visual design and building the new front-end, both Vibhu and I believed that this was a quick win for the startup to make a platform that stands out from other companies in the market, in providing a unique value proposition in an appealing and welcoming package.