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Our art History app offers users a chance to engage with art history and the art world regardless their educational background, and our target audience are people who are art students, art enthusiasts and people who are simply curious about the art world.

Project duration:  January 2022-April 2022

The problem: Not everybody has access to art history education.

The goal: 

To provide an app that has information for all typed

of people from beginners who can use flashcards and fun

facts to more advanced people who wants to research a

movement. We also want to provide high quality articles

about everything related to art history and the art world.

 

 

My role:

UX designer designing an art history app from scratch. 

 

Responsibilities:

Conducting interviews, paper and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, and iteration on designs. 

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Understanding the user

- User research

- Personas 

- Problem statements 

- User journey maps 

User research: summary

I used interviews as my primary research and I interviewed some ex classmates who studied art with me, and some of my close friends who don’t have a background in arts, what would they want to see. My assumptions were mostly correct, each of them have a goal to understand art better, regardless of their background and their economical status, they want to see both a simplified version of the art movements and both a more in depth approach to the arts, and that’s where the ideas such as  flash cards become part of the app 

User research: pain points

Accessibility

Not all art history platforms are equipped for both art history lovers and for people of different intrests. 

Language

Not everyone knows two or more languages, so we need to find a way to translate the texts in multiple languages 

Time

Most of the art history books are very heavy with information and very long and not everybody has the time to peruse them and read huge chapters.

Our Users Personas:

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Hortensia Dumitrescu

Age:   26

Education:  University of Arts   in Bucharest 

Hometown:  Bucharest , Romania 

Family:  Cat 

Occupation:  Artist

“As an artist, knowing my art history is essential. Having a platform that helps you get inspired, learn new things and research all in one is exactly what we need.” 

Goals:

 

  • Finding more efficient ways to learn new things 

  • Finding more inspiring artists in an easier way 

  • Having quick access to facts about art history in case she forgets something 

 

Frustrations:

  • Language barrier. Lots of books are in French and they’re not bilingual 

  • The books are huge so its very inconvenient to find information quick if you’re looking for something in particular 

Hortensia believes that as an artist, knowing her art history is her business card. It’s always important to know what was done before you, so you can be inspired, to have conversation topics at the exhibitions, and to have an idea about what is going on currently in the art world. The problem is that most of art history and theory is simply in huge books that are not that accessible to everyone and in Romania a lot of them are in French, which not everyone knows.

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"As an engineer I've always been fascinated with the process of creating, and I would love to understand how art evolved up to this point."

Goals:

 

  • Understanding art, and the mechanics of the art world

  • Having art history accessible to everyone regardless of their cultural background 

 

Frustrations:

 

  • The information seems very scattered to me on the internet.

  • The lack of time I have to dig deep into lots of books and articles online

Vlad Petrache

Age:   45

Education:  Politechnical University of Bucharest 

Hometown:  Bucharest , Romania 

Family:  Wife and two children

Occupation:  Environmental engineer

What fascinates Vlad is the fact that art is very different than anything he ever studied, it seemed like there is no rules and everything goes, so he had a little trouble understanding the particularities of the art world and history. He would love to have access to art history in a way that is not intimidating, in a way that even someone who is not an artist or didn’t finished art school to understand.  

Our Users Journey:

Vlad’s user journey is revealing how helpful it would be for users to have access to an art history app that includes art enthusiasts too.

Goal: Having art history accessible to everyone regardless of their cultural background

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Starting the design

- Paper wireframes 

- Digital wireframes  

- Low-fidelity prototype 

- Usability studies 

Paper wireframes

I looked at a lot of art websites and apps to find some inspirations and I quickly sketched a few wireframes without much thought to let the creative process flow and I have some results that didn’t disappoint. For the home screen I prioritized a minimalistic approach as much as I could possibly do, and I added some news because we also prioritise news and the editorial part of this app, I think it goes brilliantly with the learning process.

wireframe art history app carla timoc 2.HEIC
wireframe art history app carla timoc.HEIC

Digital wireframes

I made sure to base the screen design on the feedback and findings from the user research.

I added round buttons so they could be more obvious and in contrast with the shape of the pictures

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I added elements of editorial so that the user can also access them here more quickly. Here will be the most recent ones and articles posted.

I wanted to add a profile page as well so the user could track their progress

I wanted to add these buttons to encourage the user to learn more art movements, and I was counting on how satisfying is to fill all the empty buttons.

The low-fidelity prototype connected the primary user flow of studying art and its history, so the prototype could be used ina usability study with users.

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Usability study: findings

The goal is figuring out if the art history app is easy to navigate for users and to see if the users are comprehending the study material successfully.

Round 1 findings:

 

  • There is more need for information

  • There is need for more features on the research page 

Round 2 findings: 

 

  • More text-background contrast

  • Some trouble swiping the flashcards

Refining the design

- Mockups

- High-fIdelity prototype

- Accesibility 

Mockups

After the Usability studies I found a way to add more flashcards and a easier way to navigate them.

Before usability study

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After usability study

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The second usability study also revealed frustration with the signing up button. I wanted to make both of them the same colour and make some changes to maintain the app identity and I added some extra options for logging in. 

Before usability study

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After usability study

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Mockups

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PROFILE PAGE.png
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The high fidelity prototype offers a more clear and easier user flow for navigating this app. It also meets the user needs regarding the flashcards navigation and a more crisp colour contrast.

Accessibility considerations

Added a language button in settings so everybody can translate and research in their own language.

Provided access to users who are vision impaired through adding a text size button and a more contrasted relationship between the text and the colour.

Used icons to help make navigation easier.

Going forward

- Takeaways

- Next steps 

Impact: 

 

The users really appreciate the existence of the app and how easy they can access art history and its movements. 

 

One quote from peer feedback:

“ The app is seriously fun to navigate and it shows great promise. I can’t wait to navigate the app once it’s up and running."

Next steps

Conduct another round of usability studies to validate whether the pain points users experienced have been effectively addressed. 

What I learned:

While designing this app, I learned how much difference there is between the first idea you come up with and the final design. I learned the importance of researching the people and interview them. Their feedback was crucial for our developments in design. 

Conduct more user research to determine any new areas of need.

Let’s connect !

Thank you for your time reviewing my work on the Art History Learn app! If you would like to see more or get in touch, my contact information is provided below. 

E-mail: carla.timoc@yahoo.com 

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