UX Design, UX Strategy, Web Interface
The primary goal of this project was to enhance the user experience of the Dumbo Open Studios website, prior to its rebranding in 2022. The new website adopts a brutalist aesthetic, focusing on improving navigation and facilitating the discovery of artists. This is achieved through fluid categorization and an interactive map, providing a more seamless wayfinding experience for users.
6 weeks (Spring 2022)
Melike Turgut & Peter Colon
UX/UI Researcher & Designer
Dumbo Open Studios is an annual event in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood, where local artists open their studios to the public, allowing visitors to engage with their work and the artistic community. It fosters collaboration and provides an opportunity to explore a wide range of art forms.
Finding the problems within the current artist finder experience.
Self-Assessment of the "artist finder" experience.
Secondary research to discover qualitative information.
The site is very outdated and not optimized for mobile
Information Architecture is messy and needs to be reworked
Current artist finder experience is bland and lackluster
No visuals of the artwork, only links to their website
Defined Problem Statement
How can we craft a rich, interactive digital experience for people looking to explore these open studios?
Exploring alternative design solutions beyond the standard map finder to offer users a more distinctive and engaging experience.
Explorations (Crazy 8's)
After pinpointing the issues with the existing site and user experience, I employed the Crazy Eights design sprint method to generate a diverse array of design solutions for the revamped artist finder experience. These ranged from straightforward designs to more intricate or unconventional concepts.
Grids 4 and 6 show promise in offering a distinctive experience that could set us apart in the current landscape. We should explore these options further.
Grid 5 shows an opportunity to experiment with a maximalist aesthetic and strategically blocking certain elements.
Grids 7 and 8 are conceptually captivating with their dynamic nature. However, the key concern is whether they can be feasibly produced and implemented.
Drawing from the feedback received during the Crazy Eights session, I initiated wireframing explorations with a primary focus on the card flipping concept and the sliding elements. Subsequently, I delved into the accordion concept to assess its potential implementation.
During these explorations, a concept that merged these two distinct approaches began to take shape. Both methods offered unique highlights, prompting me to consider the advantages of combining them into a cohesive design.
A user-friendly accordion-style portfolio website that efficiently showcases the artist's information and their work.
Revamped the categorization of artists, prioritizing location over medium focus. Additionally, improved accessibility and user-friendliness on both web and mobile platforms, reducing friction in the browsing experience.
Implemented smooth sliding transitions for effortless content access. Hover actions and interactive elements are visually highlighted with a noticeable red color shift, which reverts to the previous state upon clicking away.
Transformed the design from dull and uninspiring to striking and unique, adopting a modern brutalist aesthetic. Leveraged imagery to emphasize the artist's work, creating a more impactful visual experience.
Breaking Free From Common Standards
The objective of this project was to conduct a comprehensive analysis, identify, and rectify the issues of the existing user experience of an artist finder website. The primary goal is to elevate the overall user experience, departing from conventional and clichéd approaches to create a distinctive and self-defining experience that stands on its own merits.
As the project neared its conclusion, Dumbo Open Studios introduced a revamped identity system that encompassed numerous alterations and adjustments aimed at addressing the issues I had identified during my research of the site's existing problems. While this unexpected development didn't significantly influence the final result or the visual aesthetic of the site, it was enlightening to witness how other designers approached a solution to the same problem we were addressing.