Theatre Galleria is an online marketplace for the peer to peer resale and rental of theatre goods. After exhaustive market research and business planning, the Theatre Galleria team hired me to create their online store.
Theatre Galleria is setup to be a content strategy and IA challenge. Allowing users to sell, buy, and rent merchandise from several major product categories meant I would be doing a lot of research, and a lot of trial and error.
By speaking directly to theatre professionals about how they consider their purchases, I understood and analyzed how the site should be structured. I addressed user pain points and incorporated user behaviors into innovative, interactive UI solutions.
I was a UX team of one, collaborating directly with Theatre Galleria's CTO, CEO, and CMO to clarify and define requirements, style guides, and stay on target with business goals. I researched, synthesized, designed, prototyped, and annotated wires.
56 theatre and film professionals took part in my survey, providing actionable information that directly informed design.
I created a scripted interview based on screener survey responses. Speaking to users let me get a deeper understanding of some of the trends I noticed. Especially important for me was to understand why users bought or rented certain things, how they already went about doing it, and what they liked and disliked about their current methods.
Costume designers described the process of flicking through racks of clothing for the right look:
I created a Tinder-like carousel UI for quick browsing of vendor merchandise. The idea was to replicate the feeling of physically swiping through options. This won't be in the MVP, but is being considered for later versions.
Users described cases in which they'd need to physically see something before purchasing, usually if it had a special function--like a prop or large costume:
Including the option for vendors to upload multiple angles and videos of their products would prove imperative.
When searching for costume pieces, designers often send inspiration photos to costume rental shops ahead of time, and those shopkeepers pull relevant merchandise:
I suggested and mocked up a "request for proposal" interface, in which buyers could upload a picture of what they're looking for, and vendors could link them in merchandise in their online catalogs. Again, we left this out of the MVP, but it will be incorporated in the future.
Feedback from the survey and interviews lead me to identify a few use-cases, and some distinct user personas. Each persona would use the site differently, so I put myself in their shoes as I designed to ensure I had their needs in mind.
Camille Shaw, my first persona, is my "one-stop-shop" user. Camille is an amalgamation of many people I spoke to directly, though she became such a familiar personality, we all started to think of her as real.
My next persona, Karen Clemente, prefers to build her own costumes, and rent or buy only as a supplement. She's a young freelancers with something to prove. When she can't make something, she needs to be able to buy it, often on short notice, and it has to be perfect. Some design opportunities for Karen are natural language search, messaging vendors, and a share feature so she can get approval from her director.
I began with pen and paper sketches to solidify Information Architecture, translate customer journey mapping into user journeys, and continuously validate. To do the latter, I put paper prototypes in front of the team and asked them to accomplish tasks. The initial design sprint lasted one week, at which point I began drawing screens in Sketch App.
Following the initial design phase, I created high fidelity mockups in Sketch App: every screen for every task. Design changed aesthetically based on feedback from stakeholders, and functionally based on guerrilla usability testing. Annotations provided client and developers precise specifications on functionality.