Codepath University _ iOS Bootcamp : https://codepath.com/university

Codepath's Final Project

Team: Yousef Kazerooni_Christopher Soria_ Juan Cris Hernandez

Duration: 6 weeks


Skills: Research_ Project Management_ Wireframing_ Flow Charts_ Swift Programing_ Database Management_ High-fidelity Prototyping.


Project summary

In spring 2015 I participated in a three-month iOS bootcamp run by CodePath University. I was among the 20 who were picked out of more than 100 students, after successfully doing the coding challenge.

For the final project, my team created SF Art Opening, an app that brought visibility to San Francisco artists, and tried to bridge the gap between the Artist and Tech communities. It made Art relatable to more people by focusing specifically on art receptions as a social event. 

SF Art Opening came second, winning the best User Experience award.

The eleven teams were judged by

 

SF Art Opening wins the best UX award

SF Art Opening wins the best UX award

Feed screen showing events happening today

Feed screen showing events happening today

Event page for a particular opening

Event page for a particular opening

My Role 

I was the lead UX designer and project manager on the team. Given the technical aspect of the bootcamp, I had to ensure that the app does not get bloated with features; that every feature is driven by the needs of our audience.

Some of the technics I used were:

  • Competitive analysis
  • Walk-a-mile immersion
  • Personas & scenarios
  • Flow charts
  • Two by two factorial design

I also worked on the database and the development of the map and the chat sections of the app.

Lastly, I worked on the final presentation, and honing our pitch.

Research

At the time of the project the Affordability crisis in San Francisco was very present on our mind. The growth of the tech industry in the city had brought about incredible increases in prices. It was especially making life difficult for local artists.

How could we build a mobile app that could bring visibility to local artists? 
 

We went to two art galleries, talked to five visitors, three artists, and two gallery owners.  We created an affinity diagram of what people enjoyed, and what brought them there. The two competing themes were enjoying the art and meeting the artists.

We also conducted a competitor analysis of what ten different websites catering to art galleries. The most crucial insight came to us after we visited Allen Bamberger’s Art Calender. Unlike many other gallery calendars that were crowded with lots of information, Bamberger's simple Google Calendar focused on opening receptions.

Bamberger's Calendar helped us shed light on the dichotomy that had emerged on our affinity diagram. It became clear that there are at least two distinct settings for people to enjoy art:

  1. Personal
  2. Social

So, when you go to a gallery on a Wednesday to enjoy art pieces in quiet, you are looking for an intimate relationship. A lot of websites and apps groom that specific relationship.

But imagine the big crowd that gathers on the opening day of a new exhibition at a gallery; the artists are present; drinks are passed around; there is an incessant chatter. These people experience art as a social phenomenon. 

Reframing

What if we created an app for millennials working at tech companies the San Francisco area?
How about we tried to bring together young people in tech and the artists by highlighting this social aspect of an art opening receptions? That would put local artists in the spotlight, and serve as a fun meaningful social outing for the technologists.

Ideation

We used crazy eights, to generate lots of ideas, and using sticky votes, we gathered a collection of features. We then created a rough flow of the app based on these features.

We came up with three different user flows:

  1. Browsing and sharing events
  2. Getting to events
  3. Socializing at events

Next, we broke down each of the flows into smaller user stories. for example:

  • As a user, I want to know when different events are happening.
  • As a user, I want to easily get to an event.
  • As a user, I want to bring friends to an event.
  • etc.
Three low-fi flows of the app. All flows start from the feed screen, which is the first screen you see on the app. 

Three low-fi flows of the app. All flows start from the feed screen, which is the first screen you see on the app. 

We especially spent a lot of time on how people can use the app as a means to start a conversation during an art opening reception. What we settled on was a picture-based forum, with its content geotagged to specific gallery locations. Using AI, the pictures could help finding conversation threads related to the same piece.

Finally, to speed up the process, we turned to paper prototyping to try different iterations of the visual elements for different screens. 

Hi-Fidelity Prototype

We coded the final prototype in Swift. Here are some of the tools and services we used during develompment:

 
The bulk of coding was done in Swift; we follow iOS best practices; used Mongodb and Parse Server; and we shared code on Github.

The bulk of coding was done in Swift; we follow iOS best practices; used Mongodb and Parse Server; and we shared code on Github.

 

Feature Highlights:

Here are 3 findings that drove our most important features:

  • People enjoy social events especially when they are in a group.
  • Work day can last longer than expected and it can be a hassle to get to the venue afterwards
  • People may not feel comfortable expressing themselves in a public setting.
Users can share the event they like with their friends.

Users can share the event they like with their friends.

Users can easily get to the venue

Users can easily get to the venue

Users can share their thoughts privately.

Users can share their thoughts privately.

Unfortunately, given our time constraint, we had to limit the socialization flow to a simple chat interface.


Demo Video

As part of our final pitch, we created a demo video; in the video, you will notice how our app supports the social aspect of engaging with arts.