b. User Research

Connecting Artists & Art-Lovers: A team project where I took charge in user research and UI design

 General Assembly, San Francisco, CA || October 2016 || 2 weeks

Revamping Hunter’s Point Shipyard Artist’s website for a more holistic experience to benefit all


THE PROBLEM: Lack of exposure & engagement

In our brief with the fictional problem, the company stated that they wanted change that and specifically desired two things: more exposure for the artist and more ways to engage the artists with the public who support their art.

SOLUTION OVERVIEW: Connect with the HPSA community & expose their art, all on one platform

We revamped the website to solve these these issues, providing the HPSA community had a clear digital medium to easily communicate with the HPSA community and the public who support their art, as well as expose their art.


OUR APPROACH? Talk directly to the artists and art lovers & continue working with them


EXPLORING THE PROBLEM: Determine the real issue and the best way to solve it

HPSA hosted 2 large annual events called Open Studios where the public can come and see the artist’s work, and it was the only defined time where artist get to see other artists as well as share their work with the public.


We contacted over 60 artists to see if we could meet with them at their studio for a few minutes. Before meeting them, we determined that we will come with the intention to learn more about how:

  • They communicate with other artist & the public who support their art
  • They share & sell their art
  • HPSA currently helps them do the above 


We created a survey with the intention to learn more about the public. We wanted to ask questions to learn more about these specific aspects:

  • Why and how they go to art events
  • How they buy art, and if they don’t buy art, why not


The HPSA website was available but vastly underused because of many different factors that our team discovered. The current design of the website was not visually appealing despite it being for artists. There was content but it was not laid out in the best interest of the community artists nor for a user interested in the artists. One person was in charge of maintain and updating the website, and artists had to communicate to this person in order to make changes on their individual page. Because the changes were generally slow, artists didn’t attempt to maintain that individual page anymore.


We made sure to take time to ensure our time will be used efficiently. In order to accomplish this, we voted for which features of our solution needed to be prioritized.


Throughout the project, we continued researching while we designed the solution. One way we did this was by creating personas, which was continuously tweaked as we gathered more information from our interviews and surveys. Another key tool was having usability interviews, which we conducted with our wireframes.

RESULTS & REFLECTIONS: A great solution but there’s still work to do

With the few artists we met, we learned that:

  • They do not have a clear path of communication within the HPSA community
  • There was not one common way for the public to connect with them
  • Different artists shared and sold their art through different means

We saw the inconsistency, and asked “Why don’t we create a clear platform for them to do all these things?” The HPSA website was available but underused. We worked to change this. With our research, iterations, usability testing, and teamwork, we are confident that our product does this well.