A social platform (Mobile App) for BIPOC artists, creators and performers in Canada to find communities and opportunities
Instructor: Dr. Rachel Ralph
Centre for Digital Media, Summer 2021
CultureBrew.Artis a digital initiative that benefits from a strong team of active Indigenous and racialized artists and professionals. This project aims to design and prototype a mobile app that will build connection and collaboration between artists, particularly those who reside in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities. While the CBA web platform was built to help artists get seen and hired, as well as build the artistic BIPOC community, the mobile app is entirely about community connection and collaboration.
is a non-profit society with the mandate to champion diverse provocative voices that struggle to be heard in an increasingly homogenized world through the media of artistic expression and to promote and foster Indigenous and racialized Canadian artists. The team worked in direct communication with Anju Singh, Creative and Technical Director, and Valerie Sing Turner, Artistic Producer of Visceral Visions.
The project goal is to research and develop a proof of concept prototype mobile app for CultureBrew.Art that will build connection and collaboration between BIPOC artists. The objectives that mutually support the milestones and deliverables for this project are the following:
-Conduct user research, user testing in conjunction with CultureBrew.Art and analysis to understand the users we are serving.
-Create a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) that showcases the feature of geolocation via a mobile app.
-Create user-friendly and interactive prototypes
-Implement a prototype solution for final delivery to simulate key tasks users will perform on the application.
2D, Graphic Design
Web/ Game Developer
UI/ Graphic Designer
At the beginning of the project, all team members brainstormed ideas and researched other platforms with similar features as our client was looking for to make sure we applied the best practices and industry-standard latest technologies.
After the initial research, as the User Interface designer, I started prototyping the core features with the contribution of our two other designers. We sketched initial ideas to test them and later started designing our high-fidelity prototypes on Figma as our final deliverable project and for our final user tests. Meanwhile, I researched our colour palette and created our UI style guide, including layout, typography, and icons. As we wanted our design to be user-centred and wanted to understand our uses' needs better, we planned and tested the actions of our users in several stages. After analyzing these tests, we had continuing changes in the app design and tried to develop the best solution within these three months of practice.
Continue as Guest Screen Samples
Portfolio Screen and My Hub
Search Artists (Geolocation)
Block and Report
Access the Figma Prototype here:
Key Features - MVP
After prioritizing the features according to the users' needs, the team came up with the following key features that were developed as MVP or Minimum Viable Product features for the proof of concept prototype.
Users will be able to find each other through the geolocation feature. This feature will show the user’s distance from other users without revealing their exact location for safety and privacy purposes. Users will also be able to find Opportunity Listings near their proximity or across Canada that fit their artistic discipline and interests. Opportunities can be filtered across the country and across disciplines.
Users will be able to connect to each other by sending a “Message” request on the artist’s profile. Once this message is received by the other user, they can continue to communicate with each other and collaborate if desired.
Accessibility concerns, such as enabling voice messages translated into text or enabling dictation, will be considered for future phases.
Users will have access to Opportunity Listings where they can find categories such as: Awards and Funding opportunities, Call for Artists, Job Positions, Professional Development, and Other. The user will have the option to filter opportunities according to the filters currently available on the CBA website and the user's approximate chosen location.
Mobile application design cannot be done in one step. That’s the main reason that we worked based on an iterative design process that moves from design to evaluation, to redesign and re-evaluation, back to redesign again, and so on. Transforming and understanding users into products that meet their professional, personal, and emotional needs requires this iterative design process.
We started learning about our users in the empathy stage during the first weeks and understanding their perspectives. This process enabled us to represent the audience's insight when making decisions. Then, we re-identified the problem statement to translate our understanding into ideas that can benefit or hurt our audience. The importance of conducting research results in our design was invaluable for our project—research on our constraints, the users' pain points, inclusive design solutions, security concerns etc.
We wanted to design an inclusive platform and culture sector that more authentically reflects Canada by promoting BIPOC artists. So, we should stick to some methods that are tried and tested for some sections, including security concerns or the sign-up process, rather than something new and innovative.
During our primary research, we analyzed CBA database analysis on their website, conducted several interviews with non-CBA BIPOC artists, and analyzed other platforms with similar functions and features such as apps for job search or dating apps with geolocation features and messaging through social media apps.
The team gathered and applied all the research results to create user personas and ideate MVP features. There were several iterations on the prototype as we added more features and sections, all based on our continuous research on design and development, user reflections from our user tests, and our client’s feedback and requests.
At the same time, we applied changes to our front-end development. We analyzed, tested for validation, and repeated the process until we used the final actionable changes on our prototype and achieved our final high-fidelity prototype.