Designing a welcoming, intuitive platform that connects local independent artists to their community.

Encourage life-long learning and community engagement through artist-led and small business immersive experiences.

THe challenge

Help independent artists and makers deliver their workshop offerings with transparency and ease to encourage creativity and foster community.

the outcome

A responsive web app that takes into account what users need and offers simple, intuitive navigation.


Branding & Web App Design
Personal project


UX / UI Designer


2 months (August - September 2021)


User Research
Journey Mapping
Information Architecture
UX / UI Design
Prototyping and User Testing

Establishing a need for this product

It was exciting to learn that there is genuine interest to participate in a creative class.

There are local studios and independent artists who have a particular skill-set to offer as a lesson or class experience. They are actively engaged in their community and are interested in cultivating more awareness for their services.

High-level goals

• Identifying the target user audience.
• Understanding pain points.
• Presenting my proposed solution.

So who would use this?

My goal was to understand two central users, the organizer who lists a workshop and the participant who signs up.

The instructor

An experienced person who has formulated their skill-set in a learning format.
• Highly values: inclusion, diversity, accessibility, need for independence, and supportive community.
• Overwhelmed by tasks, needs an easy, efficient workshop listing process.
• To meet changing participant needs, strong preference for an easy customizable interface.
• Unable to consistently meet marketing tasks and updating website becomes a low priority.

The participant

Is eager to learn, try something new, but has time-limited schedule.
• Prioritizes in-person experiences, ideally located within 10 miles of either home or workplace.
• Wants appropriate class according to skill-level.
• Appreciates seeing pricing options, is more open to signing up if there is introductory offer included.
• The initial browsing research can easily overwhelm. It’s important to construct the interface in clear, easy to read layout.

Competitive Analysis

To understand the participant registration process and identify user needs with business goals, I analyzed the following competitors.

• Hosts need full access to participants contact details.
• Ability to offer both virtual and in-person classes.
• Minimal UI layout.
• Include image gallery.
• Include both one-time class fee and subscription based model.
• Have classes organized by date, with additional organizational options such as: pricing, popular, highest rated, etc.
• Potential categories to include: one-time workshop vs. ongoing series. And by skill level: beginner, intermediate, advanced.
• Include social media and website links to encourage participation from more established artists and studios.

See full competitive & Comparative analysis
User behavioral Experience

I asked 5 participants to search, locate, and sign-up for a workshop of their choice.

Based on this feedback and observation there were a few major points for improvement that inspired the web architecture.  

• Workshop details need to be easily understood and clearly formatted.
• Regarding option of virtual vs. in-person, all participants demonstrated a preference for in-person offerings.
• Minimal, easy checkout.
• Easy ability to save workshops which would activate a reminder prompt.
• To enhance engagement, offer waitlist option for sold out workshops and include similar workshop section.

see user experience map

Based on this feedback, this task flow provided a visual aid in empathizing with the participant’s browsing journey and how they would complete registration.

Integrating business goals

To gain perspective on internal business infrastructure, I interviewed 8 participants who were directly responsible for hosting a workshop and registration.

Participant A
CEO & Founder
Brooklyn, NY

Participant B
Musician, Drummer
Brooklyn, NY

Participant C
Director of operations
Textile Arts Center
Brooklyn, NY

Partipant D
Founder & CEO
Private Picassos
Brooklyn, NY

Participant E
Art & Education Coordinator
Art from Scrap
Santa Barbara, CA

Participant F
Artist, Painter
Silverlake, Los Angeles, CA

Participant G
I.T. & Graphic Designer
Carpinteria Arts Center
Carpinteria, CA

Participant H
Firestick Pottery
Ojai, CA

Based on their priorities, challenges, needs, and my observations these are the shared goals for an ideal online workshop platform and registration experience.

• A contemporary interface that they can easily interact with.
• Easy editing ability to user profiles and contact details.  
• Simple messaging system that encourages brief questions.
• Offer both in-person and virtual.
• Create follow feature so users can stay current with their workshops, events, etc.
• Successful conversion from a first time user to consistent participant.
• Transparency regarding Instructors background and experience.
• Include different payment structures: monthly, drop-in, featured event, and class series.
• Workshop details to be easily organized by age, topic, skill-level, in-person or virtual, drop-in, series, and monthly membership option.
UX challenges

Integrating a simplistic adaptable system while displaying a large amount of content, and easy to use for the non-technically inclined user.

One of the main considerations I took into account when regarding the interaction design is that it be easy and with minimal steps. During the user experience map exercise, it became clear that the majority of similar sites lack clear hierarchical structure, look outdated, overwhelm with too much content, and resulted in not completing registration.

When interviewing the primary organizers, a few things became clear: they expressed unique needs when handling registration, word of mouth as the main incentive for new user signup, a preference for Airbnb’s platform, but has a negative experience regarding a steep fee being deducted, and unable to easily edit participants details.

There was a dichotomy in how the site needed to present: it needed to appear minimal while providing in-depth content, provide a customizable and adaptable interface for each organizer’s unique workshop details, and integrate the organizers values: inclusion, diversity, accessibility, need for independence, and supportive community.

UX solutions

Combine the user’s needs for an intuitive, minimal interface with  business marketing goals for new sign-up registration.

Three primary questions informed my design strategy:

1. Since word of mouth is the primary way new participants register for a class, how could this behavior be replicated digitally?
2. How could the instructor feel that their individual, unique workshop needs are met?
3. What is the ideal layout for the first-time user so they feel welcome and not intimidated to try something new?

What came through are:

Add an easy share via email and by social media feature. Sharing information by word of mouth is essential, incorporating this feature will replicate this behavior.

Allow for customizable additional sections within workshop details. Each workshop has unique information to share and will need an adaptive interface, and yet, still look cohesive.

Have large photos of studio space, users like to understand the setting and experience beforehand. Also include, generous white space so the user doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the content.

The creation of a sitemap was fundamental for the development of the app. That allowed a more comprehensive and clear organization of the content.

Early sketches  & wireframes

Once the key elements to design were defined, I began sketching the pages of the website and translating them later into wireframes.


Inspired by the individualistic, creative nature of this product, users preference for casual ease, and a penchant for good design, it was important to find the right balance in the typography and color palette.

Aa Bb Cc
Feijoa as the headers conveys a casual, slightly editorial, and creative vibe.
Aa Bb Cc
Avenir is perfect as the body text. It is perceived as contemporary, clean, minimal, with various weight options.
A minimal palette paired with a touch of brightness for an energetic and fun expression.
Usability Testing

Testing involved sharing the prototype with users who expressed interest in signing up for a creative workshop. Their experience of browsing through checkout was crucial to observe and make improvements on. As this was the primary negative experience for users during observation on competitors sites.

Changes from the original Home page (left) to the redesigned Home page (right).
Changes from the original Place Order page (left) to the redesigned Place Order page (right).
Changes from the original Workshop page (left) to the redesigned Workshop page (right).
Responsive Design

Adapting the design layout and elements to behave responsively forced me to consider an interface that would transition seamlessly for an uninterrupted experience. The ideal goal, the user would have the same experience across devices.

Changes between Home page screen across desktop, tablet, mobile devices.
Changes between Workshop page screen across desktop, tablet, mobile devices.

This was an exciting project to work on for the level of in-depth user interviews about art, community, and small independent business infrastructure. I learned some important takeaways from this project related to product and business processes.

Plan for an adaptable system. Many of the organizers shared unique, essential sign-up needs for their lesson or workshop. Rather then a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, it was a good challenge to consider an interface that could adapt with individual changing needs.

Integrating a lot of content proved to be challenging. I had to constantly reconsider the layout for easy readability, didn’t overwhelm, and that it would seamlessly adapt to be responsive.

Remain open to the user experience. The initial user experience map research methodology was crucial in understanding the first-timer experience. There is a lot of anxiety and concerns when trying something new and to create a platform that conveys messages of welcoming and inclusivity can hugely impact the first step in registering.

Small business needs are paramount. They have to constantly adapt to changing participant needs, unique preference in communication, and need a supportive communal structure. Since they are the driving force behind making this platform successful, it was crucial in gaining insight in their registration, current online platform, payment structure, and their additional responsibilities.

Consider adapting analog behaviors to their digital equivalent. New participant registration is largely driven by word of mouth. Which presented the interesting question, ‘how could this be replicated digitally?’ Easily sharing a workshop between users whether that’s via social media, email, SMS, is fundamental to user engagement and consequentially, completing registration.


Behind the scenes...

The amount of work in user research, iterations, and prototyping was a great learning opportunity to engage with what I am passionate about, art and community. This project was for Designlab’s UX academy and involved real participants, student peer feedback, and my mentor Chris Key provided tremendous guidance during the development.

Thank you for viewing.

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