BIPOCSTOCK

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Overview

The stock photography market is huge but is not as diverse as it could be. In its current state, does not accurately represent the wealth of diverse people in society. There is an overrepresentation of a select demographic and BIPOC individuals have a much harder time finding stock photography that they can see themselves in.

Trying to solve this problem by way of a bootcamp case study, led to the creation of
BIPOCSTOCK. A responsive web app that specializes in finding stock photography for BIPOC individuals. 

Timeline

10 Weeks - April 2021 to July 2021

Role

UX Designer/Researcher

Tools

Figma, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Protopie

Platform

Responsive Website

Getting Started

Before I started doing any research, I needed to figure out what design process model to use. I went with the Design Thinking model. 

Empathize

Define

Ideate

Protoype

Test

Assess

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of
technology, and the requirements for business success.”

-Tim Brown

Empathize-Research Plan

User Interviews

Qualitative interviews with a plethora of individuals is beneficial because you can view users and their behavior in the context of their lives. They can point out what content is memorable, what people feel is important for the proposed solution, and what ideas for improvement they may have.

A Few Interview Questions

  • What are some challenges you face when looking for stock photography?

  • When looking for stock photography, what aspects are most important to you?

  • Do you feel it is important to see yourself or your culture reflected in your branding? Why or why not?

Survey

Asking users to participate in surveys is the easiest and most efficient way to get insight to the pain points that users may have with an experience. 

64%

of users do NOT feel represented in media.

51%

of users DO feel that it is important to see themselves represented in media.

75%

of respondents are DISSATISFIED with the current options available.

62%

of respondents said it was DIFFICULT to find stock photography that had BIPOC

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Define-Problem Space & User Journey

PROBLEM SPACE

BIPOC individuals have a much harder time finding stock photography that they can see themselves in. The goal of this study is to get a clear understanding of the barriers that exist in this arena and to find ways to improve the experience for users.

IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL USERS

Using my data findings I created a persona to help better understand their pain points and subsequently resulting in better implementation of the solution.

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Ideate-Visual Identity & Sketches

I wanted to create a brand language that was also representative of the users I am trying to solve for. The goal was for the brand identity to evoke a sense of warmth and community. 

MOODBOARD

 When developing the color palette I was inspired by the rich variety of skin tones of people of color. 

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UI ELEMENTS INSPIRATION BOARD

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Taking design inspiration from existing stock photo repositories. 

BRANDING

Engendering the branding was my favorite part of  the development process. When creating icons you want to make the sure the imagery is communicative of the brands purpose.

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DESKTOP SKETCHES

Following the interviews and research, multiple rounds of sketches were drawn. This provided room to explore the different ways the user's pain points can be solved. 

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Prototype-Wireframes & Hi-Res Mock Ups

Incorporating elements from my sketches into the wireframes proved to be quite the challenge. But pulling things from my UI Inspiration helped me flush out the best layout for this design. I also wanted to make it easy for the user to scan the site for content. 

WIREFRAMES

HI-FI MOCK UPS 1ST VERSION

Test-User Testing & Feedback

CONDUCTING USER TESTS

Now that I have a working prototype, I can go out and test my idea on users. I did two rounds of user testing by having them try to complete 6 tasks each. After the 1st round, I went back, revised the design and  then conducted a 2nd round, to see if my changes increased the rate at which users were able to complete the given tasks. 

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PROTOTYPE REVISIONS

Here is a comparison of the first and second versions of the prototype. 

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Assess-Reflection & Next Steps

REFLECTION

It's always challenging applying design methodologies to social issues because it just reminds you how imperfect our society is. Going through this process of trying to increase representation in stock photography took a slight toll on my disposition but I just kept reminding myself that doing this is an individual's contribution in  improving society. 

Engaging in the Design Thinking process was new for me but, having 6 clear steps made it easier to map out a plan of execution in solving this problem space. I really enjoyed gathering data and having conversations with people to get some authentic insight into the problem. 

NEXT STEPS

There can always be ways to improve or expand your project or design so I plan on doing the following:

Increased Rollout

When thinking of next steps, the goal has always been to increase visibility and representation of minorities in media and branding. Getting the service in the hands of users would be the next biggest priority. This can be accomplished by creating an advertising campaign and working with grassroots organizations to spread the word. The more people that use the website, the more equitable the stock photography landscape becomes. 

Additional Testing

I would like to conduct more rounds of testing and increase the sample size of people that I collected user data from. 

Marketing Website & Brand Campaign

Marketing is an important element consider when creating a solution so I wanted to add to the authenticity of the idea by creating a landing page of sorts that details my product.  There is also a mobile-version after considering the benefits of multi-platform use. 

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