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BIPOCSTOCK

My Role: 

Designer

Timeline:

10 weeks

Category:

UX Design

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BIPOCSTOCK is an online marketplace for stock photography catering to POC.

BRIEF

The stock photography market is huge but is not as diverse as it could be. In its current state, does not accurately reflect the wealth of diverse people in society. BIPOCSTOCK was created out of the need for more BIPOC representation media and branding. 

PROCESS

I set out to make a responsive web app that specializes in finding stock photography of and for BIPOC individuals. In order to really get an understanding of the user and their pain points, I conducted lots of research as well as some usability tests.

RESULT

A working prototype and a confirmation of my hypothesis from data analysis and user testing. 
 

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DEFINING THE PROBLEM & RESEARCH

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.

GATHERING RESEARCH

In order to get a clear understanding of the current user experience I surveyed 30 people. I found that 75% of respondents dont feel represented in media and 62% of respondents said it was difficult to find stock photography that featured BIPOC.

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. 

Survey

Representation in Media

Finding BIPOC Stock Photography

Satisfaction with Current Options

Importance of Representation in Media

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Research Findings

To validate my hypothesis I conducted some quantitative research and learned about the discrepancies in search term results for different keywords. 

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User Interviews

Qualitative interviews with a plethora of individuals are 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?

BEGINNING THE DESIGN PROCESS

Since this was a solo project I was not only responsible for gathering research but also for the design of the proposed solution. I began with research of the different product areas: what were customers pain points, how did they utilize existing options? I then completed a competitive analysis of websites that offer stock photography and created a user persona to visualize the ideal user. 

I then proceeded to sketch user flows, interactions, and a basic interface.

User Persona

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Rough Sketches

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Wireframes

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PROTOTYPING

 I created a prototype in Figma to flesh out interaction details. This allowed me to fine tune the details of the proposed website; and to experiment with things such as gesture-based rotation and movement. With touch and mobile, it is all about how the app feels, and static mocks and wireframes cannot always express these qualities of an app.

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Screenshot of Figma Workspace

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GIF of Process

UI ELEMENTS INSPIRATION BOARD

Taking design inspiration from existing stock photo repositories, it was important for me to develop a solution that provides a smooth and easy experience for visitors. 

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BRANDING/UI DEVELOPMENT

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.

VISUAL DESIGN

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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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. 

Round 1

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The 2nd round of  testing went much better.  I did this round with a new group of people to see if the changes made improved the user's  first experience. 

Round 2

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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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