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Inkspirational Connections: Revolutionizing the Tattoo Experience with a Seamless UX Design for Utopia Tattoo

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Overview

As the lead UX designer, I spearheaded the end-to-end UX design and branding for Utopia Tattoo from 2020-2021, creating a seamless platform that bridges the gap between tattoo enthusiasts and artists. The app empowers users to gain inspiration, plan their next tattoo, and connect with skilled artists, revolutionizing the way tattoos are explored and realized.

Services Provided: 

  • User Research

  • Competitive Analysis

  • User Personas, Mental Models, User Journeys

  • Information Architecture

  • Flow/Interactive design

  • Wireframing/Prototyping

  • Branding & Style Guide

User Research

The user research conducted for Utopia Tattoo aimed to address the needs of users seeking a platform to browse local, reputable tattoo artists and explore their specialized designs. The research goals focused on understanding the behavior and decision-making process of individuals considering getting tattoos, as well as documenting their pain points in finding suitable tattoo artists. Valuable insights were gathered, revealing that users relied on word-of-mouth recommendations and emphasized the importance of artist transparency in prices and policies to establish trust.

 

Through user surveys and interviews, it was highlighted that a great user experience hinged on the presence of personable and trustworthy artists who could guide users through the tattoo journey. These findings shaped the design approach for Utopia Tattoo, ensuring that the platform facilitated seamless artist discovery, instilled confidence in design decisions, and fostered a positive user experience overall.

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Competitive Analysis

The tattoo market stands out as a unique sector that remains relatively untouched by the digital world, with the exception of the niche app, Tattoodo. This app serves as a platform connecting tattoo enthusiasts with top tattooists worldwide. Through analysis of Tattoodo and careful consideration of user expectations, I conceptualized the visual design, content, and structure for my app. I also learned from their mistakes, allowing me to establish a design strategy focused on superb SEO and local artist visibility. To address the connection problem within my target demographic, I took a distinct approach from Tattoodo. While they targeted enthusiasts seeking renowned tattooists globally, my app focused on facilitating connections between users and their local tattoo artists.

User Personas, Mental Models, User Journeys

By synthesizing the data from user research, I created the user persona "Kayla," also known as "The Connoisseur." Developing this persona helped me stay focused on the target user throughout the design process, enabling me to design a product that truly fulfilled their needs. Kayla's motivations include expressing love for her child through a meaningful tattoo, seeking assurance from the tattoo artist before the appointment, and desiring a good rapport between the artist and her friends and family. Her frustrations revolve around the inability to browse examples of an artist's work online, the lack of professional design assistance, and being surprised by unexpected prices or involvement by other artists.

 

Kayla's ultimate goal is to book a reputable artist who will help her design a unique tattoo that perfectly represents the love she has for her child. In her busy life as a mother, she seeks easily accessible information about the artist and convenient communication. She desires a highly skilled artist in her preferred style at a fair price.

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Information Architecture

When tackling the original sitemap, I embarked on a journey to understand the user's expectations and draw inspiration from competitor websites that catered to a similar demographic. To validate my assumptions, I conducted both open and closed card sorting exercises, which yielded surprising results. While users generally agreed on the categorizations of artists and studios, other categories lacked clear groupings. This revelation suggested that either the cards were too ambiguous or users had different expectations than what I had initially theorized. Thrilled by this newfound insight, I embarked on the task of refining the sitemap to align with the users' mental models and create a structure that made sense to them.

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Flow/Interaction Design

In designing the flow/interaction for our persona, Kayla, our goal was to create a seamless user journey that fulfilled her specific needs. We aimed for her goal to be achieved when she booked a reputable tattoo artist who specialized in her desired style and offered fair pricing. Key considerations included artists charging by the project, showcasing current work in their portfolio, prioritizing sanitation policies and customer reviews, and enabling a straightforward booking process. By ensuring high-quality reviews, up-to-date portfolios, transparent policies, and a user-friendly booking experience, we aimed to meet Kayla's requirements and deliver a successful booking process.

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Wireframing & Prototyping

During the wireframes and prototyping phase, my focus was to ensure that users would experience trust and effective communication within the app. To facilitate this, I designed features that allowed for private messaging between users and artists, promoting direct and transparent communication. Additionally, I incorporated a collaborative board functionality, similar to a Pinterest board, which enabled users to effectively communicate and visualize their desired tattoo with the artist. This collaborative approach fostered trust and transparency on the artist's end by providing upfront, project-based pricing and offering an easy way for users to get in touch with them. By emphasizing these aspects in the wireframes and prototypes, I aimed to create an engaging and user-centered experience that enhanced trust and facilitated seamless communication throughout the tattoo design and booking process.


The final product was the result of numerous iterations driven by usability testing, peer feedback, and adherence to accessibility standards. These iterative processes proved invaluable, enabling me to elevate the design's usability to the next level. To enhance the visual aesthetics, I leveraged Google's Material Design UI kit, while sourcing all photography from Unsplash.com. This strategic combination of design elements and high-quality visuals contributed to a visually appealing and user-friendly experience.

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