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INK TANK - UX design process

Ink Tank is an app to find cool tattoo designs, reliable artists, and studios near you. There are many people who have problems such as regret getting their tattoos or being addicted to ink. Tattoo making is a large industry (In the U.S., 36% of 18-25 year olds and 40% of 26-40 year olds have at least one tattoo), but there are a few competitors. Ink Tank is designed to improve these situations, especially for tattoo beginners to reduce their concerns and help them to get their first dream tattoos.

Role: Lead UX/UI designer (individual project)
Timeline: Aug 2017 - Feb 2018

This is a school project at CareerFoundry UX design course.
I got a project brief with context and basic app feature requirements.
The Problem

I started out this project by listing possible problems and made the following problem statement to clarify which problem to solve.

“Users need a way to find reliable artists, for both purposes of, design and ethics. Getting a tattoo can cause lots of troubles such as unregulated contents in ink, hygienic issues, and failures. We will know this to be true when we meet people had trouble with artists or regret getting tattoos.”
The Approach


To solve the problem, I started understanding the market and the users. I initiated with competitor analyses to understand the products and the market trends. I built competitor profiles (such as marketing profile, SWOT analysis), and UX analysis (usability, navigation structure, layout etc.). This provides a deep understanding of other market players and a clarity of my app placement in the market.
Some Findings:
>> There are some platforms to explore tattoo designs, but the usability of those are not good enough to use with pleasure.
>> Other platforms focus on tattoo addicts, not on casual tattoo lover.
Next, to understand users, I chose user interview since tattoos are a very personal thing and I wanted to get qualitative answers. My goals for this step were understanding how tattoo seekers look for tattoo designs/artists and how they are feeling about the way, and what kind of concerns they have. I asked questions like the following for all interviewee and additional questions to explore interesting directions.

>> How do you look for tattoo designs?
>> Why don't you have tattoos even you have interest?

After the interviews, I pulled out informative quotes, behaviors, facts, opinions from interviewees’ voices, and sort and map them. Then I gathered insights about my users.
Some Insights:
>> Tattoo virgins concern how much pain they will have, and think they are scary people. But users who have friends who are artists don't have such concerns.
>> Tattoo virgins want to choose artists they can consult carefully, or women tattoo virgins want to choose women. 
>> The henna tattoo might help people to imagine what it is to have a tattoo and it can help people to make decisions to have tattoos.

After I got the useful insights, I made 3 personas to give my research human faces and narratives.

The primary persona is Natsumi, a tattoo virgin looking for a small cute tattoo.
The primary persona
I made secondary personas as well. These are the summary of the secondary personas.

Secondary Personas:
Ryunosuke - heavy music event organizer seeking for his third tattoo
Andrew - heavily tattooed man looking for a Japanese tattoo by a Japanese artist in Japan
For my personas, I made user journey maps with information I gathered in the research process to convey a visual story of the process my personas will work through in order to accomplish their goals.​​​​​​​
With my understanding about users' journey, I created task flows and user flows to decide what screens to make. After that, I created a sitemap to structure the navigation of the app. Then I conducted card sorting with 8 participants to make sure if the structure was easy to navigate. Based on the card sorting results, I improved the sitemap.
Improved site map based on card sorting results

I started sketching and creating low fidelity wireframes with pens and papers. Then I moved on to mid-fidelity prototype with Balsamiq to make sure how large each content should be. Finally, I created high fidelity prototype with Sketch to ready for testing.
With the high-fi prototype, I conducted a usability test with 6 participants. Since this is the first test for this app, I tested the basic functions of this app. I asked the participants to do 3 main tasks of the app.

Scenario Task Sample:
>> Let's say you want to get a flower tattoo but you don't have a specific image to get inked. Please look for your favorite tattoo and save it to look it back later with the app.

After the test, I wrote down findings and made affinity maps. Then, I prioritized which issues to fix.
Based on the analysis, I fixed some high-priority issues.

Some Improvements from Usability Test:
Issue 1 - Can't find search box (SEVERITY - HIGH)
=> Add search box on the dashboard.

Issue 2 - In artist search results, artist photo and heart are too close to tap without errors. (SEVERITY - MID)
=> Allow space for the artist list.

After I fixed basic issues based on user test results, I made a style guide to make my designs easier to reuse and standardize.
Final Solutions
1.   Connection Between you and artists
From the user interview, I understand that tattoo virgins concern how much pain they will have, and think artists are scary people. But users who have friends who are artists don't have such concerns.​

So I added connection features. If users have connected with SNS such as Facebook or LINE, their friends or their friends' friends will be appeared in artist profile page. Also, users can search artists by their connection.
2. View artists' non-perfect works as well
Users want to know how much reliable the artists are in terms of their skills and remove the anxiety of failure. But with other products or services they use, they can only know the artists' best works.
So I added a feature to allow users to upload photos and tag the artist and rate him/her (anonymously, if they want).
3. Tattooed Avatar
Although some tattoo virgins don't feel like they want to upload their tattoo photos if they didn't have benefit to do so, tattoo addicts are eager to show off their tattoos for the tattooed community. Also, tattoo virgins want to get advice from experienced people and tattoo addicts love talking about tattoos to people who have interests in tattoos.

So I added a tattooed avatar on his/her profile to encourage them to upload their tattoo photos. This shows how many tattoos they have and where they are. This is automatically done when they upload their photos by adding body parts tag. This allows tattoo addicts to show off their tattoos and how much they are addicted. Also, users can know how experienced the user is at a glance and then they can know which artists are chosen by experienced people. This feature also helps the app to enable users to search by body parts.
Prototype Link

I made a prototype with InVision and Atomic. You can access Atomic version from here.

Final UI Designs
INK TANK - UX design process

INK TANK - UX design process


Creative Fields

Attribution, Non-commercial, No DerivativesAttribution, Non-commercial, No DerivativesAttribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives