There are so many amazing artists out there, but it’s hard to find them. That’s why Immersart is created — a mobile app that brings connections between artists and art fans digitally.
Users can easily find interest in the art they like, collect their favorite pieces, share projects with friends and curate virtual exhibitions all from one place! It’s never been this easier to discover new artwork or connect with other people who have similar tastes as you do.
Parsons School of Design MPS Digital Product Design
Jan 2021 - May 2021
Figma, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Aero, Adobe Dimension, Cinema 4D, Procreate
Immersart was designed for the artists in isolation to make a new window into the world.
Museums and exhibitions were cut off by the pandemic, not by choice. However, here, we have more options. Immersart renegotiates the relationships between art and the audience.
Immersart is a fully realized app that I designed from scratch. The name of it comes from — Hope users immerse in arts. Immersart design is based on the User-Centered Design principle to solve end users' most important problem. It provides artists with social sides to their art lives and practices without restrictions interacting with people, places, and objects.
This project explores human beings' inherently resilient in art and discusses the possibilities and connections between the real world, inner world, and digital world.
Welcome to Immersart
Create • Immerse • Forster • Preserve
Experience in the minimalist but aesthetic interface.
Encounter the features and arts as a breeze.
Explore each spot that you can interact.
Art Feeds The Soul
See art that you like, not what anyone else likes. First, customize your feed to match exactly what interests you. Then, browse the artwork and find the ones that interest you; if something catches your eye, mark it!
Immersart will feed the most interesting activities to the users based on the previous activity, so no one ever feels bored or overwhelmed. Everyone's feeds will be unique according to their individual preferences.
Browse Art Projects
Users will be able to look through the art projects even though they are in drafts. Users also can be part of the project by simply giving feedback to the artists.
Don't projects have colossal progress? No worries, Immersart will update you with anything from fun moments to challenging obstacles about the project. Immersart will make sure you will stay engaged and feel connected along the way
Anywhere, Anytime and Immersive
Now you could have a virtual 3D art gallery of your very own, where you can go at any time and look around.
Breaking down the barriers of time, location, and dimension. Immerse yourself into the change of how arts interact with people, places, and objects. Immersart will be the platform for everyone.
Immersart allows you to move things around, preview individual art pieces, and even share with others who might want to be your companion to the physical gallery.
Your feed collections are collected here. It is organized by different dates, making it easy to review the former collection (and mood). Similarly, see other people's similar mood boards with yours.
Your Art Land
Manage your information, works, exhibitions, curations here. Interact with people. This is your name card in art.
Research & Synthesis
What if artists could reach more fans digitally?
Art has sent me around the world, opening up my mind. I have tried to bring art to the public as a designer but things change quickly, especially when it comes to 2021.
During the pandemic, many artists have been returning to the basics, working alone without assistants, slowing down and taking a closer look at their immediate surroundings, spending more time in nature. As they have turned inward, there has also been a renaissance of communication, of sharing ideas through digital media. This situation not only happened to famous Art practitioners, but also to my peers at Parsons School of Design, who invited friends and family to the graduation ceremony through digital platforms. Technologies existed before the virus, however, we weren’t being forced to use them. This shift has brought a new generation.
This project was produced during my "Zoom University" period, focusing on how art endures, inspires, and brings connections, even in the darkest times.
Breakdown The Focus & Interview
A solution for bringing connections between artists and fans digitally, it will only be as good as how well we understand the problem.
For centuries, artists and poets have escaped the world of people by choice, opting out to find clarity or see from a different perspective. But many artists have been very socially active as well — exhibiting work, lecturing, and attending openings — that have primarily stopped as they, and everyone else, have been forced into involuntary isolation by the pandemic.
Pandemic has definitely changed the way people interact with others, places and objects, but the technology will not stop to improvise that.
With that background in mind, I began to interview people to help me dig deeper into users' behaviors and aspirations. Due to the COVID restrictions, I recruited participants on social media, met and talked to people through zoom, to hear diverse opinions.
Ideation & Iteration
Instead of discussing the incoming art platform in the abstract, I began by creating prototypes to work through my ideas alongside my users. I tried to get the most candid feedback from users which helps me understand their behavior and needs better. Here is a process of design and also focuses on learning.
• • •
I started with Sketches, which I also call Polarizing Prototyping. I gave users some rough ideas related to the HMW to pick apart and discuss by creating intentionally different concepts.
In this phase, quantity is over quality. I showed several very different designs sketches to people to elicit faster reactions. With polarizing prototypes, I understood what and how much content is important to someone.
• I generated rapid-fire sketches with as many ideas related to that HMW as possible on the Ipad.
• Ideas were decrypting with both illustrations and words so that people can remember.
• By holding the iPad through the Zoom screen, I explained the ideas to people, then left space for people to talk and to examine the ideas.
• I kept asking questions without providing any help with problem solving and let people explain ideas to me.
• I kept labeling and grouping ideas, stole and remixed anyone’s ideas at any point, and also sought chances to probe deeper and understand people's needs, behaviors, and pain points.
1. Goals - Immerse, Create, Foster, Preserve
I concluded people’s similar needs into four classes. “Immerse” represents people seeking immerse experience in art. “Create” represents people who hope there will be opportunities to create and share something instead of only a glance. “Foster” represents people eager to build up social connections based on art. “Preserve” represents people who looking for somewhere as their own artworks collections.
2. Being Exhausted of Traditional Social Media
People are tired of how mass digital products barely exhibit any interactivity and creativity. This makes them feel dull as they navigate through the digital product without anything exciting happening on screen.
3. People Can Get Pleasure & Reduce Stress From The Management of Artworks
Artworks sometimes like the books on your shelf, artworks also need an affordable shelf to make people feel comfortable instead of messing up. The shelf remains accessible for social and review.
• • •
I generated the low-fi prototype basic on my sketches and tested the abstract ideas. I followed people's four goals integrating 5 features in the product - Feed, Project in Process, Exhibition, Moodboard, and Profile(Preserve). Then I tested the rough ideas and left vague ideas that gave people room to fill in the gaps to understand people's behavior, needs, goals and mental models.
• Two versions of “Feed”, with the movement difference, when people make a decision if they like a piece of artwork or not.
• Two versions of “Project In Process” with the different layouts of content displaying.
• The abstract interface of VR exhibitions to express how this function works, with the sharing function through two different versions.
• Three different layouts of Moodboard's arrangements, the ways of reviewing former collections are different.
• Added the preservation goal in “Profile” and different versions of how people categorize artworks in an attempt.
• I left ideas vague to give participants room to fill in the gaps, and let them explain their needs, without interfering.
• The participants were meeting the questions that do these ideas address the needs they have? How would they change them? What’s missing when they are trying to fulfill their goals?
1. The Length of Staying Time brings The Different Sense of Immersion
The sense of immersion provides a different time for people. Feed should let people stay shorter on the artwork they don't like but longer in this feature. We need to do a further test to understand people's interaction;
Project in Process aims to let people feel like they are directly communicating with artists, so reading words should be longer.
2. Using Progressive Methods in Different Features to Foster People‘s Engagement and Connections
To enhance the connections between artists and fans, I added different functions for communicating and connecting with others. In consideration of the difference between features, the connection functions should be gradual.
3. The Pages Exist Missing Buttons of Interaction
In addition to filling up the definition of how people interact with others in each feature, I also need to ensure each page's interaction buttons.
• • •
Based on low-fidelity testing insights, I generated the mid-fidelity wireframe to explore the flow and some interactions. I also experimented a little with my product with UI.
• The prototype is interactive in a link that people can click buttons.
• Feed has two versions which allow people swipe left/right to make a decision or click to make a decision.
• Each feature added a specific social function. Feeds can show up by the length of distance; Project in Process is available to "like" , "comment", and "follow"; Exhibition provides a live show function which can invite people. The profile switches its role to an art name card, people can connect and communicate.
• Moodboard provides a reviewing function by the calendar.
• Tow version of position steps in Project In Process.
• Participants received the prototype link and were free to interact with each feature.
• I kept observing people if they felt excited or disappointed while they were exploring each feature.
• When people behave or say that they don't like any part of the product, I would clarify whether it is a cause of the design or the idea.
• Concerning the idea that I thought it was important, but people didn't react to it, I remixed it and did another round of testing.
1. Understandable Layouts and Structures, Misunderstanding of Icons
The rounded corner design looks both aesthetic and minimal. However, after filling up all the buttons, the icons have some misunderstanding since some people can't recognize them easily.
2. Interactions Follow People's Behavior Habits
Feed & Exhibition should simplify the interaction to reduce the difficulties of manual actions. People felt tough and lacked the motivation to understand complicated operations.
3. A More Completed Flow to Fill Up the
After the mid-fidelity prototype, there are still some necessary pages and buttons that are unavailable. The next steps prototype needs a more detailed prototype to do the final test.
• • •
I fine-tuned flows, visuals, and system architecture, and also added some animations to make the transitions between clicks more smooth and fluent.
To test the VR function and provide a more concrete prototype, I made 3D models through Cinema4D, and combined Adobe Aero and Adobe Dimension. It was a pity that the final project deadline was pressing, I only tested some essential interaction in the VR function with people through Adobe Aero. But it was enough for me to make a usable flow.
An artwork 3D model Sample
A participant is testing VR interaction actions
A few of the animation
• The high-fidelity prototype is interactive and clickable in every essential corner in a Figma link.
• Animations were added for the transition of pages and buttons.
• Icons were adjusted to match their meaning perfectly, and more modern also concise in appearance.
• An Adobe Aero link with an artwork 3D model and set up interaction actions to test VR exhibition Part.
• Participants have received two links to both the completed prototype and virtual reality.
• While people were interacting with the prototyping, I kept asking if they feel fluent and smooth. And require them to explain the meaning of icons/buttons for me.
• Participants were required to show me their actions while interacting with 3D models in the Adobe Aero link. Meanwhile, talk about their feelings.
• In some different versions of one feature, participants needed to express their feeling of each version both in word and movement.
Feedback & Insight
As the almost final version of my design, I still received some feedback. Luckily I only need to make some minor adjustments.
People felt liked my design, especially the contemporary and minimum interface design. People felt so excited if the product could be released with the VR exhibition features. They cheered and imagined we could use it in our graduation exhibitions.
However, I still need to revise some. People felt clicking to mark like/dislike in Feed makes them more comfortable to avoid the mis-swiping - in the swiping version, If several pictures continue to show up that they didn't like, they would swipe to dislike when the next one comes up by fault.
And in Project in Process, people felt they needed the anchor function, but a double click with a button kept existing, which made people uncomfortable.
Before my final version, this was my last prototype, which helped inform what I should focus on to tighten up the experience.
Mapping & Scoping
With the core interactions mostly figured out, I started making the final version of Immersart.
I mapped out the main features and screens(Key Area) by creating a System Map, which I want to build wireframes for them. This included Feed, In-Transit Project, VR Exhibition, Moodboard, and Profile.
Then I created the User Journey Map of two clusters of my users. One for the artist side, another for the fans side. Focusing on what an artist or a fan is doing through Immersart instead of on the screens. It helped me further understand Immersart's solution to the real-world scenarios of user experience, connecting the real world, digital world, and people's inner world through virtual exhibition live shows.
By creating a Service Blueprint and an MSCW Technique Analyst, I advanced Immersart as a minimum viable product to scope down the complexity and focus on essential features.
Branding & UI
Emotion • Adaptation • Content • Accessibility • Delight
I drew a lot of inspiration from contemporary art that I hope can evoke users' feeling and emotion in each open, as if they are in a physical art gallery.
The concept of a digital community was sprouting when I was in my undergraduate. It was also enlightenment that encouraged me to pursue my master's degree as a Digital Product Design student at Parsons School of Design.
For me, art was like therapy in my teenage period, and also it was art that brought me to travel around the world. Thus, I hope and believe art can help more and more people, reducing the stress for our society.
This project still has space to move further away. However, It closed a chapter in my life by exploring the uniting body, soul, and art. That also brings a new chapter to my life. I started learning and understanding UX systematically, observing human beings' behavior, and thinking deeply about design for people, for our society.
It's surreal to think that this project was my last one at the Parsons School of Design. I'm immensely thankful for the support I've received from my peers and professors throughout this project and all my time here at Parsons.