Hello Brick Lane!
Enabling the untamed cultural and artistic experience
UX Design | UI Design | Visual Design
"Why is this experience at Brick Lane so chaotic?"
By establishing a digital & interactive hub, my objective was to help users navigate and appreciate the culture and art experience of Brick Lane.
The Brick Lane experience was incredibly enriching and deserved to be highlighted in a way that visitors can enjoy and navigate. I found that the experience was chaotic and stressful because there wasn’t a dependable navigation system to guide through the street art, eateries, restaurants, breweries, craft fairs, and record stores.
As the Visual Designer, I was responsible for establishing the visual identity and the web experience; by creating the illustrations, style guides, branding identity; and by mocking up wireframes, user flows, and high fidelity prototypes.
Improve the user's navigational experience by addressing unstructured outlets and resources into one platform, and establish continuity and identity using native colors of Brick Lane’s street art scene. There were 5 key areas that I wanted to address:
Tools I used:
understanding the place
The experience is a character not a place. I approached Brick Lane as a character rather than a place and developed a visual narrative and identity for it. Rather, it felt like a vibrant creature- vivacious, energetic, and wild.
Sketching Storyboards helped narrow down the structure of the 5 markets. This method also allowed the artistic voice to grow
Something as exciting and unique as brick lane deserves to be visualized as a character…
My design process starts with sketching and doodling…
I paired, contrasted, and layered with colors and illustration techniques…
Brick Lane’s street art are riddled with quirky monsters and beasts and this experience deserved its own furry mascot…
The sketches led to a unique typographic font composed of individual creatures which spells out “Brick Lane Market.”
After experimenting with interface designs, color palettes, typography pairings, photographs, vector illustrations, and icons, I created the user interface for the mobile experience.
After the first prototype, I had failed to do thorough research on users. Who were my users and what were they behaviors? I did what I thought was best for them- based on opinions not research. That was considered a failure.
Good thing design is an iterative process…
Back to the drawing board!
Since I couldn’t fly back to London to conduct research, I conducted a study on users in Los Angeles that expressed similar habits and interests as the ones that I observed in Brick Lane.
These groups were fairly young, interesting in exploring, open to possibilities, might come to try a specific place but open to suggestions similar to their preferences, mobile-friendly, active on social media platform.
18-35 years old
Dependent on Google Maps, or navigation systems
Use smartphones to look up places or to take photos
Not willing to spend time reading when they could be exploring
Does not want to download apps while traveling
My users gave the following feedback:
“Why would anyone want to download an app if they are here at this place for a short amount of time? I wouldn’t go through the trouble.”
“The graphics are fun and colorful. I like it.”
“It seems too busy, too much text to read.”
“The music features is pretty cool. I like being able to find new music and bands.”
“I like the map, but it doesn’t really help me find where I am and the places I need to go.”
Conducting real user testing allowed me to make informed design decisions based on actual feedback on the iterations round.
site map Revision
The first prototype showed that I was doing what I “thought” a user would do, and not what a user would actually do. Also before, I worked without a sitemap and user flow and it made thinking and making 10x times harder than it should bc I was always going back and forth.
The site map needed to be simple, surfaced-level and uncomplicated; users did not need to find items intensely nested within menus.
These groups were fairly young, interesting in exploring, open to possibilities, might come to try a specific place but open to suggestions similar to their preferences, mobile-friendly, active on social media platform
prototyping (pt 2)
Beyond the mobile touch points, I developed the concept to physical interactions
A place as special as Brick Lane deserves a space in our memories. As a takeaway, I created a memento kit that visitors can take the experience with them.
To explore the prototype, follow this link
I learned the most important lesson in UX; I am not my user! By not properly conducting user testing, I did not create the right product that fit their needs. I corrected this mistake by researching my users habits and behaviors and conducting user testings to gain actual feedback.