Despite the demand for good photography, many photographers today struggle to find consistent clients at fair rates. Being a freelance photographer for 5 years myself, I was motivated to tackle this problem.
CLICK is an on-demand marketplace app where anyone can easily book photographers in a matter of seconds in their city. In turn, photographers can create their profiles, upload portfolios, set prices and gain clients.
I was the product designer on this project, and had weekly checkins for design feedback and critique with Salvador Perez Figueroa (Senior Designer, LVL).
In order to better understand the potential users and needs of the market I used a combination of market research, surveys, and interviews.
I used surveys in Facebook photographer groups to gather some data, but mostly to find participants to interview if they met the following criteria:
To gain a better understanding of the market, I researched potential competitors, finding that companies like Snappr, Shootly, and Thumbtack take large portions of earnings, making it difficult for photographers to generate adequate income to sustain a business.
Most of these companies' products also have poor UX.
In order to better understand the pain points of freelance photographers, I conducted 5 remote 15+ minute interviews with photographers from the surveys.
I asked them a series of questions to highlight:
Although the participants expressed many frustrations surrounding their business, they still didn’t feel that digital products were effective in helping them find clients, indicating an opportunity to create a product to fill that need.
Based on notes and quotes from the interviews, I created an affinity map to organize and spot common frustrations and patterns with the freelance photographers.
Some common quotes:
“I want good clients who are willing to pay fairly”
“Apps like FB business and thumbtack are clunky and hard to use”
“The business side of photography is a pain”
From interviews and secondary research on the client demographic, I created user personas that helped define their goals, frustrations, and motivations.
After mapping out the MVP, I began ideating and sketched early wireframes for both the client and photographer side of the app. To help with ideation, I studied UX patterns in popular indirect competitors to use patterns that have already been tested with users.
Early sketches included:
I used the sketches to perform 5 Guerilla usability tests for both the photographer and client-side of the app to spot user flow issues and save time on iterations before creating wireframes.
Using feedback from the guerrilla usability testing, I created a set of wireframes including:
Before testing with users, I created wire flows for both the Photographer and client-side of the app to ensure an intuitive flow from screen to screen and spot gaps in the design.
Using Figma, I created a prototype and conducted 5 moderated usability tests to uncover usability issues with the design. The participants were asked to complete tasks specific to the user goals of the product.
The testing uncovered major issues such as:
Based on the issues found in usability testing, Salvador and I decided that it was worth re-designing the overall approach to the app.
The solution was to take a marketplace-style approach to the home screen with beautiful imagery that reinforced the quality aspect, with a section devoted to recruiting new photographers.
This also removed the sign-up hurdles at the beginning of the initial designs, which we both agreed could cause users to bounce.
The final mockups include:
Once the design updates were complete, I created a second high-fidelity prototype and performed 5 additional usability tests. Nearly all of the issues found in the first round of usability testing were fixed!
Due to the surveys and interviews, I was able to gain a better understanding of the pain points and goals of photographers in order to inform my design decisions.
The second round of usability testing revealed that over 80% of the issues found from the first round of testing had been resolved, with generally high usability rating from participants.
Based on my heuristics analysis, the approach to CLICK is more user-friendly and offers actual value to photographers and clients in comparison to current similar products.
Although CLICK is a conceptual app, I believe that it could benefit the users and generate income for the company. The marketplace on-demand model offers opportunities for expansion into new features, such as collaborating with large companies that need photography and niche industries (like film, automotive, etc.).
Believing that CLICK is truly helpful is an assumption within itself, and I would ideally perform a 1-week design sprint complete with testing to validate the assumption.
For now, it remains a fun concept.
When creating the initial goals, I focused primarily on the needs of photographers due to my own bias. While the clients were included in the research, I realized after the first round of Guerilla usability testing that clients’ needs were equally important in designing a successful product.
After that, I performed an additional secondary research on the needs of the clients to optimize their experience on the app. Next time around I will be sure to keep my bias in check before spending precious time on user research.