Mobile site redesign
Aligning a performing arts brand with its productions
Forward Flux is a performance and visual arts company with an emphasis on meaningful conversations. I worked on a talented UX team to redesign the company's mobile site, helping users better understand the non-profit's unique multidisciplinary brand in anticipation of the Forward Flux 2016 season.
Usability testing, visual design lead
A Redesign and More
The client wanted us to improve its existing mobile site, bogged down with small issues with responsiveness. We soon learned the problem went deeper. Users didn't fully understand what the arts company does, as Forward Flux exists in a unique and enigmatic space. We concluded the project required an identity and rebranding proposal.
What is Forward Flux?
The arts company moved from New York to Seattle less than a year ago with big plans for new work. Forward Flux produces innovative events and performances in various contexts and media--theatre, collaborative art exhibitions, a series of secrets arts gatherings--and will launch a podcasts series as well as artist-designed apparel in 2016. Forward Flux is relatable yet unfamiliar to both traditional theatre enthusiasts as well as visual arts supporters.
Testing the Existing Site
We tested the site by asking six users, "What do you think Forward Flux does?"
"I'm not sure what this company does. It's a movie company I think."
"I don't know."
Based on data from ten user interviews
Information architecture clean up
Comparative analysis of similar performance companies.
We analyzed the existing sitemap, which started with eight global navigational elements. To help users absorb information easier and faster, we set out to condense the navigation.
Diverge and converge
To dive into the design phase without hesitation we each spent five minutes quickly sketching one screen, then the next, then the next...Before coming together to agree on the most successful solutions.
Prototype: Version 1
To move fast we tested V1 as soon as we had all of the screens created, regardless of whether they felt finished.
We tested the Flux Salon page in particular, for which I was accountable. The Salon was a unique design challenge for two reasons:
1. The Flux Salon is a series of individual events, each different from the last. We had to educate the user about the intentionally mysterious series as well as the next Salon simultaneously.
2. Admission is by invitation only. The stakeholder wanted to keep it exclusive while also increasing attendance.
To solve for this we made two pages, one for the next Salon and a second, called What Is The Flux Salon?, to explain the series.
The link to the page, What Is The Flux Salon? got lost, as we directly integrated it into the event page.
Users felt uncomfortable with requesting an invite. They thought they would be judged in the process. For this reason they didn't trust Forward Flux.
We called more attention to What Is The Flux Salon? by moving the link to the top of the page and giving it a flashy red color.
To make the production feel more welcoming, we changed the wording of the call to action from "Request an Invite" to "Request Secret Location" in order to de-emphasize exclusivity and judgment. By shifting the focus from the user to the secret location, The Salon feels enticing yet inclusive to the user.
To solve the problem of Forward Flux's unclear identity we added a brief statement about the company with a link to the About page.
Directly below that the user can learn about what's happening now, a season announcement, an upcoming play, or the launch of a new podcast.
The client implemented our core improvements to make his mobile site easier to navigate. He appreciated our visual rebranding proposal and graciously explained that he had never intended to change the identity, since his existing site and logo are less than a year old, and changing the brand now would confuse his audience.