The process of selecting a tattoo, finding an artist, and finally having an image permanently tattooed on your skin is incredibly personal in nature. The experience is unique to each customer and can be extremely stressful if the customer feels unprepared.
Disappointment in a design or an artist, anxiety of unknown pain, and lack of awareness about proper care and maintenance leads many customers to regret some, if not all, of the tattoo process.
InkTank aims to alleviate the stress of the tattooing process by providing all of the information users need in one place. From articles written by experts, to the ability to find incredible tattoo designs and the perfect artist. InkTank provides the information users need to know to make their tattoo appointment smooth and comfortable.
The tattoo process is unique for each customer. Because of this, the Inktank app needed to be flexible enough to allow users to explore at their own pace, without overwhelming them with any information they didn’t need.
A customer who is completely new to the tattoo industry might want to start in the research phase. They may want to read helpful articles and search for a tattoo design. Someone who is further down the funnel most likely does not require this information. This user may already have a tattoo design in mind and are ready to jump right into finding an artist.
There were a few apps on the market that provided platforms intended to simplify the tattoo process for consumers. After completing a thorough competitive analysis, it became apparent that while these apps addressed some of the issues plaguing consumers a myriad of bugs, advertisements and an over-saturation of information left users feeling frustrated and confused.
To avoid repeating patterns and to ensure the user’s needs were front and center through the design process I crafted two user personas based on a collection of interviews with potential users. These user personas were referenced at each stage of the design process.
Cynthia is a 23-year-old young professional living in downtown Toronto. She is frustrated by the lack of information online about the cost of tattoos, tattoo designs, and general information. She is also nervous about how much a tattoo will hurt and is terrified of needles. Cynthia takes the tattooing process very seriously and wants to ensure she has all of the information she needs before selecting a design or booking an appointment with an artist she trusts.
Jake is a 25-year-old professional Chef living in Toronto with his long term girlfriend. Jake already has the perfect design in mind for his tattoo but has struggled to find a tattoo artist working in his preferred style. While he has used search engines and review sites he still cannot find the right artist and wishes there was an easy way to meet and compare artists online.
After creating a sitemap based on my research thus far, I conducted an open card sort experiment in order to test the sitemap design. I had a clear idea of what features were needed, so the goal of the open card sort was to gather information about where users believed those features should live.
The outcome of the card sort showed that…
- Users had similar ideas when grouping items into “Artist Profile” sections.
- Most of the users had some form of “Settings” or “Information” section that housed Miscellaneous data for maintaining the account.
- Over-all the layout was similar with users grouping items into User Profile, Settings/info, FAQs and Artist Profile
My research showed that there were three key features when it came to creating the Inktank app. First I designed a robust search feature, allowing users a variety of ways to find content. Next a messaging feature which enabled users to contact artists through messaging and video calls, as well as allowing them to book appointments. Finally, a profile for users and artists which served as a home base and a space to collect and store the information they need.
Wireframes: Second Iteration
Using these wireframes I developed a mid-fidelity prototype of the Inktank app. This prototype allowed me to run a usability test with a group of users. The goal of the test was to assess how quickly users were able to access the information they were searching for. I also sought to monitor the number and severity of errors as well as the overall satisfaction of users accessing the app for the first time. This prototype was built in InVision.
- Onboarding, Login & Sign up flow
- The ability to search for tattoos, articles and tattoo artists
- Appointment booking
- User & Artist Profiles
- Ability to privately message, call or video chat with artists
- Ability to save tattoos, artists and articles to the user profile
- Edit Profile feature
The results of the usability test showed that there were major issues regarding the location and style of key buttons and icons. Additionally, users struggled with a lack of content provided in the prototype.
Half of the users tested reported they would stop using the app if they were unable to find what they were looking for quickly. Investing these changes proved detrimental to prevent users from leaving the app.
Additionally, users indicated that the inclusion of key features like the ability to check on booked appointments and to find artists near their location specializing in the user’s preferred style would make the process considerably more enjoyable and comfortable for users. Users indicated these features would entice them to recommend the app to friends and return often.
The full test report can be found here: Inktank Usability Test Report
The Final Product
After multiple iterations, user testing and a few minor preference tests the Inktank app is finally complete. Screens from the final product, as well as a prototype of the app, can be found below.