Figma, Adobe Creative Suite
User Research, Prototyping, User Interviews, Visual Design
New In Town
Swing dancing is considered a ‘social dance’. What makes social dancing different from say, a hip hop class, is that it’s entirely improvisational. Once you know the basics, you can ask any stranger to dance to a random song and still have an amazing experience. This is what makes social dancing unique; you can do it anywhere as long as there’s a space for it.
And just as you can dance with anyone to any song, you can also dance in any venue that has the space for it. Swing dancers are often travelers. If they're in a decently-sized city, odds are that there's going to be a dance somewhere. But how do they find it? As with many vintage-esque communities, the swing dancing community tends to lag behind when it comes to technology. I myself have had trouble finding information about venues, cost, and more. I wanted to find a solution to this. How can I help swing dancers find, curate, and connect with communities?
I went out an conducted some field inquiries. I went to one of CU Boulder's dances, and interviewed various users. Here are some of my key findings:
- Venue information can be hard to find - Swing dancing communities use different methods to communicate. Some communicate through Facebook, which poses a problem for people who prefer not to use social media. Some will have websites, which often keep outdated information and confuse new dancers. Other methods include email lists, flyers, and word of mouth, which presents many problems as well.
- Cost, time, and location are key factors - Users often cited cost, time, and location as key factors to whether they'll attend a dance or not. These features should be prioritized when it comes to displaying information, and could even be incorporated into a search or filter function to help users parse through different events.
- Organizers are often limited on resources - On the flip side, scene organizers often don't have the money or time to invest into websites. They need an easy and convenient way to enter in their event information, or else it's not worth their time.
With a better idea of my user's wants and needs, I created personas for my product. One for the dancers, and one for the organizers.
Now that I have a good idea of the user's needs, I could write down some goals and priorities for my app:
- Convenience - Dancers should be able to find events quickly, and organizers should be able to create and publish events quickly.
- Curate - Users should be able to save, organize, and bookmark upcoming dances for later. Users should be able to find a dance best fit for their needs.
- Customizable - Organizers should be able to have options when uploading their dance, such as the ability to upload pictures.
After writing down the goals, I started sketching out some ideas. I mainly focused on the main screens people would be using, such as home, explore, and music.
I created a basic prototype in Figma. What was nice about Figma was the ability to quickly link up screens and animate them. After a couple iterations, I was able to narrow down a solid design with the feedback from various users.
Key Insight: Creating 'Modes' for Organizers and Dancers
I had forgotten to consider that organizers are also dancers in their core. They should be able to access the app in the same way as dancers, and vice versa. To circumvent this, I created a screen during the onboarding process, where the user can pick their role at the current time. They can also change this in their settings as well.
After multiple interviews and feedback sessions, I created the high fidelity designs on Figma. I decided to show my designs through taskflows, to show how to the user might use Swivel. I also included a couple high fidelity screens that were shown in each taskflow.
The user picks whether they are an organizer, or a dancer. On their home page, Swivel populates the screen with nearby events. They can also view upcoming events they've saved, as well as events that their contacts are going to.
Taskflow: Finding The Right Event
The user can filter and sort through various events. Once they find an event they're interested in, they can find more information on the event page. They can also RSVP for events that require registration to attend.
Taskflow: Organizer View
If the user would like to create an event, they can switch into 'organizer view', where they can add and customize information about their events. They also have an option to import events for more efficiency. Only the basic information is required; if the user was forced to make a schedule and put more information, they might abandon the app.
This was a fun project to design because it was about something I had a deep interest in. On the other hand, that was what also made it particularly difficult; I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t the user; that my experience was not universal. I also thought that this was a really good exercise in information architecture; there was a lot of information that needed to be organized and displayed in a concise way. I needed to make sure that each task was easy and efficient, or else users wouldn't use the app.
In the future, if I were to continue with this project, I would love to expand on the socialization aspect of the app. I listed the amount of contacts going to an event, but in the future, I'd like to expand it to let users see other users. It might also be good to let the user talk to other users as well, to coordinate and plan out events that people will be going to.
Designed in Webflow by Kathy ❤