Blanc is the Catalonia’s Graphic Design Fest, probably the funniest and more inspiring of its kind and I’ve made an app for it in two weeks.
Blanc Festival 2016 — video by koalitic visuals
The starting point of this project was to understand the needs of the attendants before, during and after the events and build a digital product to help them.
I had two weeks (from July 21 to August 4) to make a proposal so I followed some of the Google Design Sprint methodology mixed with more traditional Design Thinking technics.
As a digital communications manager of the festival I already detected some communication needs during the festival from previous years that couldn’t be solved with traditional leaflets or stage announcements.
After reading some satisfaction surveys from 2010 to 2016 I listed some pains but I wanted to had more valid data so I designed a survey and an interview.
Also I checked the statistics for the past years and I could form a first approach of Persona with the average attendant. Woman of 30, freelance, graphic designer, Catalan and man of 40, self-employed in a studio, graphic designer, Spanish.
Lack of space and time for networking was one of the biggest issues detected in the satisfaction surveys so I wanted to focus on networking and festival communication.
The survey was sent to more than 3500 people but I only got 126 answers ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The survey had two parts:
- The first one asked about the festival communication along the year. What they like/dislike and if it is useful or clear enough. Communication from Festival to Attendant.
- The second one asked about the communication during the festival. What they need, if the leaflets and stage announcements are enough and if they are willing to interact more with speakers, activities or others attendants. Communication from Festival to Attendant, from Attendant to Attendant and from Attendant to Festival.
- I also spread some questions anticipating possible future problems like the misuse of the product (flirting), their use of smartphones during the talks or the convenience of using different social network tools than the ones they are used to.
- In the interview I wanted to know more about their personal experiences in other festivals compared to Blanc, their goals in attending Blanc or sharing festival stuff on social networks and what are exactly the problems when doing networking during the festival.
- In parallel I did some benchmarking research among other apps and digital solutions for music, film and design festivals.
I needed to synthesize all the data in order to turn it into actionable information.
I used Trello to disect that data in order to find insights and patterns.
- I wrote every interesting input in a card in two columns (qualitative and quantitative)
- Then I arranged them into four recurrent categories: Networking, Festival info, Surroundings info and Social Networks.
- Using stickers I visually separated the pains from the opportunities, recommendations and ideas.
I also used Trello to complete the benchmarking analysis, jotting down the recurrent features and detecting the ones useful for my product. It was like a Lightning demo plus deciding process.
List of pain points detected
- Lack of networking possibilities. The first seven years Blanc was located a village and now it is in the big city. People was isolated in the village so there was a sense of community and now people just go to the talks and leave.
- It’s hard to meet people because there is no space and time due to the tight schedule. Also catalan people is closed.
- People is shy to meet new people.
- Schedule not clear.
- Poor info about the talks
- Poor info about surrounding services
- Mistrust about geolocation
- It’s hard to know people skills and profiles in advance.
- List of attendants, staff and speakers with profiles.
- Space for collaboration (exchange, sharing rooms, rides, meals, profesional dates…)
- Digital Q&A with speakers
- Centralise info
- Live notifications
- Indoor geolocation
- Show/Hide profiles
- Neighbourhood/City guide
- Unify conversation in social networks.
HMW & Brainstorming
- HMW connect assistants in a professional way
- HMW connect assistants to help each other
- HMW make easy the reach of practical info of speakers
- HMW make easy and confortable the process to ask questions to the speakers without wasting time in the fest schedule.
- HMW get people to talk about the fest in social networks
Defining the persona was easy because I had the statistics from previous years and I knew the profile of the Blanc attendant.
People willing to connect with other attendants or speakers need a space to do it since normally there is no time and space or nerve to do it.
To start the ideation phase I wrote some of the user stories:
After creating the first User flow I detected some flaws and I worked in solving the next problem:
How to connect the digital networking with the real world networking
I did some Crazy 8s session to find the answer:
And before prototyping I designed the user journey for the On Boarding.
PROTOTYPE & TESTING
Drawing in paper templates and using Marvel as engine I did the first testings where I detected more flaws and ways to improve the experience.
I started using Sketch already, it was the right tool to use for the medium fidelity prototype.
While designing the medium fidelity prototype I was thinking in the final layout so I used the “Blanqueta” typeface, the official typeface of the festival. I wasn’t sure about this because it’s too bold and playful for little screens but it was kind of a commitment to use it in the project. Combined with a more serious and sans serif typeface for long texts and annotations could work.
I conducted the test with Invision.
After some testings I could improve the product so I revisited the user flow once again.
Before the final design of the high fidelity prototype I made a mood board with the festival characteristics and different graphic lines for the past years.
I had a problem!
Blanc doesn’t have a regular graphic line, so I decided to use the sole recurrent element they have, Blanqueta typeface. Although some of the graphic lines didn’t used it.
I wanted to do a custom UI based on the forms of Blanqueta and since Material design is bold and playful already it was the base of my custom UI. I increased the radio in the round corners and thickened the strokes in the icons.
I talked with Raúl Ramos, co-director of Blanc Fest and with the Blanqueta typeface designer Joan Carles Casasín for recommendations in combining Blanqueta with others. The final choice was Museo Sans.
To solving the colour scheme I wanted to try something adaptive.
So the basic idea is to have a UI in black shades with a bright colour for highlighting and when the new graphic line arrives its palette is applied like a chameleon.
Why a Dark UI? One of the reasons is that since it is going to be used in a design fest when there is a talk and the seating area will be dark, we don’t want to bright faces and be annoying for the people around the user.
Details are the key so I thought about some empty and partial states:
Applying the colour schemes from 2015 and 2017 graphic lines only to details and some navigation and functional elements would look like this:
For the final prototype I used Flinto to show the flow, create the micro and macro interactions and the screen transitions.
Blanc Connect prototype build in Flinto
Blanc Connect is an app for increasing the opportunities in networking among the attendants of Blanc Festival and it has the following features:
- Welcome On Boarding
- Non-mandatory Sign Up and profesional Profile creation
- Welcome Tutorial
- Main feed following the #blancfest conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- Filter the conversation through your social network interest.
- Live indicator of your availability for networking.
- Turn on/off your availability for networking.
- Quick access to profesional profiles from the conversation.
- Information about the schedule and surrounding services.
- List of professional profiles.
- Filters by attendant, line up, staff, favourites or custom by keyword, location or profesional activity.
- Indicators for sharing home, car rides or moments during the festival.
- Edit profile.
- Indoor geolocation with beacons.
Also I wanna thank to Raúl, David, Vicent, Rubén, Marina, Martí, Diego, Ximena, Mireia, Marià, Carmen, Luís, Dennis, Andrea, Eulàlia, Aida, Laia, Irene, Natassia, Elise, Kelly, Maribel, Hellen, Isaac, Alexis, Montse, Samuel, Eva, Joan Carles, Mariano, and Sandro for all the help they provided.