Case Study

CASE STUDY

CASE STUDY

Art House - AR Storytelling Platform

Art House - AR Storytelling Platform

Art House - AR Storytelling Platform

Visual Design

Using augmented reality to help artists tell stories behind their art

Using augmented reality to help artists tell stories behind their art

CHALLENGE

To come up with new ways of telling stories behind art with the help of Augmented Reality. Integrating new technology into the existing strategy and creating new revenue streams.

To come up with new ways of telling stories behind art using latest technologies.  Integration of those technologies into existing business model to improve current and create new revenue streams.

To come up with new ways of telling stories behind art with the help of Augmented Reality. Integrating new technology into the existing strategy and creating new revenue streams.

OUTCOME

We developed and launched our augmented reality platform for telling stories behind the art. It led to an increase in merchandise sales and an exploration of entirely new business models for the company.

We launched the augmented reality storytelling platform for street art. It led to growth in revenue by increasing ticket and merchandise sales. It also made possible for business to team up with new partners.

We developed and launched our augmented reality platform for telling stories behind the art. It led to an increase in merchandise sales and an exploration of entirely new business models for the company.

MY PART WAS

MY PART WAS

Research, Strategy, Information Architecture, User Flows, User Testing, UX and Visual design, Developer Handoff

Research, Strategy, Information Architecture, User Flows, User Testing, UX and Visual design,
Developer Handoff

Research, Strategy, Information Architecture, User Flows, User Testing, UX and Visual Design, Developer Handoff

Research & Understanding, Information Architecture, User Flows, User Testing, UX
and Visual design, Developer Handoff

Research & Understanding, Information Architecture, User Flows, User Testing, UX
and Visual design, Developer Handoff

TEAM
Product Designer: Maxym Nesmashny
Project Manager: Alexandr Mir
Software Engineer: Serhii Mykytenko
QA: Dmytro Dmytryshyn

TEAM
Product Designer: Maxym Nesmashny
Project Manager: Alexandr Mir
Software Engineer: Serhii Mykytenko
QA: Dmytro Dmytryshyn

TEAM
Product Designer: Maxym Nesmashny
Project Manager: Alexandr Mir
Software Engineer: Serhii Mykytenko
QA: Dmytro Dmytryshyn

TEAM
Product Designer: Maxym Nesmashny
Project Manager: Alexandr Mir
Software Engineer: Serhii Mykytenko
QA: Dmytro Dmytryshyn

TEAM
Product Designer: Maxym Nesmashny
Project Manager: Alexandr Mir
Software Engineer: Serhii Mykytenko
QA: Dmytro Dmytryshyn

Art House App Screenshots

App Store Screenshots

App Store Screenshots

Point to Augment - Artwork by James Haunt

Point to this image by James Haunt using Art House App and see it come to life

Point to this image by James Haunt using Art House App and see it come to life

Meet the Client

Meet the Client

Street Art House is an art curation startup based in Los Angeles. Its team works with street artists around the world to host events, sell merchandise, and connect them with businesses and brands to build unique collaborations.

Street Art House is an art curation startup based in Los Angeles. Its team works with street artists around the world to host events, sell merchandise, and connect them with businesses and brands to build unique collaborations.

street art house

One of the artists from outer space (Sara Sandoval) visiting Street Art House HQ

One of the artists from outer space (Sara Sandoval)
visiting Street Art House HQ

Starting with Discovery

Starting with Discovery

We initiated the project after a brief conversation with Street Art House CEO Justin Fredericks. The company was exploring the use of augmented reality in public art spaces but wasn't satisfied with available solutions on the market.

We agreed to kick off the project by conduction a 2-day discovery session at the client's office. Justin and his partner Mikey told me about the obstacles they were facing while running their business as well as opportunities to expand it. That helped me understand how their business was operated and in what ways could we impact it with the help of Augmented Reality.

We initiated the project after a brief conversation with Street Art House CEO Justin Fredericks. The company was exploring the use of augmented reality in public art spaces but wasn't satisfied with available solutions on the market.

We agreed to kick off the project by conduction a 2-day discovery session at the client's office. Justin and his partner Mikey told us about the obstacles they were facing while running their business as well as opportunities to expand it. That helped us understand in what areas utilizing modern technologies would be the most impactful for their business.

We initiated the project after a brief conversation with Street Art House CEO Justin Fredericks. The company was exploring the use of augmented reality in public art spaces but wasn't satisfied with available solutions on the market.

We agreed to kick off the project by conduction a 2-day discovery session at the client's office. Justin and his partner Mikey told me about the obstacles they were facing while running their business as well as opportunities to expand it. That helped me understand how their business was operated and in what ways could we impact it with the help of Augmented Reality.

unsplash-image

Kicking off the project by conducting workshops aimed at discovery with Justin and Mikey. Photo courtesy of Thomas Drouault.

Kicking off the project by conducting discovery sessions with Street Art House.
Photo courtesy of Austin Destel.

Kicking off the project by conducting discovery sessions with Street Art House. Photo courtesy of Thomas Drouault.

Conducting User Research

Conducting User Research

Street Art House's core business relies strongly on its relationships with its artists and clients. To understand their goals and needs, we created the range of user personas and journey maps of the existing and future engagements. To gather data, we conducted multiple 1 on 1 interview with customers. We sent out surveys to existing email lists. We talked and talked with a lot of people. We then aligned our personas on the empathy map to see the bigger picture of customers' needs.

Street Art House's core business relies strongly on its relationships with artists and art enthusiasts. To understand their goals and needs, we created the range of user personas and scenarios of the possible engagements. To gather data we conducted several 1 on 1 interviews with existing customers and also sent out questionnaires.  We then aligned our personas on the empathy map in order to see the bigger picture of their needs. 

Street Art House's core business relies strongly on its relationships with its artists and clients. To understand their goals and needs, we created the range of user personas and journey maps of the existing and future engagements. To gather data, we conducted multiple 1 on 1 interview with customers. We sent out surveys to existing email lists. We talked and talked with a lot of people. We then aligned our personas on the empathy map to see the bigger picture of customers' needs.

User Persona Research - Jennifer

As a result of user interviews, we created a range of user personas

As a result of user interviews, we created a range of user personas

User Persona Research - Thomas

That helped us to focus on our customers needs 

That helped us to focus on our customers and their stories

Key Learnings

Key Learnings

During the research and understanding phase, we discovered that a lot of artists resonated with the feeling that true stories behind their art are rarely interpreted in a way it was intended. As it turned out, almost every creator liked to put hidden meanings behind their brush strokes. The viewers, however, were not always able to identify them. Another problem for artists was around discoverability. Especially for street artists, it was important for their viewers to be able to find artwork located around a city.

The art goers group had mostly different concerns. They enjoyed the modern art scene for its interactivity. A lot of them pointed out to social gatherings and the feeling of community as the main driver for attending art events.

During the research and understanding phase, we discovered that a lot of artists resonated with the feeling that true stories behind their art are rarely interpreted in a way it was intended. As it turned out, almost every creator liked to put hidden meanings behind their brush strokes. The viewers, however, were not always able to identify them. Another problem for artists was around discoverability. Especially for street artists, it was important for their viewers to be able to find artwork located around a city.

The art goers group had mostly different concerns. They enjoyed the modern art scene for its interactivity. A lot of them pointed out to social gatherings and the feeling of community as the main driver for attending art events.

Crafting the User Experience

Crafting User Experience

Based on key findings from discovery and research sessions, we gathered our findings and moved into crafting the ultimate user experience. Our first step was to write user stories, based on which I moved on to create Information Architecture, User Flows, Sketches, and Wireframes.

Based on key findings from discovery and research sessions, we gathered our findings and moved into crafting the ultimate user experience. Our first step was to write user stories, based on which I moved on to create Information Architecture, User Flows, Sketches, and Wireframes.

art house IA

Information architecture for ARt House platform

Information architecture for ARt House platform

Art House Sketches

Art House Sketches

Initial sketches of the app

FLOW

User Flow

User flow

Wireframes

Low Fidelity Wireframes

Wireframes overview

Content (Art) is the King

Content (art) is the king

We believe the user interface of our app shouldn't get between users and art. The content is the king and our app is a comfortable tool that helps people experience it in the best way. Based on that, we made our user interface functional yet minimalistic by eliminating all unnecessary elements and scenarios.

We also set out to learn what type of content works best in AR. It was important to identify it from the start in order to build it into the CMS. Based on our interviews with stakeholders, we identified the following types of content: 

We believe the user interface of our app shouldn't get between users and art. The content is the king and our app is a comfortable tool that helps people experience it in the best way. Based on that, we made our user interface functional yet minimalistic by eliminating any unnecessary elements and scenarios.

We also set out to learn what type of content works best in AR. It was important to identify it from the start in order to build it into the CMS. Based on our interviews with stakeholders, we identified the following types of content: 


  • AR Animation - A custom-crafted 2D / 3D animation playing on top of the art piece
  • Video Overlay - Timelapse of the process, artist interview, clips, etc
  • 360 Artist Studio Tour - A 360 panorama image that allows us to visit the places that are important to the story
  • Artist Information - Learn more about the person behind art and give them a follow on social media


  • AR Animation - A custom-crafted 2D / 3D animation playing on top of the art piece

  • Video Overlay - Timelapse of the process, artist interview, clips, etc

  • 360 Artist Studio Tour - A 360 panorama image that allows us to visit the places that are important to the story

  • Artist Information - Learn more about the person behind art and give them a follow on social media

Visual Design: Main Flow

Visual Design: Main Flow

Point camera at Art House powered piece to activate the experience. Slide anywhere to change between different AR Layers. The layers can be set up to represent different types of content: Motion Graphic, Video File, 360 Panorama, or an info card. 

Point camera at Art House powered piece to activate the experience. Slide anywhere to change between different AR Layers. The layers can be set up to represent different types of content: Motion Graphic, Video File, 360 Panorama, or an info card. 

Art House Cover Image

Visual design of Art House app

Visual design of Art House

Visual design continued...

Visual design continued...

Visual Design: Onboarding

Visual Design: Onboarding

Upon launching the app we present users onboarding flow to familiarize them with capabilities of the app and get their contact information for future promotions. 

Upon launching the app we present users onboarding flow to familiarize them with capabilities of the app and get their contact information for future promotions.

AR Technologies Stack

Sidenote: AR technologies

AR Technologies Stack

microsoft-executives-testing-the-hololens

Another crucial topic of discussion that affected both design and development processes was to decide which AR technology would be best suited for the needs of the project. We went through multiple iterations using AR solutions such as Vuforia, Spark AR, Lens Studio, and others, but not any of the available technologies fully satisfied the needs of our project. Thus, we decided to develop natively with the help of ARkit and ARcore augmented reality platforms – an industry standard that was developed by Apple and Google. That raised the complexity of development but in turn unlocked almost never-ending opportunities with continuous updates for years to come.

Another crucial topic of discussion that affected both design and development processes was to decide which AR technology would be best suited for the needs of the project. We went through multiple iterations using AR solutions such as Vuforia, Spark AR, Lens Studio, and others, but not any of the available technologies fully satisfied the needs of our project. Thus we decided to develop natively with the help of ARkit and ARcore augmented reality platforms – an industry standard that was developed by Apple and Google. That raised the complexity of development but in turn unlocked almost never-ending opportunities with continuous updates for years to come.

Content Management System

Content Management System

Telling stories uses a lot of bandwidth. One of the differentiators of our app is that you are not required to pre-download images of artworks (markers) to your device. We manage it all for you. All you need to do is point your camera and enjoy the art coming to life. For that to work, we built a robust back end infrastructure.

 Our artists and enterprise customers can utilize the power of a CMS - content management system. With its help, you can manage your Artwork and its AR layers. With just a few clicks, your art is ready to go, provided you have prepared some awesome motion graphics beforehand.

Telling stories uses a lot of bandwidth. One of the differentiators of our app is that you are not required to pre-download images of your artworks (markers) to your device. We manage it all for you. All you need to do is point your camera and enjoy the art coming to life. For that to work, we built a robust back end infrastructure.

 Our artists and enterprise customers can utilize the power of a CMS - content management system. With its help, you can manage your Artwork and its AR layers. With just a few clicks, your art is ready to go, provided you have prepared some awesome motion graphics beforehand.

Art House Content Management - Augmentables, Marketing Screens, Users Management

Art House Content Management - Augmentables, Marketing Screens, Users Management

User Testing

Throughout the development process, we conducted testing to identify pain points and edge cases of current versions at the time. We shared Invision prototypes with stakeholders to get early feedback. We used user pilot applications to share the latest version of the app with the company and the artists. We collected all of the feedback and utilized in further creation of the app.

Throughout the development process, we conducted testing to identify pain points and edge cases of current versions at the time. We shared Invision prototypes with stakeholders to get early feedback. We used user pilot applications to share the latest version of the app with the company and the artists. We collected all of the feedback and utilized in further creation of the app.

AR art

App testing in real world exhibition environment. ARt by James Haunt

App testing in a real-world exhibition environment. ARt by James Haunt

Launch Event: Sneakertopia

Launch Event: Sneakertopia

Artists residency - augmented reality

Artist residency - augmented reality

It is important for us to bring artists up to speed in their understanding of the immersive technologies. For that, we have hosted specialized workshops where we introduced artists to the concepts of AR and VR as well as its use cases in the art creation process. We showed real world examples of how artists already take advantage of that field and introduced them to the best VR software such as Google Tiltbrush and Oculus Quill. After several training sessions artists were able to create professional vr art and had much greater understanding of emerging technologies.

It is important for us to bring artists up to speed in their understanding of the immersive technologies. For that, we have hosted specialized workshops where we introduced artists to the concepts of AR and VR as well as its use cases in the art creation process. We showed real world examples of how artists already take advantage of that field and introduced them to the best VR software such as Google Tiltbrush and Oculus Quill. After several training sessions artists were able to create professional vr art and had much greater understanding of emerging technologies.

tilt-brush

Tilt Brush is a groundbreaking app by Google for people to create art in 3D space

Tilt Brush is a groundbreaking app by Google for people to create art in 3D space

Conclusion

The feedback we've got given so far from our users was overwhelmingly positive. For most customers, it's their first interaction with augmented reality and they come to love it. At the same time, the business shows positive projections as customers are already showing a bigger interest in buying augmented merchandise and specialized augmented art pieces. Art House was the app powering the Sneakertopia exhibit. The app was launched in December 2018 and is available to download on the App Store and Play Store.

The feedback we've got given so far is overwhelmingly positive. For most customers, it's their first interaction with augmented reality. At the same time, the business shows positive projections as customers are already showing a bigger interest in buying augmented merchandise and specialized augmented art pieces. We launched the platform in December 2018 and it's available for download on the App Store

Have a similar project in mind? Let's talk!

Have a similar project in mind? Let's talk!

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