Sales visualization for galleries
Sales visualization for galleries
Existing CRM tools do not fulfill the unique needs of art galleries. How can art galleries track their sales and relationships visually?
Art sales directors are asking for a better way to work - where they can curate their collectors' interests and tastes, just as they would an exhibition.
ARTLOCAL CRM helps galleries cultivate relationships. Working with multiple stakeholders, we utilized a collaborative and agile design process to build a custom solution art galleries couldn't wait to use.
TOOLS: Audio Recordings, Trello, Sketch3, Sketch Mirror, Avocode, InVision, Bootstrap 3 Framework
DELIVERABLES: Storyboard, Feature Prioritization, Desktop & Mobile Wireframes and Interactive Prototype, HiFi Mockup, Presentation
CUPS OF COFFEE: 30
When building a consumer app for art lovers to discover galleries and exhibitions, ARTLOCAL made a surprising discovery: art gallery staff were buried in notebooks, and they wanted a better way to track their relationships and artwork sales.
Pivoting directions, ARTLOCAL engaged our team of three General Assembly UX Designers to design a user experience customized to the workflow of art galleries.
DEFINING THE MVP
With a limited 2.5 week engagement, we set out to design the MVP - a mobile first site that would allow gallery owners to track sales relationships dynamically.
Multiple use cases revealed multiple paths to entry for data into the database- which I mapped out to inform UI needs and priorities.
Designing for the most high-need use case (a chaotic art fair) first ensured that the CRM would be a tool art galleries could not live without.
KEY RESEARCH INSIGHTS
Art galleries use multiple tools to manage their contacts, creating repetitive data-entry, loss of information and the inability to track ROI for sales cultivation and art fairs. There's gotta be a better way to work, and they're asking for it.
"Why didn't I think about them for this piece?"
No one can remember everything. While incredibly personable, art gallery staff are constantly juggling multiple to do's, follow-ups and relationships, just off the top of their very lovely heads.
"There's no reminder, it's just something I have to check back on."
The art sales climate is not your typical sales environment. Relationships are often cultivated over many years and include tracking everything from a collector's dog's birthday (real example), to their recent likes on Instagram.
"Who can I email that might like this work?"
The art gallery culture is competitive. While some galleries foster a shared internal environment, many sales directors guard their contacts and relationships closely. (Like locked up on a computer that's never accessed the internet, closely.)
"No one gets these notebooks."
Gallery staff are devoted Apple users, and they like to surround themselves with beautiful things. It's essential that ARTLOCAL have a clean, simple design aesthetic to meet their high standards.
Futhermore, they love moleskins and post-its almost as much as designers do. ARTLOCAL has to provide real value to their daily workflow if they're going to use it.
DESIGN & IDEATION
An intimate CRM (Customer Relationship Management) user in my past life as a Program Manager, I knew the robust capabilities, as well as frustrating complexity, of various platforms. The unique user needs and use cases inspired us to think beyond standard databases.
ARTLOCAL CRM Beta v1
Art galleries are tracking the following data points:
We hypothesized that by using #tags and @mentions, we could connect these content objects in dynamic and visually compelling ways. Entered #tags and @mentions automatically populate contact pages and lists, and connect artworks to contacts.
We presented sketches, paper prototypes and wireframes to the ARTLOCAL team daily, refining with each iteration.
ARTLOCAL then tested our interactive prototype with several partner art galleries, and we integrated their feedback into additional designs along the way.
KEY DESIGN PRINCIPLES
There are plenty of CRMs out there that can do amazing things for art gallery sales. But as long as they don't reflect the realities of the industry and require complex back-end customization, users will always opt for the easiest, though not necessarily the best, solution - i.e. Excel, Notepad and emailed notes to self.
Automation and smart features bring stickiness to the experience- making ARTLOCAL the tool galleries wish they always had.
Our user research found that the art sales climate is highly competitive. Who you know is money, and users have a vested interest in not putting their contacts into a shareable format. This created a challenging obstacle to product design.
Your enterprise product may make users' work easier, but if it doesn't integrate seamlessly with the rest of their daily tools and tasks, no one will use it.
Visual design was especially important due to ARTLOCAL's high taste users.
I created a visual design direction for ARTLOCAL - utilizing the principles of material design and the classic clean aesthetic of the high art world as inspiration. A simple, minimal flat background allows key features to standout in the foreground with color and lighting.
Focusing on the cultivation of relationships and mirroring the current workflow of art gallery staff, ARTLOCAL CRM allows users to manage relationships in an intuitive and delightful UI.
ARTLOCAL was thrilled with the solution, and art galleries couldn't wait to try it.
"Micah was a joy to work with. With a tight turn-around time from spec-to-prototype Micah was able to quickly understand the problem, break down the inefficiencies in our client's current process and deliver a solution that created a buttery-smooth and delightful user-experience for our target client.
Micah is a great communicator and takes time to understand the goals of your team. She goes above and beyond expectations all to ensure she's bringing value to our end-user."
— Sean Green, Founder at ARTLOCAL APP
Despite being spread across LA, NY and SF, having our client's constant participation in the design process drove successful product design, with complete stakeholder buy-in.