The idea for the project was born through the cooperation of Unravel with Tech To The Rescue and the #TechForUkraine initiative. Tech To The Rescue is a foundation that connects non-profit organizations with technology companies to provide them with tech help and maximize their operations. To help in this challenging time, we wanted to use our design and product potential and offer professional assistance to organizations that support those in need. Through this program, we learned about the needs of the Strefa WolnoSłowa Foundation to redesign the website of one of their projects - Migrart. It is a platform where migrants and refugees living in Poland can share their work. This initiative seems particularly important now due to the war in Ukraine, which has left many creatives looking for new career prospects and a place to live.
The Strefa WolnoSłowa Foundation is an initiative of people working in the field of culture and art to support artists who are excluded or threatened by marginalization. The Foundation organizes artistic, cultural, and educational intercultural and intergenerational dialogue activities. Since 2012 they have carried out initiatives like The City Ghettos of Today, Migrating Theatre, The History Atlas Under Construction, Beyond Theatre, and Migrart. The main goal is to engage refugees and migrants living in Poland and encourage them in creative activities.
Migration processes are steadily increasing. People decide to relocate to another country every day to seek security or a better life. For those who are artists and creators starting a new life in Poland, the Strefa WolnoSłowa Foundation has prepared the Migrart initiative. It is now of great help, especially for Ukrainian artists migrating because of the war in their country.
The project is the first online platform to present the works of migrant creatives living in Poland. This website aims to connect migrant artists of various backgrounds with their potential clients and employers. It offers a database with contacts and portfolios of artists. It provides regular networking meetings in which they can share stories and experiences.
The website was created to connect artists with their potential clients. Therefore, we focused on clearly presenting the artists' work in this project. We wanted to give them a place to show not only themselves but mainly their activities and skills. For example, we came up with the idea of using a profile cover instead of a profile photo.
- Michał Ługowski, Product Designer at Unravel
Understanding problems and needs
At first, we wanted to identify the goals and needs of the initiative. To do that, we prepared a micro-audit and analyzed the current website and user path. We concluded that the platform needs a redesign on a few key levels. The primary necessity of this project was to make the website clearer and more intuitive. Our research was complemented by previous feedback from users, which confirmed our belief that the website needs greater clarity of communication.
The site's most significant issues were usability flaws and an unclear and difficult-to-understand intention of the website. Particularly problematic was the onboarding process, which was long and lacked stages. We also saw the need to create user profiles to show not the artists themselves but their work and skills.
The process of analysis and research helped us define the following pain points:
Lack of information on the home page about what the website is for.
The main page focused only on showing numerous photos of artists added recently.
The search engine, in the form of a category listing, was hidden behind an extra click.
Additionally, whenever a user entered or returned to the homepage, an annoying pop-up appeared inviting them to fill in an application form.
Long and complicated application form and challenging to understand steps to add work and portfolio.
The form allowed users to type in any creative areas from which search tags were created.
Hard to read artist profile with linearly arranged bio, creative areas, and links to works.
What have we done?
In our project, we wanted to address all previously identified pain points. Based on the problems identified above, we worked to address them by proposing potential solutions and receiving feedback from the Foundation. Once we had all the necessary information, we began redesigning the site.
We have added a descriptive Hero section to tackle the lack of information about the initiative on the homepage. This allowed us to efficiently present what the Migrart project is and what its goals are.
The following two pain points we addressed simultaneously. The new version of the main page still shows the recently added artist. Still, in addition to the cover photo, it presents the description of the author's activities and works. Another thing we have incorporated into the homepage was the search engine. As before, you can sort by creative field, but now there is also the possibility to filter artists by their name. All that has made the site's primary functionality immediately visible and more intuitive.
Another problem we wanted to solve was a pop-up on the main page. We have decided to abandon it altogether. Instead, we used a CTA button on the navigation bar to encourage people to participate. This solution does not overshadow the view of the page and still redirects to the form.
Before – After
The crucial thing to simplify was the application form itself. The previous version was extended, unsegmented, and challenging to follow. Therefore, we removed the unnecessary and confusing steps and shortened the application. To make the form more transparent, we have divided it into three main stages and added a bar on the left side indicating which step is currently in progress. We also wanted to simplify how we upload work and portfolios to the profile. So, we let the artists choose the section that suits them best and that they want to add to their portfolios. Another thing we plan to use this form to encourage users to add cover photos of their work to their profiles instead of just their faces.
We have also changed the method of adding creative areas in the application form. Previously, this block was filled in manually, and now the available tags are predefined. The look of the entire section has been simplified by arranging the areas into a tag cloud and by giving the ability to search and filter them. This approach prevents the addition of incorrect, misleading, or irrelevant creative areas.
Before – After
The last pain point we addressed in our project was the simplification of the artist profile. To clarify the subpage, we separated it into two switchable sections: bio and portfolio. On the left side, there is a contact section, which is always visible. This section contains basic information about the artist and links to their external pages or other portfolios.
What have we accomplished?
In the redesign process, we achieved a much easier-to-use website. We clarified communication by adding information about what the site is about and short artist descriptions available right on the homepage. This was designed to help people quickly and easily identify what an artist does. The site has also been simplified visually. It is now cleaner and more neutral. In addition, our focus on content resulted in an easy-to-navigate presentation of what the artists specialize in and how their creations look like. The overall improvement of the website makes it more intuitive and ready to perform its core mission.
Don't hesitate to contact our team if you are interested in conducting a similar micro-audit and redesign for your project.