An accessible, high-quality and intimate marketplace for artists and art lovers
Tangere is an intimate eCommerce marketplace where up-and-coming artists can sell their work and connect with customers. It is a space for self-expression and intimate buying experiences, with opportunities for artists to create unique digital shops, communicate with buyers, and share about themselves and their process. Tangere is high-quality and accessible, while avoiding the over-saturated, impersonal or exclusive nature of other arts marketplaces.
Tangere is a new concept that I owned from start to finish. Through market research, competitive analysis, and primary user research, I identified a gap in the arts market industry, where up-and-coming artists can connect with arts enthusiasts who don't want to break the bank. Higher-end art markets are often exclusive and very expensive, while sites like Etsy that offer cheaper prices are oversaturated, impersonal, and less trustworthy. Based on this research, I created a market space where artists can sell their work, and express themselves and their process. Tangere is an intimate exchange between buyers and sellers that values transparency, trust, and shared passion.
Before defining the site architecture and taxonomy, I conducted an open card sorting study to uncover how users group and identify art. I asked participants to group art pieces into categories of their choice and to title each category. Participants grouped the art by style, medium and subject depending on the piece, and rarely adhered to a broader pattern with the categories. For example, participants didn’t sort each piece into groups defined by art style– instead they grouped several paintings by style (like Cubism or Impressionism), grouped three-dimensional art by medium, and grouped portraiture pieces by subject. These findings indicated that users would benefit from a flexible navigation system, with the ability to explore by style, medium, or subject.
The sitemap provides a birds-eye view of Tangere's navigation and taxonomy, revealing the parent categories and subcategories to filter art works from the navigation. I also use the site map to lightly demonstrate site functionality, modularity, and userflows.
I created a user flow mapping the journey of six mini-personas with different goals, different relationships with Tangere, and different entry points to the site. For example, Persona A is a new user who landed on a product page after clicking on an Instagram ad. She is interested in buying the piece and is curious about Tangere. Persona C is a longtime user and art-lover who enjoys scrolling through the site in their free time. This ensures that the site supports various wayfinding behaviors and user goals, whether it be to locate a specific piece of work, browse with the intent to purchase, or to just explore and learn about new artists.
The user flow and site map served as the blueprints for low fidelity wireframes. I used these wireframes to further refine my designs through prototyping and usability testing. I included notes on interaction design and functionality.
I was inspired by art frames and the creative act of 'thinking outside the box' when developing iterations for the Tangere logo. I wanted a logo that was refined, elegant, and dynamic– a design that was simple enough to layer over art works without interrupting the piece, and bold enough to make a statement when appropriate.
Tangere’s branding serves as scaffolding for the art it hosts. The color palette is predominantly black and white, with orange lightly applied for UI and accents. The primary typeface is a sans-serif font that can be loud and provocative, or sophisticated and simple. A decorative serif font is used sparingly to bring an elegant balance to the brand system.
Tangere's comprehensive UI kit defined UI states for each component and color variation. The components were pulled from the wireframes and include additional components for future needs.
Tangere's interface encourages users to discover new artists and to wander the platform. The homepage hero highlights specific artists, collections, or articles that are exchanged weekly. The following section features six randomly selected pieces that are exchanged daily. The goal is to spotlight each artist on Tangere and give them the chance to get discovered, no matter how large their following. Users are then prompted to explore through the three main categories, style, medium, and subject. The rest of the homepage features articles from the blog discussing different artists, art history, or events.
From the navigation menu, users can browse all artworks or sales, explore by artists, read articles from the Highlights blog, or read about Tangere. They can select style, medium, or subject to filter art works by the corresponding subcategories, or they may search for works or artists by keyword. From the product grid, users can continue to filter by price, style, medium, subject, or size
From the filter menu, users also have the option of adjusting the grid size. They can browse art in one full-screen column, two columns, or by three columns. This serves different exploration preferences, providing the option for a broader, birdseye view or more focus. The functionality also reflects a similar user experience as some social media platforms, which further encourages a wandering, discovering wayfinding behavior.
Artist shop pages are personal and interactive. Artists customize their page with their own header images and layouts. They can upload a bio along with photos of themselves or their studio, videos of their process, and any other details that tell their story. This creates a more intimate market space where buyers feel more connected to artists. Artists' abilities to authentically share about their lives and spaces is increasingly important in a time where social media success often drives sales. Tangere seeks to create a space for that without turning artists into influencers.