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CreativeFox

Designing and building a film platform for scalability.

The mission

Company A approached us with a product concept that would enable independent film makers to connect with film festivals across the globe. The main task at hand was to scope the project, and build a user experience that could scale easily to future user feedback and desired features.

Research and Pain Points

We began with researching the competitor platforms for film makers and film festival owners. The following details our observations:

  • The websites allowed two roles– Film Creator or Festival Owner.
  • Separate accounts were required for these roles.
  • Multiple festivals or films could not be created/managed under one account– a separate account is required per item.
  • Creation/editing projects and/or festivals are a lengthy, convoluted form.
  • Visual elements were over powering.
  • Profiles of festivals/projects were generally overcrowded with information, without any clarity or emphasis on relevant parts.
  • Information heirarchy was missing.

Overwhelming visuals without a sense of heirarchy.

The Personas

Product Features

First and foremost, we imagined CreativeFox to be THE hub for all things film. Our goal was to create a platform that would not only enable festivals to connect with creatives, but also be able to manage several festivals and/or projects in one area.

The user roles should not be limited by account sign up. Every user should be able to be a festival creator, creative content provider (film maker, script writer, etc.) and festival goer, all in one place.

Dashboard (WIP)

The first big challenge was to find a way to do all of this. We started out with a simple dashboard that would serve as the "summary" view of all projects and festivals. Depending on what role the user took on, the quick stats would adjust. For example, as a festival owner, the finances, due dates, and number of submissions are relevant. However, if a festival owner is also a project creator, then they'd like to be able to see the number of acceptances/rejections along with finances.

CF Browse

The Browse is one of the biggest features of CreativeFox. It is the place for festival goers to find events, festival owners to find projects and for the creatives to find festivals. The biggest, and probably the most important aspect of CF Browse is to eventually provide a comprehensive list of talent- producers, actors, cinematographers, sound artists and pre-recorded tracks, etc. We have set it up to grow to be a Netflix like browsing area, with content available to subscription account holders.

Smart Categories and Filters

We provide film creatives and festival owners to add details that'll aid in surfacing appropriate information. For example, festivals can set up acceptance criteria per category. This lets them accept submissions that meet those criteria, effectively eliminating errant submissions or the need to sort through them later. For film creatives, while in CF Browse, the festival list can be narrowed down by using a project as a filter. With festivals entering criteria like language, durantion, genres, etc., film creatives are able to narrow down results precisely with CF Browse - it simply compares festival criteria with project details to show the best matches.

Project/Festival Management

For all personas, it's imperative to be able to watch their festivals and projects grow, and be actively informed about everything related. To enable the user to accomplish these tasks efficiently, we developed flows involving mini-dashboards to get information at a glance.

Brainstorming 5 year road map features




Building the information architechture




User Flow + IA

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Homepage
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Festival Dashboard
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Festivals List View
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Festival Profile
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Multi Step Form

Color

Primary Colors


Secondary Colors


Primary Interaction Color


Secondary Interaction Color

Typography

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This is an active page header.

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Iconography

The following is a sample of icons used for CreativeFox. Swifticon Icon Set was purchased for CreativeFox.

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icons illustration b2b
icons illustration b2b
icons illustration b2b

Development

For the front end, we used Materialize.css for its clean and simple functionality. The framework comes with several ready-to-use elements and color sheet which makes developing color pallettes much simpler.

  • Developing a fully functional, responsive prototype using Adobe XD/ Sketch.
  • Defining iconography.
  • Using Materialize.css to develop the front end functionality.
  • Execute website to closest likeness of approved designs.
  • Quality control on various screen sizes and browsers

Trello was our primary method of keeping track of development and bug ticket assignment/resolution in the beginning. As funds became available, we started using JIRA couple of months in to development.

Final Takeaways

CreativeFox MVP can be found here. Development of future features has been put on hold due to funding issues.

Communicating Design to Developers

One of the key learning points of this project was communication with backend developers. The collaboration between the designers and developers is imperative for the successful execution of data collection, processing and handling, and finally displaying it to the user in a meaningful way.

Scoping Projects

While open ended projects are fun and challenging, with given time and budget restrictions, it is extremely important to try to scope the project's caliber in as much detail as possible. We chose to scope out the project with our client, make a feature list, and break them in to phases. As and when more features were discovered/though of, we adjusted our future rounds of feature development to include these and stuck by the current/agreed on feature list.

User Feedback vs. Idea Man's feedback

CreativeFox brought the interesting challenge of not having any user data. Goals were set based on the client's experience, which is valid and true since they are heavily involved with hosting festivals and film creation. But it holds true that a "sample" is never a completely accurate picture of the problems. We have integrated Google Analytics to track user behaviors and clicks and aim to use this gathered data to further improve the product.