Check out the site here!

Project Intro

Canvas is an online community for creatives based in Tokyo. The site allows creatives to post work, start discussions, and directly contact other creatives for collaboration.
Last fall, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to intern at Tacchi Studios in Tokyo, Japan. I worked on not only Canvas, the design studio's in-house site, but on diverse client work as well. I attended design workshops and talks and got to know Tokyo's creative community.

The Problem

Although Canvas is a relatively young site, it's user base is growing rapidly and has grown four times its size just this past half year. Early on, we were actively trying to reach out to users to see what they liked or disliked about the site and what they wanted from an online community like this.

User Interviews

As UX Design Intern, I carried out user interviews for current high engagement users and potential business users of Canvas along with our product manager. Focus points for each group varied greatly for different aspects of the site.

Wireframes and Mockups

User interviews revealed that many wanted a more filtered news feed as content on the site increased. We then began brainstorming design changes to fit user needs as well as to bring forward features that we thought could use more visibility, such as the discussion board and events.
Below are mockups of different layouts I played around with, considering multiple sections and columns. I struggled with balancing the amount of information I wanted to show and maintaining a clean, uncluttered look. I deliberated over hiding content in "See More" buttons, but we ultimately decided that users were more inclined to browse through work if the columns were infinitely scrollable.

Currently, information about local creative events are posted on the discussion board with a simple "Event" tag. As many users expressed wanting more information about events they would potentially be interested in, we brainstormed a separate page for events and considered adding a "Going" and "Interested" features for users to gauge others' interest in the event.
Check out the early version!

Spotlight Interviews

As a part of publicity for Canvas, my fellow intern and I started "Spotlight Interviews" in which we picked creatives on Canvas to ask them questions about their craft and creative process. Through this, we were able to highlight the work of creatives we thought were of note and produce novel content for other Canvas users to read.
Check out our first interview here.

Thoughts for the Future

During this internship, I learned fundamental UX skills and how to conduct effective user interviews.
Through working on Canvas, I had the opportunity to explore Tokyo's creative community and get to know its vibrant members. I learned the value of sitting down with the creatives and really getting to know their craft and why they do it. Working on Canvas taught me what it really meant to empathize with the user; to not just know their story, but to live it.