HOW TO SURPRISE A 6,000 GROUP OF CREATIVE PEOPLE
TRImarchi is the most recognized design event in Latin America which takes place every year in Mar del Plata, Argentina. More than 6,000 designers around the world are invited to experience 3 days of conferences, workshops, exhibitions, parties and creative exchange with emerging artists and creators. The organizers knew they wanted an app to interact with their audience but weren’t sure of what they wanted. They gave us total freedom to develop an app that connected with their users in a creative way.
Discovery and Research
THEY FELT THAT TECHNOLOGY HAD INVADED DESIGN
More than 40 interviews were carried out to understand users’ needs and their relationship with TRImarchi, as well as a deep dive in our target.
We carried out a Design Thinking Workshop involving our development team and TRImarchi’s target audience. We connected with the needs and ambitions, we experimented and tested ideas and concluded that our solution should focus on three aspects: functional, networking and playful.
Within the qualities that represented the TRImarchi audience, we discovered that for them, art and design were strongly connected; they were in a constant search to generate emotions and created by communicating. They also felt that technology had invaded design and they valued design essentials beyond technology: what really mattered to them was the message itself over technology.
Ideate, Prototype and Test
A FANZINE EDITOR WAS THE UNION OF BOTH WORLDS
By working closely to the client during the research process, we agreed on reinventing the Fanzine format, by adapting it to the mobile world with the insights we had gathered. A Fanzine is a publication made by and for fans about alternative cultural themes, it’s the most immediate way of edition and has always been used as a way to denounce causes that couldn’t be shown in traditional media. It’s a very powerful tool but with minimum reach because of its high distribution costs. With TRImarchi Ediciones, a new version of the Fanzine was born.
When it came to creating a prototype, we came up with an editor and a set of tools for users to play and express themselves. With 8 white pages as their canvas and the opportunity to experiment with colors, geometric forms, opacity, text and images, users can easily design their own Fanzines.
On a second stage, we added more functionalities like the possibility to print the Fanzines just by having an A4 sheet of paper and a printer. The TRImarchi experience has always been social, so we thought it was essential to connect users with each other to share fanzines and network with both recognized and emerging artists. We did so by implementing familiar social network patterns to reduce learning barriers.
For the visual design we had a clear vision to begin with: we focused on highlighting the Fanzines the users created. The aim was for the app to work as a blank canvas for the TRImarchi audience to fill them with their own ideas and personality.
With a complexity reduction as the main objective, we chose to implement a monochromatic interphase in black and white, with defined accents by a selection of colors in line with the illustrations Seba Acampante provided for the app. These illustrations would welcome the user as they began exploring the app, but would disappear once they started generating their own content and giving it their personal touch.
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GOOGLE FIREBASE WAS A HIT
Ediciones was a very complex app technology wise. To make sure it worked correctly, we used Google’s latest acquisition, Firebase. It allowed us to make the product work in real time, saving drafts, updating status and feeds, and notifying users of important events.
We used queues to improve performance that allowed us to manage several requests from hundreds of users creating Fanzines and implemented Elastic Search to reduce the time search between users and Fanzines. For users to be able to print their Fanzines, we developed a print service that processed the request on our backend and notified the users with a push notification when the file was ready to be downloaded.
To prevent flow disruption, we applied Firebase’s Dynamic Links. This technology creates a cross platform link to adapt itself when a new user hasn’t downloaded the app yet clicks on a friend’s shared Fanzine and is redirected to the App Store or Google Play to download it and see their friend’s Fanzine.
SOME FEATURES WEREN’T AS READY AS WE THOUGHT
While testing the prototype with target users, we realized that some functionalities weren’t as intuitive as we thought. That gave us the chance to group the team and create the experience needed by our users to make this app perform as expected. Constant user feedback provided us the insights to improve the product before the big launch.
PROMOTION WAS ACHIEVED BY COMBINING FORCES WITH OUR CLIENT
Along with the TRImarchi organization, we launched the product in both the Apple Store and Play Store, combining our efforts to promote user acquisition with growth hacking techniques and paid advertising.
To prevent flow disruption and encourage downloads, we implemented Firebase dynamic links so that users were retargeted to the stores when clicking at certain Fanzine links.
To promote the app, we created a landing page where we redirected all efforts to promote app installs, including a web viewer. During the event, Fanzines created by users were displayed in the 30m/99ft long big screen.
ARGENTINA GOOGLE´S PLAY
Measure, Polish & Evolve
TOP 10 IN THE FIRST WEEK AND GREAT PRODUCT AWARENESS
User feedback was a hit and in its first week, TRImarchi Ediciones reached Google’s Play top 10 ranking in Argentina. It was also featured in several online publications, including Graffica Info and offline press such as Galera - Intelectual y Frívola.
Thanks to the repercussion TRImarchi Ediciones has had, we were able to measure user behavior. We are still working on improving the product based on user feedback and other learnings
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
Product Development, UX/UI, Data Analytics, Brand & Communication, iOS & Android Development