- CASE STUDY -
Skavnger is an iPhone and Android app which provides a marketplace for people to buy and sell rare and collectable second-hand goods.
Client: Skavnger (Canada/USA).
Designed remotely from Vietnam/Australia, 2017-18.
About the project
Whilst there are a plethora of existing marketplaces for second-hand goods (with the largest being eBay) Skavnger aims to do things a little differently. It sets itself apart with it’s unique feature whereby ‘Skouts’ can post items for sale on behalf of their friends and family. When an item sells - the Skout gets a cut, and the seller also gets paid.
Skavnger is aimed at buyers and sellers of rare and collectable items (rather than every day merchandise). The app will be targeted primarily at women and mothers in the United States, with millennials being a secondary target market (predominantly the Skouts.)
The app and the website are both currently under development.
The initial scope of work was limited to the design of wireframes for the Android app. The client had existing branding and a rough working prototype of the app - neither of which they were satisfied with. They required a comprehensive analysis of the existing UX of the product from the ground up.
The UX document I designed exceeded all their expectations - I found simpler, easier solutions for some of the key moments in the user experience. They then engaged me to design the branding, Android and iPhone app, website and other marketing materials. I was the sole designer working on the project, collaborating closely with the two founders every step of the way. This was all achieved whilst working remotely from Vietnam, and managing the time difference on the east coast of North America.
A unique challenge this project presented was how to design a workable system for Skavnger’s ‘Skout’ feature - as this was the key differentiator between the app and others of its like. Unlike traditional second-hand market places, Skavnger allows Skouts to help their friends and relatives sell their unwanted possessions.
My priority as a designer was to empower Skouts to list items for sale, nominate whether it was their product or someone else’s, register secondary sellers within the app, and update necessary contact and payment details.
Secondary challenges that were posed by the client included the ability for Skouts to use the app offline, add products for sale (including the upload of images and media), and the ability to sync products at a later time when access to an internet connection is available.
Uploading an item for sale: Taking photos, choosing a cover image, and setting the seller's details, description and price.
Animation showing the homepage of the website as the user scrolls down the screen.
The app uses AI to show related products to users whilst they're browsing.
Preliminary sketches of the Skavnger app.
The initial client discussions served to help me understand the background of the project and the goals they held for the future. These in-depth discussions enabled me to conduct extensive research into competitors such as eBay, Letgo and Gumtree. I downloaded, tested and experimented with apps on my phone to see how different companies solved similar problems.
Any design project should start with pencil sketches, and this one was no different. Throughout each stage of the project I drew dozens of low-fi sketches to clarify my thinking.
The client was provided with multiple options in the wireframes for how the app’s core navigation would function. Once the project progressed to high-res design work, each design concept was teased out and explored before the client happily settled on the final user experience.
Above: Editing a seller's details.
This project was extremely enjoyable and rewarding for both myself and the client. They stressed how much they appreciated my hard work, and the logical, user-centred design thinking I bought to the table. They particularly liked the way the Skout / seller functionality had been thought out - and made as quick, intuitive and easy as possible.
It was an excellent example of how an initial detailed UX examination helps identify problems early on - before the designer delves into high-fidelity prototypes. Whilst the app and website are both still in development, early user trials have been overwhelmingly positive.
The finished brand identity for Skavnger utilises bright, vibrant colours and gradients, informal, rounded typography, and short, punchy copy to create a friendly and inviting brand persona. The blue and purple colour scheme reflects the brand’s skew towards a female demographic - without excluding male users. As you can see from the breadth of work displayed here, the visual identity carries well across the apps, website, marketing material and stationery.
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