A portfolio website for Alex Ann Allen, a multi-disciplinary artist based in South Bend, Indiana painting vibrant murals and original canvas pieces that shed light on a growing city’s progress.
Alex Ann Allen is a multi-disciplinary artist based in South Bend, Indiana. She paints vibrant, abstract murals and original canvas pieces that shed light on a growing city’s progress. Her select client list includes Jiffy Lube, St. Mary's College, and Chasten Buttigiegg.
September 2021 – January 2022
I was the sole designer and developer on this project.
Alex organically grew a large following on social media where she frequently receives inquiries about mural and portrait commissions, but for people who do not have social media, or do not use it as frequently, it was more difficult to find and support her work.
Competitive audit, user flows, wireframing, low-fidelity designs, high-fidelity designs, Squarespace development
A simple and intuitive website that makes it easy for users to view Alex's amazing latest work and commission new work.
Miro, Figma, Squarespace, Zapier, Google forms
Alex provided two artist websites for visual and functional design reference, her new logo, copy, and photography. I also referenced her Instagram and Facebook accounts to get a feel for how she was already sharing her work.
The content for the site is categorized by murals and portraits and features standard "About" and "Contact" pages. Although murals are a medium and portraits refer more to subject matter, these are the words Alex and her followers use most often to reference her work. We decided to mirror that familiar language.
The grids featuring Alex's work resemble galleries, allowing for the viewer to take in the incredible color and movement of the work. Many of Alex's murals and pieces to not have official titles, and most of Alex's followers know her work by its appearance, so project titles were excluded from the collection pages.
The form on the contact page was initially for all inquiries, but when Alex began sharing her work on TikTok, she recieved an overwhelming amount of inquiries about portrait commissions and needed a way to quickly
The final site design has a form specifically for portrait commissions so that users can make an initial inquiry and receive an immediate response without Alex having to manually tend to the form.
Alex then follows up with the people who are still interested in commissioning a portrait via email, when she is available, to confirm pricing and discuss further details.
Since the site went live in January 2022, Alex has received new project inquiries through the contact form on the site and additional portrait commission inquiries that are more manageable since adding the automatic response and waitlist. The new site received praise from both Alex and her followers in the Instagram post Alex shared about the launch.
If I had the opportunity to revisit this project, I would conduct usability tests to understand what works well for users on the site and how the experience could be improved.
Additional site features and functionality I would like to explore are e-commerce and an interactive map of Alex's murals around South Bend. It would be interesting to understand how people might want to purchase prints of her work on the site and use an interactive map to find her work in-person.
In retrospect, it would have been helpful to examine the different kinds of inquiries Alex receives more closely upfront. This would have allowed more time and planning for the contact page and respective forms that help streamline the high volume of inquiries Alex receives.
Working with Alex on this project was fun and, in many ways, eye-opening. It was a great opportunity to better understand how artists think about their work as it relates to the business side of what they do, and how that translates to a the use of a website. I was inspired by the energy and enthusiasm Alex brings to each project, and her ability to transform our experience of a place.