Portfolio: Adelance – Startup
Design an app that will back the brick-and-mortar social dancing events.
This is not a fitness class, this is not a dancing school, this is a social dancing event. This is all about meeting new people and having a good time. Like a first date with someone – just without all the stress around first dates.
At the very early stage of this startup, everything was an unknown. Where the events will be held, for whom exactly, how will the exact formula look like?
Given was: this is about meeting new people, this is about dating without a date, this is about sensational tango.
1. Uncovering the unknown – workshops, research, interviews
The project started as a dream. The founder is a great tango enthusiast who observed that people no longer go out to simply enjoy other people’s company. Social meetings are all upside down: first you find someone on-line, talk for a while and then meet just to find out “that is not it!”. What if we reverse that again? What if we meet first (but without the first date stress), decide if we liked each other (but without hurting anyone’s feelings) and only if we have a match exchange contact details (but without speed-dating awkwardness)?
As you can see, the challenge of finding real-life and in-app solutions was real. I sat down with the founder and development team (of course, already hired and somewhat working on this startup) and had a series of workshops, discussions and homework resulting in a coherent vision backed by market and competition research.
2. Shaping processes – user stories, journey maps, personas
The founder took on himself the role of on-site researcher. He interviewed potential clients, tango teachers and people who already organize other social events. I held remote interviews with younger crowd and other dances teachers.
As a result, we crafted user stories, personas and the role of the app in the brick-and-mortar business.
Next step was to establish the in-app user journey:
It started with paper
Low-fidelity prototyping – in Axure
High-fidelity prototypes – in Figma
Figma made it much easier to cooperate. We crafted high-fidelity prototypes working in a team of UX designer (me), UI designer and UX writer.
I built a complete styleguide for the project. Cooperation in a multi-role team and future project pivots became much easier!
4. Developing and PIVOTING
In this project, designing and developing were never separate processes. Live events, new feedback from clients, design changes and development always happened simultaneously.
This was a fantastic mixture of flowing feedback, business experiments and project ideas changing not on sprint, but on daily basis! One of the challenges was also the fact that the design-development team is remote and English speaking, and the clients and the app are fully Spanish. But there is no challenge we couldn’t tackle. Everything was changing very dynamically – even the dance style and business name.
In a flow of development and pivoting, we even had an opportunity to try the service out ourselves, gaining first-hand experience.
The idea started as a series of social events – like first dates – accompanied by weekly tango classes – like a dancing school. It evolved into all-in-one: Come, learn smooth moves (of salsa and bachata), socialize and party through the rest of the evening.
Sounds similar, but from the information architecture and user flows point of view these are entirely different projects.
Working app and website
Today the website, the app and the business are fully functional. The studio is in Madrid and the startup is ready for further pivots dictated by clients’ demands.