Foundry. Building a home for creators and makers.
Research and strategy, branding, UX, and visual design
Starting from an idea
Our client came to us with an idea: a curated site where makers could share their work, tell their stories, build their audiences, and connect with one another.
However, that was all he had. What resulted was a year-long project where I worked end-to-end on everything from naming and branding, to user research and strategy, to UX and visual design, all in service of building a new community from the ground up.
Researching the maker movement
I worked with my project partner to interview makers in Austin and across the country on their process, how they share their work, and how they collaborate with one another. From this, we defined five unique personas that helped guide Foundry’s strategy and design
In addition our user research, I also completed a comprehensive competitive analysis of the existing product space. This analysis not only helped us understand what the environment that was catering to this relatively new population of users was like, but also helped us figure out where we wanted to position the company in the larger competitive landscape.
Building the brand
As we wrapped up our user research, I got started naming the company and building the brand. When setting out to do this, I knew I wanted to create something that reflected the bold, playful, and experimental nature of the makers we talked to.
What’s in a name (and logo)
After a lot of brainstorming, I finally settled us on the name Foundry and got started creating the logo. The resulting logotype feels modern but retains a hand-built, customized character.
In addition to this, I also created a set of tiles that can be used in support of the brand. Each tile represents a different type of maker we identified through our persona work and is used flexibly throughout the system.
The Foundry brand
In addition to the name and logo elements, I also created a scalable color palette, a set of engineering-inspired patterns, and photography guidelines that our photographers were able to use to help capture our makers in a way that felt true to their day-to-day experiences.
Building our product strategy
Mapping our plan
As I got started planning how we wanted to approach the site, I relied heavily on our personas, user interviews, and suggestions from the makers themselves to help guide the strategy and feature-set for the product. I worked closely with my developer to establish the product road-map for launch and we created a detailed timeline for secondary features.
Creating the site
From our research, we knew that makers wanted to feel empowered to share their work and process and to inspire others. We focused our experience around a custom, real-time project editor, a streamlined uploading process, and easily discoverable projects pages and profiles that helped Makers find and connect with one another. Starting from high-fidelity wireframes, I worked in close collaboration with our developer to build a product and component library that was ready for launch.