The Housekeepers: An Archival Crowdsourcing Platform aiming to record, preserve and celebrate Irish female musicians from the early to mid-20th Century.
User Research, Prototyping, Branding, UI Design, Front-end Development
(website coming soon)
One day myself and a good friend Doireann Glackin asked ourselves: where were all the women in Irish Traditional Music during the last century? Then began a two-year road trip as we attempted to find the answers.
Our enquiries yielded the goods. We uncovered many outstanding women musicians throughout the country. We spoke with their family members and friends as well as figures in the Irish music community and learned that they were well regarded amongst their contemporaries.
However, our conversations revealed that as a result of family commitements and the social norms of the day, their music-making was largely confined to the home. Only a small number had the opportunity to record commercially, and this goes some way towards explaining why many never got the recognition they deserved.
The project culminated in the recording of our debut duet album with repertoire drawn from 5 selected women. During our conversations many other women were mentioned, and we know that there are many more still to be acknowledged. This platform aims to do that. Co-produced by the community, it aims to document, preserve and celebrate the lives and music of women musicians for generations to come.
Identifying user groups and a problem statement provided focus and giudance towards an appropriate design solution.
Identifying The User
1. Irish Traditional Musicians over the age of 18.
2. Family/friends of women musicians of the early to
mid-20th Century. Many of whom are likely to be over
the age of 50).
Identifying The Problem
“How might we design an online archive that is an inclusive experience for a range of ages and technical abilities?”
Defining Brand Attributes & Values
In a 30 minute session, brand attributes and core values were defined. This exerceise allowed me to quickly discover and refine the look, feel and tone of the archive and begin to consider its functionality. During the course of the project I returned to these definitions to ensure I was designing consistently.
(An image from a brainstorming session exploring brand attributes and values.)
Personas were developed in order to emphatise with different users, prioritise features and inform the UI Design.
Features were prioritised according to identified user needs. They were tested first and as early as pssible, minimising project waste.
Search & Advanced Search, Discover Page Musician’s Profile Page, Upload Widget
I quickly sketched out paper prototypes and experimented with various forms. I decided to design for mobile first and then scale up to different devices.
Having settled upon one option, I translated the design into Figma and carried out user testing with 3 participants.
Wireframe in Figma
User testing confirmed:
- There was too many entry points on the home screen
which was confusing and overwhelming
- The search could be simplified
- Spacing was too close together in some instances
(especially the alphabet)
- Users enjoyed swiping on the discover page
I acquired important insights through early user testing that informed the high fidelity prototype.
High Fidelity prototype in Figma.
Having determined the full functionality of the website, I then focused on developing the UI and Interaction design. Once tested and satisfied I scaled to fit various devices.
High Fidelity prototypes in Figma.