hixle

Hixle Case Study

PRODUCT DESIGNER

Dribbble

Overview

I’ve been thinking about different ways that could make my life easier as a designer. There are many tools out there that helps my design process but sometimes I have to scratch my own itch! I’m working on a side project to help designers like myself be more productive by building a new community where resources are easier to find, manage and share.

Skills

UI Design

UX Design

Branding

Marketing

Coding

Introduction

The Problem

There are a few issues that I frequently encounter when I’m working on design projects:

  1. I want to be able to cross reference designs with each other e.g. recommending similar projects for inspiration or search for projects based on multiple resources or tools
  2. It’s hard keeping up with trends so I want to see the latest font pairings, colour palettes, tools for prototyping used by other designers like yourself
  3. Learning – Whenever I see a project I like, I want to know how it was built so that I can dissect it by finding out which font or tool was used
Constraints

Designing an open-ended product where you are the client can be just as challenging as working with strict guidelines. I set constraints for myself to prevent feature creep, minimise perfectionism, and progress at a faster pace. Typically I would give myself 2 week sprints where I would exclusively focus on different parts of the project such as branding, UI design, UX design, icon design and marketing.

hixle_mark
hixle_icons

My Little Big Project

During the course of a few weeks, I let the idea manifest itself so that I could determine whether the solution was actually worth pursuing. Before I reached for my moleskin, I sent a few emails to a couple of fellow designers to see if there was any demand or whether they could resonate with the issues that I faced. It turned out that my assumptions were true!

I went ahead and followed up with a few more questions to try and refine the idea and gauge more interest. I used the lean methodology to ensure that I wasn’t wasting my time and building something that nobody wants by talking with potential users. Eventually I began seeing a pattern and deconstructed the feedback to mould into features shown below:

  1. Recommend projects and the resources used
  2. Recommend colour palettes for different project types
  3. Compare assets, discuss and recommend your favourite
  4. Add the resources used to a project
  5. Describe and deconstruct user flows
  6. Add tags on images to search like a designer (via emotions etc)
  7. Create relevant collections based on resources
  8. Add tools used to create a project

I then proceeded to draw a couple of rough sketches for the MVP. My intention was to validate the idea quickly and show something, even if it’s rough, to designers who I assumed would find it useful.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, I validated the idea and had a clear path to begin designing the high fidelity mockups based on the iterated wireframes. This meant quickly creating a brand and style guide.

I wanted the design to be simple, flat, modern yet flexible. Something that would work well with either a light or dark interface or a combination of both. The colour palette I chose was somewhat experimental yet retro and playful. I wanted the combination of electric and pastel colours to make the brand adaptable to the ever changing industry.

The branding contained a mark in the form of an exotic bird. I wanted the Hixle symbol to represent a part of me as this project came into existence based on my experiences as a designer. So even though I have my own story to tell, I wanted the brand to have it’s own story too. The gradient colours seen within the mark represent an animal that can adapt it’s appearance to any environment. Later on I may decide to include a logo type to compliment the mark.

Real_Pixels

Deliverables

Landing Page

Logo & Mark

Web Application Mockups

Reflection

The project is currently under development and I’ll soon be launching the MVP sometime in the new year. I wanted to give back what I have learnt throughout my years as a freelance designer. This project has given me an glimpse into how to approach the lean method and saving time, money and resources by talking to real people. I don’t know where this journey will lead to, it’s uncertain. But what I do know is that designers should have all the tools they need to create the best experiences.