Local art e-commerce website

In early 2015 I was asked to join the Tech Talent South "Grad Class", a small group of alumni that would take an idea to MVP. We would be working with from some local heavyweights in the tech scene, namely Michael Tavani (ScoutMob) and TJ Muehleman (StandardCode). 

Problem: Local artists have issues connecting with their local buyers' markets, coordinating with other artists, and networking within their neighborhood.

Idea: Create a way for artists to sell their work, connect with other artists, and elevate their profession.

The Grad Class in its best form!

The Grad Class in its best form!

My team consisted of:

  • Garey S : Full Stack Ruby/Rails Developer
  • Sam S: Back End Rails Developer
  • Me : UX, Front End Developer, Project Mgr


Our "next big thing" was an e-commerce site aimed at connecting local artists with buyers in their neighborhood.  Think Etsy meets NextDoor.  The first step we tackled was seeking information on similar services.  I chartered that task using twitter, nextdoor, and facebook to garner feedback from artists and consumers.  From there, I selected a few people to sit down a talk face to face (or screen to screen in one case).  My objective was to:

  • Learn how they used local online and physical marketplaces
  • Which online marketplaces were preferred and why
  • What were their biggest frustrations with these marketplaces (i.e. Etsy and ScoutMob Local)

"The artist community needs a way to organize shows and open houses"


"The artists I know have trouble finding grants...could this help with that?"


Read the interview notes with Jerry and Sammie


Our value proposition was that the user would become an integral part of their art community.  Having that end goal in mind, we culled together the user data we had and started to layout our content.  Several sketches poured into the creation of our site map , which I documented in Omnigraffle.

Several static wireframes were made in Axure to demonstrate function, but not interactivity (yet!).


As the project closed, we still needed to create an MVP.  Sam and I quickly scaffolded out the project in Ruby on Rails.  Once that was complete, I took the reigns to organize the HTML content and add some styling with Twitter Bootstrap.  MVP done!