There are without a doubt some industry leaders in the cloud storage industry. However, there are many voids that are still looking to be filled. Empresario began as a business venture set to help one of the
largest voids, entrepreneurs. As
part of the design and development team of Empresario, we set out to streamline entrepreneurs workflow so they could have more time to focus on building the grand vision of their empire.
Cloud Storage companies are missing simple but key components that are essential to the workflow of entrepreneurs and small businesses. Entrepreneurs are tired of having to create multiple accounts
for various web applications to accomplish
one task. This, in turn, creates a huge amount of friction and delays in the launching of their business.
The solution was Empresario, a cloud storage, team and project management application. Empresario would allow entrepreneurs to have a more streamlined workflow. It would achieve this by combining collaboration and
productivity tools as
well as integrating different communication and accounting applications.
In our venture to create a revolutionary new cloud storage application, we went through a very detailed and methodical process. We wanted to set the proper foundation that would allow our users to easily create
their own empires.
Once we were able to identify that the problem was the lack of cloud storage applications tailored to entrepreneurs, we were able to commence our journey.
We wanted to better understand our audience therefore we sent out a survey using Google Forms to get a better perspective of their aspirations.
Highlights from our survey included:
would have liked to have a more informative and user friendly dashboard
Prioritized real time collaboration and sharing settings
Disliked the Security and Privacy Features of their current cloud storage
of users were looking for an all in one platform that would allow them to be able to manage multiple tasks as well as integrate multiple apps
In my competitive analysis we focused our attention on 3 key companies in the cloud storage space Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive.
Our results from this research produced the following user personas.
Brenda really likes having items stored online. It makes it easier for her to store ideas and potential video content, without the hassle of having to worry about carrying storage space with her.
Although her job requires her to
use a storage company she doesn’t quite like it because of the limited sharing options and has to use other tools to get organized. She would like to be able to collaborate with others online and in realtime. She is also looking
for an autosave feature since she constantly has new ideas to write for her blog.
Abioye uses cloud storage services for his current job all the time. He has three different account for one storage service and two accounts with other companies. He is looking to reduce the number of
accounts he needs but one
cloud storage company does not meet all his needs. He is looking to intergrate task manager for his projects. Also, he wants to easily share his files with others securely. He is very careful on what companies he uses to store
what as he is an avid promoter of privacy laws.
Bruno uses multiple cloud storage accounts. He uses mainly uses one because of the ease of sharing ideas and concepts with clients. He uses wave accounting to make invoices and he would like to include
photos of what he is invoicing
for to be more organized. He cares a lot about privacy and security as he often has some patented designs and wants to make sure they don’t fall into the wrong hands. He would also like to be able easily communicate with his
employees through slack.
We began the skeletal architecture of the new dashboard with sketches.
Then we proceeded to create wireframes from those sketches. Based on the feedback we got from our research, there was a large focus being able to read and easily access the most important features without too much distraction. The challenge we ran into was creating that clean and uncluttered dashboard with so many elements at hand.
In order to overcome this challenge, we added a lot of negative space and padding around elements. We also had large, clear, legible fonts in an organized hierarchy. The combination of both of these techniques promoted the use of visual cues to help guide users accomplish their important task.
We tested the lo-fi wireframes rigorously in Invision to make sure that the user had the best possible experience. We wanted to get an even better idea of their thought process before going into more detailed mock
ups. Once we had enough feedback
we generated more detailed prototypes of our cloud storage and project management application
One of the most important features of Empresario was the intuitive dashboard.
It was were users would spend most of their time. I wanted to emphasize creativity without losing organization. In the dashboard, users would be able to get a glance of their day’s schedule as well as the weather. Users would have AI generated content based on their work pattern for a more efficient work flow solving one of the major frustrations from our research.
We made sure to provide easy access to the search bar and more importantly effortless access to upload or create a new file. The left side menu would also contain easy access to the team and project management portion of the app. All of this in a single application.
From the lo-fi mock up and user testing we learned to create enough space to create a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing sensation. We took away some of the elements. A challenged we ran into was that we were
some elements we were unsure
if to integrate into the visual design or not. In order to solve this dilemma, we turned to gathering feedback using Usability Hub’s preference test.
We asked users if they preferred having a quote vs Not having one. Our results concluded that most would in fact prefer a quote as they felt more inspired by it. This was a cloud storage app tailored towards
entrepreneurs so it only
seemed appropriate. Although for the final design we had to modify the placement of the quote in order to create a much cleaner and more visual hierarchy.
Another test that allowed us to learn critical and valuable feedback from our users came from the create an account screen. Although there was something more aesthetically pleasing from the minimal design of
lines for information
input, most of our users preferred the more robust blank boxes. The comments we received mention that they were able to get a clearer visual of where they were supposed to input data. All of this information allowed us to get a
better understanding of what users wanted and provide a more refined prototype.
When we began the brainstorming process, we wanted to make sure that we encapsulated everything entrepreneurs are looking for from our research into our application.
We wanted to continue to inspire those who are waking up early in the morning to work on their side hustles. That is were the name Empresario came along. It is a word which is the direct translation of entrepreneur and a phonetically similar word to impresario. We wanted the app to be associated with the idea of inspiration, hard work, and dedication. Our focus was on those who are hustling every day to build their own empires.
The logo was a unique blend of many ideas that we wanted to fuse into one. We first began with the idea of one of the largest empires in human history, the Roman empire. We started with some simple sketches
trying to get ideas flowing.
Once we had a foundation for what we were looking for in our logo we began to develop more detailed renderings in Adobe Illustrator. We based our logo in an abstract shape of some of the helmets worn by the Roman gladiators. We
made this shape by taking silhouettes of skyscrapers which resemble today's modern empires.
The selection for colors was based on the feeling that we wanted to transmit to the user. We wanted the user to feel creative, innovative, and productive. However, we also wanted to keep the essence of what
our users are looking for
which is power, security, and a feeling of community.
We also wanted to promote the same message in our typography. For the Brand Typefaces we chose BlairMdITC TT as we felt it had a refined and sophisticated feel to it. Montserrat was chosen for its
as well as its clean aesthetic
composition. We selected fonts that had a strong impact and audience engagement. We wanted both typefaces to be strong enough to represent the brand.
In conclusion, there were many different avenues that this cloud storage project could have taken. We ran across multiple design aspects throughout this project that we had doubts on. We
if users would like a certain element
in our design. However based on our intensive user research and detailed user feedback, we were able to determine what users were looking for in such an application. We were able to reduce the number of folder option in our dashboard
to create a higher balance of space and clarity. We focused on emphasizing certain elements based on our wireframe testing results. The biggest lesson we learned was that aesthetics without a purpose is like an aerodynamic
arrow without a target. This was an invaluable lesson that we will continue to use in the future. Our target with this project was to promote a powerful cloud storage and project management application for entrepreneurs, without
losing a sense of collaboration and security. From the feedback we received for our application, we certainly accomplished our objective.