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Get Inked. 

All your tattoo needs, in one convenient place. 

INKQ is a one-stop shop tattoo app. Helping its users research and book their next tattoo in an easy and convenient way.

UX/UI Design

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Project Overview


Lead UX designer, researcher, ideation, testing, prototyping, brand development

Project type:

Capstone case study - BrainStation UX design course


10 weeks

For 10 out of the 12 week BrainStation UX design course we were challenged with completing a capstone case study. The goal of this case study was to be able to propose, understand and develop a digital project that could impact the lives of others in a meaningful way. This project explored the UX design process end to end (although not always linear), starting with research and ending with developing a mobile application and brand. 


Figma, Invision, Adobe Illustrator 

Image by Kristian Angelo

My Muse

"the people who decide to get a tattoo mostly have an attitude of living in the moment. They don't think about the future, or death or problems related to tattoos that they might face in some years. they don't care about what will happen to them in the future. They want to live happily in the present". 

My capstone project developed over a complaint I had constantly heard from friends and peers . It was something that had been overlooked but seemed like a great solution was out there waiting to be found. 

I took this opportunity not only with my friends in mind but with the community as well. I noticed that as I entered my twenties myself and those around me seemed to be getting and wanting more and more tattoos. They’re fun, creative and bring a sense of confidence. I noticed, however, the process of booking a tattoo has always been stressful and it led me and several people I know to put off getting that tattoo we really want or just hoping a walk-in session works out. This problem seemed like a great space for design intervention and an opportunity for me to offer help to the community around me. 

The Design Approach

With all things UX, I wanted to take a human-centred design approach. Focussing on the five key phases of the methodology I was able to create an effective and impactful solution that could not only help the tattoo community but anyone looking to get a tattoo that just doesn't know where to start.


  • Problem Space 

  • Secondary Research 

  • Primary Research



  • Persona 

  • Experience Map



  • User Stories 

  • Task Flow



  • Concept Sketching 

  • Wireframes 

  • Mid Fidelity Prototype



  • User Testing 

  • Incorporating Feedback



  • Brand Identity

  • High Fidelity Prototype 



What is the problem?

People have difficulty when looking to get a tattoo as researching artists, styles and parlours is not a streamlined process. When looking to get a tattoo 49% of people consider the reputation of an artist or studio as the most important factor. This experience can be quite overwhelming and hinder prospective consumer's efforts to meet their price, scheduling and stylistic needs. 

Secondary Research

Diving Into the Problem Space

While conducting qualitative research, I noticed that there were several steps one has to take before even reaching out to a studio or artist. These steps can be time-consuming and hinder those from even starting the process altogether. Although there are many more, these seemed to be the six key things that people have to consider before booking a tattoo appointment. 


Experience of the Artist

It's always good to check out an artist's track record before you book with them. View their portfolio, shop and price estimates.


Quality of the Studio

Watch artists set up so you can verify they are using clean tools and the proper health and safety procedures.


Artistic style of the artist

Watch artists set up so you can verify they are using clean tools and the proper health and safety procedures.


Attitude of the artist

Try to have a consultation first so you can get a feel for the artist since it's quite possible you may be spending hours together.


Experience of the Artist

Popular artists may have long waitlists, always ask first and check multiple places in your area.



Tattoos aren't something you want to cheap out on, that being said always get a price estimate beforehand to see if it's within your means.

These steps can be intimidating especially with the growing number of studios and parlours. In the USA alone there are more than 20,000 tattoo parlours and that number grows by one everyday.


Of Americans without tattoos say it's because they cannot decide on a theme or body part.


Need a tattoo with personal meaning.

All things considered, this process is lengthy. With this research, I was able to understand where the problem was stemming from and frame a design challenge that would ultimately lead me to a solution that could be extended to many.

The Design Challenge

What I believe to be true

I believe that adults seeking tattoos would benefit from a simple and easy way to research and plan tattoos as the current process can be time-consuming and difficult. 

I will know this to be true when at least 3 out of 5 interviewees confirm that they find the initial planning process to be difficult and hinders them from pursuing tattoos.  

Preliminary How Might We

How Might We help connect people seeking tattoos with tattoo artists in order to simplify the research/planning process for them?

Primary Research

Quantitative Data 

In order to get to the root of the problem, I knew I needed to speak with real people and gain insight into firsthand accounts. I wanted to get a feel for the possible problem space, so using the data I collected from my initial research, I created a short online survey. I conducted this research before doing 1:1 interviews, allowing me to use this data to help frame my interview questions. 

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Responded that finding an artist was the most difficult.



Responded that booking an artist was the most difficult.

Responded that choosing a style/theme was the most difficult.

Qualitative Data 

Using my insights and stats from my quantitative data, I conducted five 1:1 interviews with people familiar with the problem space aged 20-35 all had at least one tattoo. Hearing their stories and experiences allowed me to empathize and better understand the issues surrounding the problem space. 

Image by Dmitry Pankin
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AGE: 26 

# of Tattoos: 1

PAIN POINT: Finding, communicating and booking an artist

Image by Megan Bagshaw

AGE: 23 

# of Tattoos: 12

PAIN POINT: Contacting Tattoo Artists in advance

Image by Mad Rabbit Tattoo

AGE: 24

# of Tattoos: 11

PAIN POINT: Choosing a style and the price

Image by Brock DuPont

AGE: 33

# of Tattoos: Too many to count

PAIN POINT: No streamlined way to discover artists

Image by Seyi Ariyo
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AGE: 30

# of Tattoos: 20 - 30

PAIN POINT: Relying on Instagram to research artists isn't ideal

Themes and Insights

After organizing the data I received in these interviews into pain points, motivations and behaviours, I used my affinity map to locate these 6 main themes and insights. 

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Finding and Booking an Artist

Since there is an overwhelming amount of choice, people found it difficult to decide on an artist and then had trouble with response times after reaching out.



Communication with the artist was important to all interviewees as they like to build trust before the appointment.

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Choosing a Style

All interviewees factored in the style of their tattoos but the process of finding an artist that specializes in their desired style was very difficult and time consuming.


Social Media Platforms

All interviewees use Instagram as their main form of inspiration & communication with artists but expressed wanting to get away from the toxicity of Instagram. It is also unideal to go back and forth between DMs and email.



Interviewees found tattoos are a form of self-expression that gives them confidence and makes them who they are. All of them expressed that after receiving the first one they became addicted and continued to get several more.



Price is always factored in when getting a tattoo however getting an accurate estimate was a challenge. Artists charge different prices for the same tattoo as it's based on experience and skill.

Focussed Insight

Finding and Booking an Artist

This served as my main focus as it directly involves communication and style/theme as well. Interviewees were willing to go through the long research process of googling studios in their cities and looking at artists' work on Instagram however they all felt a more streamlined process would be of use. 

Final How Might We

How Might We improve communication between those seeking tattoos and the artists in order to male the research/planning process more streamlined? 


Persona & Journey Map

The Moment of Opportunity

After synthesizing my interview notes and fine-tuning my How Might We question, I knew it was time I could start focusing on my user's wants and needs. I started to think about my target audience, what kind of people they are and what they would be looking for in this digital solution. Keeping empathy in the forefront and honing in on the frustrations and behaviours that I learnt during my interviews, I was able to create Jesse, a single persona that represents many. 

Meet Jesse Alvarez, He is an animator based in Vancouver, Canada. Jesse has always been creative at heart and he loves to express himself/ remember moments in his life through tattoos. Jesse wants to find a new artist that he can form a personal relationship with as his former artist is moving away. With the now saturated market, Jesse is having a hard time navigating it and finding someone that best fits his needs. 


Jesse's Journey 

Now with Jesse at the forefront, I started to think about the current online/in-person journey he has to endure to find a new artist. By making this journey map I was able to see the current challenges Jesse is facing and find the right moment for design intervention. 

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With the problem spaced fully outlined, and the needs and wants of Jesse in sight, I began the ideation stage. By creating user stories from Jesse's frustrations, wants and needs, I am able to see the features most necessary for a digital solution and create a potential task flow that shows how Jesse could use this solution. 


User Stories & Epics 

Aligning Design with User Behaviour 

User Stories follow a simple format of "as a ___ I want to ___ so that I can ___". I used this meothied to author 20+ user stories that would help me understand Jesse and his desired goal to find a new tattoo artist. Under different Epics (themes) I was able to think about different functions i'd like my digital solution to have that would benefit Jesse and likeminded users. 

I found that majority of the user stories were concentrated on Researching, Booking and communicating with an artist. All three of these are important components of the process that relate back to the pain points I had discovered earlier when I conducted user interviews. 

Task flow 

Aligning Design with User Interactions 

After selecting my chosen epics of researching, communicating and booking with an artist, i created this task flow diagram to see directly how Jesse could interact with an application to achieve his desired goal. Here Jesse can complete all his tasks within one application rather than using several different ones to achieve the same goal. 

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Now with a clear path that Jesse can follow, keeping all his pain points and behaviours in mind, I can now relate those to application functionality and begin the prototyping stage.


Concept Sketching

Ideating Solutions

Once I had nailed down my task flow, I looked at other applications' UI and UI patterns that would best suit what I was trying to create. I wanted to keep accessibility at the forefront and create something simple, familiar and easy to use. 

With some free thinking and freehand sketches, I was able to take the best parts of each sketch and turn them into one solid solution sketch that would serve as a base for my low and mid fidelity wireframes. 

Greyscale Prototype

Sketches to Screens

From my solution sketches, I created the first iteration of my mid-fidelity wireframe. I will use this mid-fidelity prototype to start user testing allowing me to obtain feedback and make further iterations and improvements based the results. 

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User Testing

Gathering Feedback

During this phase of my case study, I was able to conduct two rounds of user testing with 10 different users. I tested a wide age range however stayed true to my target audience. This gave me the most optimized results. I tested five users, made iterations to my mid-fi prototype and then tested another five to see if my changes improved the usability. 

My testers did not struggle with the usability of the application and found it intuitive, however there were some things I noticed and were also commented on by multiple testers that could be improved upon. 

Change #1: Making the filter pop up card a full page

In my V1 the filter option is a small modal but after feedback, I changed this to take up most of the page in a slide-up modal as users said this would be more familiar, allows for more options and is easier to press. The usability of this change was proven to work as it was not commented on during my second round of testing.

Mid Fidelity V1
Mid Fidelity V3
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Change #2: Making the chat modal a full separate screen

The chat modal was too small for a mobile screen and did not feel realistic. All users stated they expected the button to lead to a separate screen for messaging artists. This function was a major problem for all testers so I knew it needed to be changed for my second round of testing. No users had issues after the changes I made for V2 so I kept it the same for my V3.

Mid Fidelity V1
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Mid Fidelity V3
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Change #3: Calendar not being intuitive

The calendar in which users can choose their appointment date and see availability was not intuitive due to the available date colour being darker than the unavailable dates. Users were actually more familiar with calendars that work in the opposite way. To rectify this I took inspiration from AirBNB and crossed out the unavailable dates, this was much easier to understand and maximized usability.

I also made some smaller changes to this screen such as moving the appointment type option above the calendar as users pointed out that availability would change depending on the type of appointment. From V2 to V3 I also changed the top profile information of the artist and opted to include their experience and reviews (carried over from the previous page). The last change I made was the copy on the main CTA, from "consultation form" to "continue". "Consulatation form" is not familiar language for a CTA so i opted for continue as that relays the same information that their is further steps to complete.

Mid Fidelity V1
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Mid Fidelity V2
Mid Fidelity V3

Change #4: Hierarchy of the confirmation page

This screen lacked any hierarchy of text and information, It also felt unfamiliar as a confirmation page. To rectify this I made it a closable modal and included more information about the user's appointment and played with the text hierarchy until it was more readable and easier to understand. This modal did not get updated until my V3 version as I had to prioritize other changes during my testing however the feedback I received was the same across the board so I knew it needed to be improved before my hi-fidelity wireframes.

Mid Fidelity V1
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Mid Fidelity V3

These were all the major changes I made from my testing feedback. I also made other small changes such as changing icons in the navigation bar to ones more familiar to users and rearranging certain information to have a better hierarchy of text. With all these changes in place, I started translating them into my Hi-fidelity prototype. 


Visual Identity

Moving to High Fidelity

After completing my Mid Fidelity prototype I began thinking about a brand identity for my application and what I would want that brand to embody. I wanted the brand's visual identity to invoke the same feelings one gets when planning a tattoo. With bold fonts already established within the application's interface, it was important to me to keep on trend with that throughout my brand. 







Brand Colours

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Logo Typeface


Primary Typeface


To decide on a brand name, I thought of all the adjectives associated with tattoos and plays on the word "tattoo" itself. I wanted something recognizable, short, catchy and meaningful to the functions of the applications. I explored names such as Canvas, Inkqpot, Inkme, TattooMe, and even the latin word for Tattoo, "Pingo" however I landed on INKQ as it's a play on the word "inquire". This name checked all my boxes and felt right for the brand I was establishing. 

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Wordmark Use:

Primary Logo

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Black on White Logo

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Purple on Black Logo

IOS Application Icon

High Fidelity Prototype

Moving into high fidelity I began injecting colour. I considered the 60:30:10 rule and WCAG'S accessibility standards. Keeping on brand I only wanted minimal splashes of colour which mean't that majority of colour was injected into the CTA's, representing the brand colours in their inactive, active and pressed states. 

After several iterations of colour injection and consulting my mentors and peers, I was able to finalize INKQ's application and create a comprehensive UI library using the atomic design structure.


Responsive Marketing Website

Once my hi - fidelity application was finished I began creating a marketing website to inform and promote the app to potential users. The website was made to be responsive for desktop and mobile so that I could maximize outreach. 

To start this process I first looked at similar applications marketing websites to gain inspiration and ideas, from this I created concept sketches and mid - fidelity wireframes. I consulted my peers for feedback and then began injecting colour into my Hi-fidelity design. I stuck to INKQ's brand guidelines and consulted my UI library where necessary to make sure the website and application had the same look and feel.


Key Learnings

INKQ has been my first full product design in my UX Design journey. Naturally I learn't a lot of technical skills of the craft but my biggest takeaway has been my new perspective of my own work. I've always prided myself on having high standards and my willingness to achieve perfection but throughout this process I realized that no design will ever be perfect and constant iterations/improvement is inevitable. Letting go of this perfectionism has allowed me to focus on creating the MVP (most viable product) and continually doing what is best for the users. 

Remember: Done is better than perfect.

Let's Connect! 

I am open to full-time positions in the UX/UI field located in Vancouver Canada or remote! 

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