Connecting Koryo Martial Arts to the community
Koryo Martial Arts
UX / Researcher
Koryo Martial Arts is a traditional martial arts school serving the Larchmont, New York community. It is situated in a small, affluent town, where it has established itself as a go-to after school activity for children. Most of Koryo’s outreach is done through word-of-mouth and social media posts. Koryo currently does not have a website, and would like to explore catering to their students through increasing their online presence.
I aim to create a responsive site for Koryo that caters to its current members and maintains its exclusivity as a martial arts school while helping the business adapt to the current socioeconomic climate.
- Create a site that is usable by both parent and child
- Provide important Koryo school information in one place
- Design a site that follows Koryo business methods and is easy for the school owner to manage
PHASE 1: DISCOVER
- Understand stakeholder needs and business model
- Learn about Larchmont community and receptiveness to virtual lessons
- Gain insight on how to develop a design that puts community needs before business
I conducted a competitive analysis to evaluate the small businesses in the area that cater to the same clientele: families and children. I found that when compared to other companies in the area, Koryo has a higher posting rate and stronger social media presence, but lacks consistency when posting the same information on various social platforms. Ex. some information found on Instagram isn’t available on Facebook.
Koryo prides itself on its small class sizes and the personal relationships they build with their students. Koryo believes that transparency is important when running a business that caters to children. I conducted 2 interviews with the business owner discussing his business goals, needs, and frustrations, as well as specifics about the parents of the school and community culture.
Key takeaways from the stakeholder interviews:
- Parents of the community have more than average free time and are very involved in their childrens’ lives
- The community participates in town events and Koryo has great turnout for their member events
- Koryo outreach is limited to word of mouth and Instagram / Facebook
- Students have been enjoying and are active with virtual lessons
- Koryo has started to implement social distancing in-person private lessons (well recieved)
I created 2 user personas to represent Koryo’s typical client living in Larchmont. Information from the research phase was used to make the personas, as well as my experience in the industry.
Personas share similarities in how free time is spent, how involved they are in their community and with their children, and socioeconomic standing. Differences in persona personality is evident in their frustrations, career, and age of children.
PHASE 2: DEFINE
I began the defining stage by creating a site feature road map and a site IA document. Working out the site IA took several iterations, with the final version shown below. With Koryo’s goal to keep business prices off the internet and maintain a focus of exclusivity within the community, I sought to provide users with a platform for quick information and an extension of the Dojang through the site.
With the features and IA figured out, I created a user flow to represent the direction that the personas might take when navigating the Koryo site. Parents and students will be able to view all important information on the site instead of receiving bits of information from various social media platforms.
To understand how a parent might navigate the Koryo site, I created 2 user flows for Beth and James. with Koryo’s preferred communication method being email, Beth’s flow demonstrates how a potential customer can get information about Koryo and Steve before initiating an email conversation.
PHASE 3: DESIGN
After an initial quick homepage sketch, I created a low-fidelity homepage wireframe and graphic profile for Koryo using brand assets that was sent to me from Steve. My goal going into the design phase was to incorporate traditional elements into the site design while allowing Steve’s personality to be apparent to his students.
Since the Koryo logo resembles the Taegeuk in the center of the Korean flag, I thought about incorporating the trigrams from the flag as a design in the header section. I found that due to the resemblance of the first trigram to a hamburger menu icon, it might come off as confusing to users. I decided to keep the design concept and worked around the problem by simply adjusting element proximity. Here you can see how the trigram design can be confused with a menu icon.
Koryo responsive homepage wireframes
Next, I made adjustments to the hero logo for the homepage and created a UI kit. Steve is very active on the Koryo Instagram account and I thought adding Koryo Instagram videos will add to company transparency. Throughout the process of developing this site, I referenced Koryo’s preferred typeface, colors, and CTA elements. I incorporated a lot of what has already been used so that it is familiar to first time users of the site who are active students/parents.
Wireframes- Koryo Online: New and Current student pages, About Koryo page, Meet Master Steve page
There were definitely some things I got stumped on while designing the Koryo Martial Arts site, one being the site IA and collecting all necessary information for the build. Collecting content across social platforms took time away from my designing window, but was necessary in order to consolidate all information for users. Koryo already utilizes external links such as teespring.com for merchandise and squaremktg.com for booking private lessons. Since these links were already active and being used by students, and the stakeholder wanted the most manageable site possible, I incorporated these external links into my design and made relevant pages information based rather than possibly confusing users with a new pathway. The biggest challenge that I had to work around was navigating research during this time since I was unable to get in touch with Koryo parents due to circumstances revolving around the COVID pandemic. I attempted to work around this problem by holding a second stakeholder interview where I focused on asking questions related to Steve’s students. Below you can find a summary of challenges and planned next steps before handoff.
- Creating site content such as about page info and text
- Collecting material for the site prototype
- Research during COVID and inability to contact current students
- Keeping the scope for the site in-line with what is possible during current climate
- Run a usability test with Koryo clients
- Possible user interviews and follow-up stakeholder meeting
- Final site revisions and site build using WordPress