I was tasked with designing an app for Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association, with over 800 schools on six continents. The app was focused on e-learning, as well as building an online community, that would break the physical barriers and connect all students in the Gracie Barra family. The app featured an experience that allowed students to learn, interact with each other, and receive support.
Gracie Barra is one of the greatest brands in the world of martial arts. They have a culture and long tradition of being one big family. Throughout the years, they had enjoyed a great community among its members. But as digital technologies became widespread, Gracie Barra needed to evolve as well. My goal was to build a digital community of practice, focused around learning and building relationships. There was an existing website for the brand that included digital content, but lacked the needed community features.
Since I was new to the domain, I explored similar products to find inspiration. I focused on e-learning and digital community platforms in the fitness space, as those apps had many of the characteristics that were important to me.
For the persona, I focused on prospective students that want to learn the art of Jiu-Jitsu, but also want to find a community that they can belong to.
After conducting my analysis, I started thinking about the overall user journey. This helped me focus on the big picture, before diving into the details. I was also able to validate this journey with my client, to make sure that I am not missing key steps or have an incorrect order.
Next, I started brainstorming by sketching. At this point, I was laying out my thoughts into concrete screen ideas. In this phase, I explored concepts for different features, as well as various interaction models.
As I started making my ideas more concrete and dove into more details, I created a mid-fi prototype. I used this prototype to get a better sense of the space usage and interactions of my design. I also used this prototype to get feedback from my client and iterate.
Finally, I created a hi-fi prototype that also incorporated the Gracie Barra branding. I aimed to capture the spirit of the famed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school, while designing a mobile-native application. A key area of focus was the community aspect of the app, which I found to be at the center of the Gracie Barra organization.