An artist focused app that allows freelancers to more efficiently keep track of the status of their commissions, sort their work, and manage deadlines with a calendar view.

Duration: July 2021 - Sept 2021
Role: Team of one
Type: Passion project case study


I can't keep track of all these commissions!

inComm was inspired by one of my personal huge pain points: organizing commissions. When I was first starting out doing freelance work, it was a huge mess! I kept track of my waitlist on the notes app on my phone, which I very quickly lost control of, and it just wasn’t pretty. Now, I’ve learned to organize tasks a bit more cohesively using Google Sheets, but there still doesn’t seem to be a dedicated app for artists to track their commission progress.



I wanted to gauge the significance of the pain point within the artist community, along with the common solutions that my artist peers use. I created a short two question survey that I posted on my art Twitter and Instagram accounts to collect a decent sample of the thoughts of others in the community.

​I got a total of 112 responses from different artists and other commission takers alike for my survey. The survey was taken using Google forms and the results were compiled using Google Sheets.

​It seems that the key takeaways here are:​



Although I'm an artist myself, I wanted to get a more complete feel of the processes of my fellow artists. To make sure inComm was in line with the needs of all artists, I briefly interviewed 44 different artists (pixel, traditional, paint, etc.) from around the globe (thanks to the internet!) and asked them about their processes in accepting clients and their input on what features they feel would most benefit them to be focused on in inComm.​

Although the answers I got varied greatly, there were a few big main features that nearly every artist mentioned.

​Some key takeaways:​


Competitive Analysis

I did some research to see what was already out there. It seemed that there were quite a few “commission trackers” for inventory and income for small businesses, but nothing that specifically catered to the artistic process. The most fitting types of apps were the shopping lists or to-do lists and schedule planners. I picked some of the most popular options in the survey along with the biggest schedule planners and to-do lists and noted down some of the key features that would be beneficial to inComm.




Wireframe Sketching

After sketching some user stories, I sat down in a library with some coffee and moved onto quick wireframe sketches to try and figure out how I wanted to implement the features from the user interviews. I opted against a user profile as it seemed like largely filler content, and mostly unnecessary. I tried to really narrow the focus to the necessary tasks. You can see some of my sketches below:


Product Features

The main features I wanted inComm to have was specific sorting of commissions under types, a calendar view, and detailed commission adding. One of my main goalposts was to keep distractions limited, to help artists focus on tasks on hand, while invisibly motivating them to push forward with milestones.


Commission Sorting

Making sorting commissions as effortless as possible. The commissions with the soonest due dates are shown at the top, with a tagging system to let the user switch between which type of comms they're in the mood to focus on!


Calendar View

Many artists are visual learners! The calendar view with due dates and notifications will better help the artist visualize the due dates and gauge how much time they have left to complete the project.


Adding Commissions

Commissions are regularly extremely different among different clients, and they usually have their own specifications. I wanted to keep this function customizable yet simple with a section to store references and comm notes.


UI Design — Hi-Fi Mockups

Following my wireframe sketches, I had begun designing the interface of inComm on Figma. Although I largely followed the final drafts of my wireframe sketches, I made a few changes here and there. I removed the waitlist function as the majority of artists I've interacted with do not end up taking waitlists, therefore it becomes a distracting interactable element on the interface for most. I also added the ability to choose the comm type straight when making the page, along with adding commission types within the edit page for convenience.

​I found that one of my biggest struggles during this design phase was figuring out how I wanted to display the cards. I wanted to make sure the cards were not overwhelming (terrible when listing a lot of tasks!) yet displayed the appropriate amount of information. ​

In the end, of the designs I drafted below, I ended up going with design E, as it was not overwhelming, had the most white space, and had the extra little progress motivator as an extra motivator.



Now, cracking down to putting it all together! The prototyping was done in Figma. I wanted to make sure the user flows made sense and all the navigation was as effortless as possible. As artists are visual learners, I tried to keep words to a minimum and place more emphasis on images and visual elements. ​

Feel free to click around the mock-up here:​


What's Next?

Although I'm up to this step, I have a few more plans over the next while!

​My short-term goal is obviously usability testing to see if I was able to achieve all of my goals of effortless navigation and motivating commission tracking.

​Next, as a more long-term goal, I look forward to implementing elements of artist-client communication. Frequent contact with the client for updates is an extremely important aspect of the commission taking process. I hope to design a function that will allow the artist to send the client a copy of their commission page, notes, images, and goalposts, that the client may periodically check up on. I have some ideas for it that I'm super excited about, but will take some more planning for these thoughts to take more form!​​

This project has definitely been a fun one so far! As an artist, I loved designing for a community I appreciate and want to give back to, and as a designer, it was a tough challenge designing an app from scratch that I feel gave me a lot of experience.