The Need

In 2013, I started getting pestered by ads about designers posting submissions for a contest, the winner earning money, the rest earning nothing. I reacted by creating something better: a solution for Human Capital Management that treats the “talent” like human beings and pays them better.

  • A product that houses talented designers, illustrators, etc.

  • Using matching to pair up the right talent for the right business need

  • A front-to-back solution that handles the journey of both the client and the talent


UX Involvement:

• Full Product Design
• Competitive Analysis
• Functional Requirements
• Site Architecture, Data Modelling
• Matching System
• Algorithms for Matching
• Brand Identity
• Marketing Strategy

Product Features:

• Surveyed Matching
• Responsive Design
• Project Management
• Communication Tools (Chat, IM)
• Billing Tools

Business Involvement:

• Revenue Model
• Business Model
• Gamification/Incentive Model
• Legal Policies
• Investor/Elevator Pitch



  • While the ideas that I worked through were competitively valid, the direct competitors (99Designs, Upwork) were able to “catch up” with many of the features. Even if I had gotten the funding and development partnerships to build this, it would most likely have been swallowed up.

  • It would have been a leap of faith for businesses to pay up for “premium talent” if they’re not necessarily looking. The brand is meant to imbue “boutique” to help sell the idea.


Solution and Approach

This turned into a full-scale product design that illustrated both Client and Talent roles.

  1. Extensive Market Research and Competitive Analysis

  2. Journey Mapping of Client and Talent roles, including personas (below)

  3. Design System established using a Bootstrap framework

  4. Wireframe prototype of the entire experience for both roles

  5. Development Partner created an interactive prototype

  6. “Guerilla” User Testing with peers and prospective customers



This was a concept that materialized into a prototype that I shopped around to investors. It never took off; I couldn’t get the capital, the competition was stiff and established. It remains a passion project that I go back to as I can.

Future Considerations

  • “Flatten” the matching process and just improve the results based on the inputs of the client, and ratings given to talent.

  • AI/ML incorporation. Possible bot conversation to improve results, as opposed to a survey.

  • More robust partnerships with tax and financial services. Better partnerships and networking in general.



Samples and Sketches