Case Study: The Culturist Union

Rebrand and Application Design

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SCAD Start Up is a one week design challenge organized by FLUX - UX Club at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Track 2 for Start Up 2021  was: Giving Back to Your Locals.


There was a need for Black Savannah creatives that didn't have a place to gather, commune, create, and sell their products.


TCU is a mobile app where users can engage with the community, order from the menu, and shop for merch. 

My Roles

Secondary/Primary Research

User Interviews 

Information Architecture 

Data synthesizing & Analysis


SCAD Start Up is a one-week design challenge organized by FLUX - UX Club at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Track 2 for Start Up 2021  was: Giving Back to Your Locals.

Prototype Video

What is The Culturist Union (TCU) currently? 

  1. A safe coffeehouse, retail space, and business incubator centered around the artistic and social empowerment of black creators


There is no space in Savannah for Black creatives to gather, create, and sell their products. 

Primary Research

During the week-long designathon, we conducted multiple interviews with startup founders. We researched to gain insight on how to build a diverse community. 


Nearly 90% of people said that they do not have a physical space that gives them information on how to be an ally 


Over 50% of people said that a business being minority owned will increase their likelihood to visit a shop


About 86% of people said that they would use a physical space that informs on how to be an ally and bridge the racial gap

Card Sorting

Key Insights from Primary Research: 

  1. Actively work to create a diverse and welcoming community, don’t passively assume it will be diverse 

  2. In order to create a diverse community, you must create trust in the community 

  3. Empathize with the customer, client, or business while building a business from the ground up


How might we foster a universal space that celebrates BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) in Savannah while also championing Savannah’s first black-owned coffee shop?

Current Market

The United States currently has the largest coffee market worldwide at $80 billion. Still, Black-owned coffee shops are limited (source:

Design Requirements 

  1. A local business that aims to be the first Savannah’s Black-owned coffee house

  2. A place for local BIPOC artists to sell their goods, a safe space for people of any background, and a relaxing and respectful place

  3. Create a cohesive brand identity (ie. merchandise and logo)

Low Fidelity Wireframes​

We all created low fidelity wireframes and talked about what we liked about each of them before creating the final high fidelity wireframes. 

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High Fidelity Wireframes​

Bottom Navigation Bar

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V1 wasn't chosen due to the inconsistent icon usage and placements of each icon.

V2 was made from V1 with my suggestions for moving the home and community to the left, putting the profile in the middle, and putting the shop and menu on the right. However, there is still an inconsistent style between the icon usages.

V3 was almost made the bottom navigation however community made the spacing between each icon hard. In addition, we didn't like how the green highlighted icon looked compared to the rest of the app.


V4 was similar to V3 with community and profile switch to balance out the spacing between the words. And is the final bottom navigation bar we decided on for the app!

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Hifi App Screen

Final Concepts

Logo and Mockups

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The success of the TCU app can be tested using… 


Task completion rate would be measured through how many users added virtual events and attended them vs didn’t use. Task completion rate would examine how active they are in the community and if the number of users changes. It will inform the design team on how to iterate and improve on. 

User satisfaction would be measured through user interviews and how often a customer returns to the store.

What I Learned 

The Start Up competition was a great opportunity to learn how to work in a completely new team and learn more about ourselves as designers. During this competition, I let other people choose their roles in the team and filled in where I could, and helped give feedback to mobile screens, logos, and presentations. I realized that by letting people play to their strengths we can come together to create a project that we’re all proud of making.

For more, please check out the presentation.