The Birth of a Photography Marketplace

Designing a new way to help a photography community become a leader stock photo business.

Gallery

500px has long since established a name for itself in the photography community, and has carved out a space for itself near the high-end of the photography community market. Four years after launch, the company decided to pivot and position itself slightly differently. The goal was to reward the community by empowering photographers to sell their photos through a dedicated marketplace platform.

Project Goals

Create a platform to leverage the potential of millions of photographers interested in monetizing their work. This platform would have to meet specific revenue targets from unassisted sales and sustain the company by creating a growing month over month recurring revenue.

Solution

The Research Phase

Project “Prime” became the business driver, and I was asked to lead the product design, focusing on translating business decisions into compelling design strategies. The goal was clear – we needed to build an MVP that ingested photos from the 500px Community and made them available for purchase.

In the early stages of project Prime, I started by focusing on creating a user flow. The big question was: “What do we need to make community photos available for sale – and how fast can we built it?”

I played a key part in user research and focus groups whose goal was to identify the touchpoints of the entire buyer experience.

The User Interface

One of the first pages I created as Lead Designer, was the home page. In few block of content I had to teach the user that 500px was not a mere Community anymore and that now everyone could start making money selling photos. A few iterations were necessary and I finally settled on a structure that mainly focused on:

  1. Funneling down new users into search
  2. Showcasing the high quality photography users could license.
  3. Educating the user on 500px Prime, Stock photography and building a trustworthy relationship.
  4. Having a strong SEO friendly structure.

During the 5 months that took us to release the MVP for this project, I designed several static pages to showcase prices and general information along with a strong checkout that aimed to minimize friction and convert all the users interested in purchasing stock photography.

Results

500px Prime, was successfully shipped in just five months from conception to beta launch and became the de facto platform for high-end stock photography. My team and I met 100% of the project’s deadlines and KPIs and exceeded the Executive team’s expectations in delivering an entire platform MVP on time and, most importantly, with an incredibly high User Experience and Code Quality product.

In under a year, the site surfaced over 80 million high-res photos from 8+ million photographers worldwide. It generated stable monthly recurring revenue, become the company’s main revenue stream.

Edit 2016

The prime.500px.com site was renamed the 500px Marketplace in 2016 and unified with the main site merging all the functionalities with its community counterpart 500px.com.