1 Month
UX Researcher / UX Designer / Prototyping
Figma / FigJam / Marvin
Pixieset is a Vancouver based software company that provides online tools for professional photographers. Their original flagship product, Client Galleries, allows photographers to create modern and elegant online photo galleries to showcase their work. With a goal towards discovering ways to improve the product for their customers, I began this project with a deep dive into qualitative customer research, unraveling insights that ultimately shaped the design features presented in this study.
This is a self-driven project based on personal interest with no affiliation to Pixieset. That said, the research that I conducted and my design solutions were all based on feedback from actual Pixieset customers.

Most of the interviewees were former colleagues of mine whom I met back when I was a former wedding photographer. Moreover, I was also a customer of Pixieset myself, which is how I knew about the company and their products in the first place.

This was a big driving factor for me to select this project as I truly believed I could offer a unique perspective as I could combine the perspectives of designer, photographer, and customer in one.

New features I designed for Pixiset's Client Galleries

Project Objective
To design a relevant solution that would foster more customer loyalty. I would then present all my designs and research findings to Pixieset.
Having no prior knowledge of Pixieset’s business goals, I focused on improving general user experience for their Client Galleries. Before I could do that, I needed to see if their product had any problems to begin with from a customer perspective. To accomplish this, I employed the following research methods:
User Interviews
Secondary Research
Competitor Analysis
Feature Analysis
User Interviews
My intention behind user interviews was to bring to light any product pain points through customer feedback. My approach was as follows:
I interviewed 4 current and 2 past users of Pixieset
Interviewees comprised of 4 wedding and 2 commercial photographers
Each interview took approximately 30 minutes
Interviews were conducted remotely over Zoom
Secondary Online Research
I then conducted secondary research to find out the most common reasons why photographers churn from Pixieset and to learn more about competitor products. I performed the following tasks:
Read various blog articles that compared Pixieset against competitors
Searched online forums and social media to hear from former customers why they churned
Reached out to photographer forums in my local area to get their opinion
Research Insights from Secondary Research
Key Research Findings
Through my research synthesis I arrived at the following key insights:
Customers feel there is a lack of customization options for Pixieset galleries
Pic Time appears to be Pixieset’s main competitor
Customers feel that mobile support is lacking for Pixieset
Canadian customers are unhappy with the lack of print partners in Canada
Commercial photographers have different needs than wedding photographers
Pic Time’s album design and sales features are key reasons why some people prefer them over Pixieset
Design Solutions
Upon evaluating my research insights, I shifted my focus towards Pixieset’s Client Gallery customization features. Although one could argue that there were more pressing customer pain points, the other problems required solutions that required too much time and effort. A competitor and feature analysis revealed that Pixieset’s galleries were the least flexible in terms of design. Based on these findings, I set out to design the following features:
Feature 1: Custom Fonts Selection
Pixieset currently offers 6 typeface styles for photographers. While choices will satisfy most photographers, some wanted the option to use their own typeface for branding purposes.

This feature enables photographers to create their own “custom font sets” by allowing them to select fonts from a long list of typefaces, similar to modern design programs. Photographers who don’t need a specific typeface can still select from Pixieset’s pre-set font styles.
Feature 2: Custom Colors Selection
Pixieset offers a variety of color presets for their clients, which are used to style their online galleries. However, similar to the way they treat typography, users are limited to these presets and are unable to select specific colors that match their brand. This feature allows clients to select specific brand colors which they can preview and save as a custom color set.
Feature 3: More Thumbnail/Grid Options
Pixieset’s Client Galleries currently have 2 size options for both image thumbnails and grids (the space between images). My research participants felt this was unnecessary limiting, so I added a third option to provide more variety. Not so much of a feature, I simply added a third size option to provide photographers with more choices.
For those interested in seeing these features in action. I created the following Figma prototype.
Future Considerations
With no research budget, historical data, and context of Pixieset’s business goals, there was only so much I could do as a solo designer. However, if I had the aforementioned resources, here would be some next steps.
Gain a better understanding of Pixieset’s business goals to better cater my design solutions to their vision.
Compare my research to Pixieset’s to validate whether there is alignment between my research and theirs.
Look into more high effort/impact features based on feedback from earlier research.