2014 Australian Mobile & App Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage

Bluethumb Art Apps [DRAFT]







Project Overview

Bluethumb brings art to your phone.

We're Australia's fastest growing visual art platform, the place for artists to exhibit and sell their artwork directly to art lovers. Our iPhone app was recently judged by Apple as a "Best New App". And we've just released our lovely Android app, which we think is the finest Android art app experience the exists on a phone.


Bluethumb Art


George Hartley - UX Designer and Tech Lead
Cuong Nguyen - iOS Development Lead
Jas Panwar - Android Development Lead

Project Brief

Bluethumb.com.au was flying, traffic, artists and sales were growing rapidly, but the mobile experience sucked. Looking at our traffic data, we knew we needed an iPhone app. But it had to be amazing. We didn't want it to do everything. In fact, we wanted it to only do a few things, but these things had to be good, actually better than the web.

So we built our Bluethumb Art app, with a lovely edge to edge New Art feed, and large filter controls, an easy 'smart shopping cart' that remembers your details, and no need for registration or any of that garbage. You can start favouriting and building up your art collection as soon as you get it. It's immersive art experience that embraces the best UX conventions of our favourite social apps.

We had to do it all on a minuscule budget. Luckily our team had a lot of app experience, and could pull it all together into the best Art app in Australia, and up there with the best in the world. Apple judged it in their "Best New Apps" for December and January. And users used it. By March more than 20% of all art sales were coming through the iPhone app.

Next up was the Android app. We put even more features in to it including swipable feed images and lots of other neat bits. Check it our here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bluethumb

Project Need

Bluethumb is the online marketplace where you can have art delivered to your door. Explore, share and buy art direct from Australia’s best new and emerging artists on the go from one beautiful Android and iPhone app. Browse thousands of artworks and discover new art daily.
Bluethumb is infinite browsing pleasure for art lovers. An app where collectors and art lovers can buy art direct from artists, Bluethumb is the best place for new, emerging and established artists to share their talent with the world. View popular art, save your favorites for later, and be the first to snap up fresh art from new artists before they’re famous.

The apps give you the freshest art at your finger tips. Discover new art every day. Over 5,000 original artworks to browse now, with new artists and artworks at the top of your art feed daily. Just tap your finger to buy a piece you love, or heart it to save it for later.

You don't have to sign in. Screw that. You can start browsing art immediately. Buying through the app is easy, a couple of taps, and we've got a smart shopping cart that remembers non-sensitive user details. We also offer free delivery door to door for purchases.

User Experience

The apps were designed by Bluethumb director George Hartley, who also happened to be UX Lead at Outware Mobile. Which meant he could bring a wealth of UX app design experience to the Bluethumb app design.

Showing off fresh art was the most important feature. Building an art app that consistently delighted the user with awesome art, that allowed them to immediately to start engaging by hearting the best art within the app, was paramount.

We then focused on streamlining the buying process to match best of breed app shopping experiences helped us hit our business goal of over 20% of sales through the app. And we hit it within 4 months.

Anecdotally, talking to our art collectors, the apps provide a more personal art experience - you can start your own favourites collection that you carry with you, and build as you browse. Art is personal. Your phone is personal. So having an art app users' embrace meant the art experience, on your device, becomes personal too.

Project Marketing

We're a visual art start up on a shoe string budget. Our marketing has mainly consisted of PR. As a category disruptor, the story of 'you don't need a galllery to exhibit your art' is an interesting one', and we've been written about in Fairfax, News Limited and plenty of tech press.

Thought the largest boost actually came from Apple. Their feature on the front of the app store of 'Best New App' for 2 months really launched the iPhone app for us.

Now the apps provide an amazing platform for us to grow our business. Since launching the apps we've quickly grown to over 1000 Australian artists, exhibiting over 1.5m in art. And a growing audience for our apps means a growing audience for our artists, which helps them.

Project Privacy

We have a smart shopping cart that remembers user's details, but not their sensitive details like credit card information.

Our web service uses the latest SSL security.

This category relates to applications that facilitate retail purchase via the mobile platform.
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