Artful Conversion: How Parlor brought art into People’s Homes A Case Study

Scrum methodology illustration

Parlor was the only loan-to-own offering for establishing artists, helping galleries monetize 98% of their inventory. Parlor coupled logistics and insurance to help galleries monetize artworks in a storage. 

Business Goals

Why was it necessary:

98% of the world’s best art is in storage. Galleries cite acquiring new customers as the biggest business challenge and 30% of galleries operate at a loss.


Parlor brings art into people’s homes in 3 clicks. Parlor will act as a Logistics and insurance platform between the galleries and clients.

My Role:

As the lead product designer, I worked from day one to launch the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). I partnered with the CEO to keep refining the look and feel of Parlor, and used data and feedback to make ongoing improvements over a two-year span.

Different UI assets in a isometric view

Issues on the Table: Three Big Ones

  1. A Clunky Checkout: The process was too complicated and took too long, turning potential buyers away.
  2. The Taste Quiz Disconnect: Users weren't taking our quiz designed to personalize their art-buying journey.
  3. To Gate or Not to Gate: We were debating whether limiting site access would actually encourage more sign-ups.

The Fragmented Checkout

Our initial MVP checkout had a series of snags that were proving detrimental to the user experience.

The Problems:

  1. Connectivity Hold-ups: On two different instances, there was a one-day lag between steps due to external connectivity issues.
  2. Lack of User Information: The process left users in the dark about what to expect next.
  3. Email Delays: Emails essential for completing the checkout process were slow to arrive, and a failure to click them would stall the whole operation.
  4. External DocuSign Dependency: The signature part of the process was external, requiring another email confirmation.
  5. User Attrition: These hurdles led to users abandoning their orders altogether.

The Resolution: A Streamlined Process

We realised that the next iteration had to encapsulate the entire journey in one unbroken sequence to hold the user's hand from start to finish.

  1. User Journey Mapping: We mapped out the entire path, from initial signup to the final step where a user happily recommends Parlor.
  2. Feedback Loop: Each step was scrutinised, with feedback informing what needed modification and what was already effective.
  3. Developer Synergy: Thanks to our engineering team, we managed to internalise all external procedures, rendering the checkout process seamless.

By addressing these pain points, we reduced our checkout cancellation rates from an alarming 68% to a much-improved 23%.

UI screens of a fixed UX flow

Boosting The Conversion Rate

The Challenge

Our Taste Quiz aims to understand user art preferences and curate a tailored experience. However, the first iteration wasn't compelling enough to entice users to participate.


  1. Visibility Issue: The single CTA was easily overlooked.
  2. Ambiguous Copy: The CTA lacked clarity and punch.
  3. Quick Exit: Users closed the quiz pop-up rapidly.
  4. External Deterrent: The quiz leading to an external Typeform also faced quick exits.


Using Google Analytics and Hotjar, we discerned that an effective CTA must be reiterated and rebranded. Users were too quickly scrolling past the hero section without engagement. By integrating the 25% rule into our landing page's architecture, we strategically positioned the CTA for the quiz to pop up after a user scrolls through a quarter of the content. The result? An uptick in engagement with that crucial link.

Learnings and Pivot

  1. Hero Message: First impressions are pivotal. The hero's message had to be unambiguous.
  2. Trust Factor: Clear and actionable USPs were essential.
  3. Social Proof: Artist interviews and gallery owner testimonials boosted conversions by 5.58%.

Assessing the Efficacy of Gating

The Predicament

Initially, our MVP was invite-only. Post-launch, we debated maintaining this exclusivity but were met with an alarming 81.8% bounce rate.


  1. Limited Art Preview: We granted full-page access but restricted visible artwork to eight pieces.
  2. Visible Gallery Rows: The first two rows in the gallery remained in full view.

The strategic placement of CTAs, a trustworthy USP, and allowing users more page freedom increased our signup rate by 2.9%.

Methodology: A Dual-Track Approach

  1. Data-Driven Insights: We deployed Google Analytics for early-stage evaluations and Hotjar for granular analysis.
  2. Human Intelligence: We split our interviews between users and gallery owners, with regular team discussions for integrated learning.
  3. Market Awareness: Constant competitive analysis ensured we were aligned with industry trends.

By methodically dissecting user behaviour and iterating our platform, we were not just chasing metrics but significantly elevating the user experience.

A Triumph in Iterative Design

Impactful Outcomes

Our design overhaul led to an immediate and remarkable impact. Web traffic skyrocketed by 29%, and conversion rates jumped by 12%. These metrics speak volumes about the compelling efficacy of iterative design in fine-tuning user experience.

Geographical Expansion

Initially a New York-centric operation, Parlor recognized the broader appeal of its offerings. Emboldened by our design successes, the service extended its reach nationally in 2022, confirming that good design doesn't just improve metrics—it can catalyze expansion.

Launching to Learn

One fundamental insight was the invaluable importance of deploying the MVP as swiftly as possible. The real world is the ultimate testing ground, and data-driven, iterative refinement is how products evolve towards excellence.

The Myth of Perfection

Through this journey, it became abundantly clear that aiming for a "perfect" app or website is a unrealistic endeavour. True perfection lies in the ability to adapt, to learn from user feedback, and to continually refine the design to meet evolving needs and expectations.

In essence, our experience reinforced the idea that perfection is not a final state but a continuous process.