As the world’s largest online retailer of art images, is an established expert in the e-commerce space. But for its first iPad app, the company wanted to use its incredible image collection of more than 1.2 million works of art to engage customers, allow for deeper experiences with the art itself, and reach a younger demographic of users. Having worked with Hot Studio on previous projects, looked to Hot for a fresh perspective and proven tablet expertise.


Blue sky thinking
Hot led an expansive concepting phase that considered numerous approaches and feature sets. A group of personas were used to identify features that appealed to’s existing customer-base and the new users it hoped to reach. Along the way, Hot collaborated with key stakeholders at, everyone from the leadership team through the tech and marketing departments and the merchants who build the collection.

Strategic matters
The concepting phase was bolstered by a holistic product strategy process that helped define how a tablet strategy would integrate with’s existing product offerings and support business, communication, and brand goals. A product roadmap defined desired user behavior by customer segment and provided a framework to evaluate each app concept against several key criteria, including desired results—engagement, revenue, new audiences, brand recognition—technical feasibility, support requirements, and time to market.

The winning concept
The combination of high-level concepting and detailed product work has culminated in artCircles, a new free app that takes users on an epic journey through the world’s most inspiring art collection curated by creative thinkers and harmonized by words and colors. Anchored by a clever filtering system (comprised of interrelated circles), the app enables easy discovery, discussion, and sharing. Deep social integration lets users tag their favorite images and share their collections with friends. The curator wheel culls selections from creative influencers like Yves Behar to spark conversation about inspiring images. It’s a perfect circle: an app that delights users and leads the company in bold new directions.

Learn more or download the app.