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GramCity

A photo-editing app that also helps users find locations to take photos, wherever they are.

Problem

This is a response to a design challenge provided by Bitesize UX. The goal of this challenge was to design a feature to help users find and explore great photo-ops, wherever they are. 

The Challenge

While following the Google Ventures design sprint process, I conducted a 5-day sprint to prototype a feature for a mobile photo app to help people find photo-ops in specific locations. I was given the problem, objectives, constraints, and user research.

Role 

UX Designer

Key Contributions 

Competitive Analysis

Sketches

High Fidelity Mockups

Usability Testing

Team

Solo

Tools

Whiteboard

Sketch App

InVision

Scope

5 days

Solution

THE PROCESS

Day 1 

User Map

Day 2

Competitive Analysis

Crazy 8 Sketches

Day 3

Storyboard

Day 4

High Fidelity Mockups

Day 5

Usability Tests

Day 1 - Understand and Map

On day 1 of the design sprint, I analyzed the user research done on GramCity’s users that had been given to me for this challenge. I narrowed down the main needs of our main personas: Sarah - the event production manager and Nick the video editor.

OUR USERS

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Sarah, 27

Event Production Manager

Wants to find great places to take photos to document his trips and doesn't want to spend time researching or traveling out of the way to find them

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Nick, 24

Video Editor

Wants to easily find locations and example of best photo ops in a city before planning out her day around visiting them

END-TO-END USER MAP

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Based on user needs, I decided that the MVP of this new feature would fulfill two goals: finding photo-ops within a specific region, see examples of photo-op pictures. A solution could be to be able to find photo ops through a map feature that could show where photo ops are located. Another solution to the user needs would be to show example pictures posted by other users of the app.

Other ideas: adding in current weather information to let user know if it is ideal photo-op conditions, showing a check-in feature where users can see how many users have been to a specific photo-op location

Day 2  - Sketching Solutions

On Day 2, I analyzed competitors that help a user locate potential photo opportunities. I looked at Yelp and Instagram for inspiration.

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

Yelp
 

Yelp’s map does a great job of allowing users to pinpoint specific locations of an establishment near a user. Yelp also provides list view which allows users to sort their options depending on their preferences.
 

For my design, I could use a similar design to help users easily find different photo-ops depending on their distance to the user or popularity.

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Instagram

 

Instagram is the leading photo app today. It does a great job of showcasing photos in a clean and organized way. I could use a similar design in my solution to showcase examples of photo-ops within a location.

CRAZY 8s

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Next, to brainstorm possible solutions I used Crazy 8’s framework for ideation. Both the map feature and a location profile were the most important screens in my user flow for helping users discover great photos ops.

Day 3 - Storyboarding

STORYBOARD

I drew out my potential solutions in the form of a storyboard. It shows each screen the user interacts with the feature on the GramCity mobile app.

Screens going from left to right:

  1. Searches for a location on the map feature 

  2. Browses through the list of photo-ops within a region sorted by distance or popularity 

  3. Selects a photo-op and opens the photo-op profile

  4. Clicks a photo within the photo-op profile to view example photos

Day 4 - Final Designs

Next, I brought my ideas together and created designs on the Sketch app and a mobile prototype on InVision.  My feature would allow users to access a map of nearby and most popular photo-ops in their area. This feature would also display photo-op profiles which let users see who has checked in and posted their photos for other users to see. For this design, I utilized a UI kit to create the final high-fidelity designs.

HIGH FIDELITY MOCK-UPS

Click here for the full prototype

Day 5 - Test

USABILITY TESTING

I conducted usability testing sessions over Zoom with 5 participants. All of the participants in my study have used photo apps recently and taken photos for social media. During the usability tests, I gave them specific tasks to complete after providing an introduction and context.

USABILITY TEST RESULTS

Out of the 5 participants the most notable insights from the usability test were that:

  • 100%  successfully found photo-ops near their location

  • 50% successfully found examples of
    photo-ops

Knowing that only 50% of participants were able to locate the photo-ops examples tells me that users are struggling to find the examples, or aren't aware that they are there. If I was given more time, I would work on improving this feature.

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Outcomes and Reflection

Conducting a design sprint taught me to produce an idea and test it quickly in an Agile environment. It really pushed me to tackle a problem in a short amount of time. Using ideation exercises such as crazy 8s and storyboarding to help me generate design ideas and I look forward to working in these methods in the future.

If I had more time to work on this project, I would have iterated on the design further and explore ways in which the photo-ops examples are easier to find within the feature.