Photography and exploration go hand in hand. Exposr is a photography platform for beginner users to learn how to operate their equipment through urban exploration and photo recreation. Advanced users have the opportunity to upload and contribute their photographs and knowledge to the Exposr community by writing in depth community posts about how their specific photo was taken. To distinguish Exposr from other photography platforms such as Instagram and Flickr, Exposr’s key features include the location based search and the community posts.
My Role: I was 1 of the 2 UX designers on a team of 5. I created personas, storyboards, conducted interviews, and created low and high fidelity prototypes.
Duration: October 2015 - December 2015
Toolbox: Illustrator, Photoshop, Sketch, HTML5, CSS
To fully comprehend the scope of our potential users, we created personas and storyboards to account for advanced, beginner and normal users. These personas and storyboards ultimately helped guide us in creating our first round of prototypes.
Prototype Round 1
The first round of prototypes consisted of low fidelity paper prototypes that helped get multiple ideas onto paper. This part of the design process is one of my favorites because we had the freedom to play with crazy, out of the box ideas with little to no consequences (not saying that I don't love all of the design process!) After finalizing our paper prototypes, we had the opportunity to test out our prototypes on users that had no experience with DSLRs and users that are familiar or are advanced photographers.
After testing our first round of paper prototypes, we received helpful feedback from our users. Some of the feedback included distinguishing our product from other photography applications, and adding more interactions with less prominent features. This included allowing the user to browse the website without creating an account, and navigating between location based pages.
Prototype Round 2
To breathe life into our paper prototypes, we created our second iteration on Illustrator. This version of EXPOSR centered around the aesthetics and main functionality of EXPOSR, which included the tutorials, the upload process, and the individual photo page.
After further testing, we realize that we needed to emphasize that EXPOSR is heavily location based. In addition, our focus on the tutorial section confused our users instead of helping them learn how to operate their camera. To address these concerns for our final prototype, we decided to redesign aspects of EXPOSR to help users understand that we are not like Instagram or any other photography website like Flickr.
Prototype Round 3
For the final prototype, we focused heavily on the homepage as well as the learning aspect of EXPOSR. We decided to implement a map of San Diego to emphasize the significant role that location plays into not only photography, but the community at EXPOSR. To create a fluid search experience, we decided to implement the search and map together. Users would be able to search by communities in San Diego, then further filter the search by "recency" or "most viewed." Since our tutorials didn’t facilitate learning in our second prototype, we decided to scrap the tutorials section of EXPOSR, and replace it with a community section where users have the option to further explain their step-by-step process on how that particular photo was taken.
Check out a demonstration of the final project below!
In the end, we decided on a minimal design to focus on the content of the website.
The main features of Exposr are the location based search function and the community contribution section. When visiting the website for the first time, you are greeted with a map of San Diego. The map affords search by allowing the user to drag and drop the pin on a location of interest. The images at the bottom of the page update based on the location filter. Our design reasoning for this is that the website will emphasize the location aspect better if the search was limited by location.
Community contributions are the second design feature that allows users to learn from others in their area. Simply put, photographers are allowed to publish posts that detail their creative process. Beginners can then use these posts as a resource. This reasoning stems from the interviews with photographers. Oftentimes, when they were first learning, they learned best by mimicking the work that inspired them.