When I was brought in to work on this project, the app had already been shipped out as a minimum viable product. With a limited time frame and a small amount of user feedback from the current app, I was tasked with redesigning the Photobucket for Samsung app.
My process while designing this app started with meticulously reviewing the current app, reviewing the roadmap for upcoming versions, reviewing user testing, and a competitive analysis.
I had to work quickly in order to have high fidelity mocks of the app ready to present to Samsung in just a few weeks. One of the first areas I worked on was the app navigation and overall structure. I based some of my design decisions off of the user testing available from the current app. There were certain features, such as the Vault, that users were drawn to, but these features were buried in the app. I decided to surface them to be more easily accessible and discoverable.
Below, you can see just a few of the sketches I created while working on the Photobucket for Samsung App.
The main foundation of the app is based upon the Google Material Design Standards. While utilizing these standards, I took note of Samsung's unique aesthetics and experience to ensure that Photobucket for Samsung would fit in well with the Samsung ecosystem. I noticed that many of our competitors had a light theme with a white background, and this led me to create the app with a dark theme that allows the user's photos to shine.
Below is a before and an after of the home screen in the app which is a gallery of the device's photos.
A standout feature of this app is the Cloud. It allows users to view their photos on their Photobucket account and other social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram. This part of the app was a bit of a challenge. How could I make it easy for the user to access all of their accounts simultaneously, while still leaving room for additional social media accounts in future versions?
The solution was a scrollable top bar navigation. This allows the user to easily view different accounts quickly without having to go back and forth between a menu screen and viewing their photos.
This application also features a wearable component, the Samsung Gear S2 watch. The user can simultaneously view a ten photo slideshow and the time display on their watch. Each time the user brings the watch up to check the time, a new image appears. Alternatively, the user can swipe through their ten images on the watch.
While I did not help design this slideshow feature on the watch, I did help to create the integration with the phone. The challenge was to let the user know that they could manually sync only ten images at a time. Below is the result.
I was also tasked with annotating every screen and preparing the app for development. Here you can see the map of the entire app organized by flows. I find having an organized flow of every part of the app makes it easy to pull individual flows for presentation, development, QA, or iteration.
Reflections & Looking Forward
Because of time, resource and constraints, it was not possible for me to incorporate as much user testing as I would have liked.
I am still continuing to make improvements and updates to the app based on the feedback from users and the business needs of Samsung and Photobucket. The app has done fairly well but, we have identified it is difficult to get users to convert from their phone's stock gallery app and use a third party app. We are now looking for ways to potentially create a more backup, cloud-based app that can compliment the stock gallery app rather than compete with it.
Above is a photo of me at the Samsung Developer's Conference in San Francisco, California last year. I had the privilege of being there to present the Photobucket for Samsung Application and talking with developers and designers about the app and its functionality.