I wanted the app to feel like this - a cozy and personal place with your pictures all over the wall, where you can relax and feel at home.
Pixie is an app designed to help users more easily manage their photos, while providing a fun way for them to enjoy their favourite pictures.
Target: Millennials who regularly take smartphone pictures
Duration: 3 months
Role: UX research & interviews, UX/UI design, user testing, brand development
1.5 trillion photos
will be taken in 2022
with this number expected to rise in following years
1060 photos stored
on a millennial's phone
on average, the most out of any demographic
With smartphone photography becoming so accessible, it's no wonder most of us have more pictures than we have time to look at. But while we're busy taking pictures, we're missing out on being present in the very moment we're trying to capture.
How might we enable people to capture more meaningful moments through photos, so they can spend less time taking pictures, and more time enjoying their experiences?
I conducted interviews with millennial smartphone users to find out more about their experiences.
I then categorized my findings into behaviours, motivations, and pain points, so I could design a solution tailored to their experiences.
People love browsing their photos, but don't do it as often as they'd like, because they have too many pictures they just don't care about. Taking time to declutter their galleries is tedious and overwhelming.
I realized I was headed in the wrong direction.
I originally wanted to help people spend less time taking pictures, and I learned that I should be focusing on helping my users curate their galleries, so they could more easily enjoy their favourite pictures.
After creating user stories and epics, I chose a primary epic - archiving pictures. This would help my users sort through their photos, and choose to keep, delete, or share them, to fix their major pain point of having cluttered photo galleries.
Sketching the solution
I wanted my app to feel more exciting than a typical photo gallery. I looked for inspiration and added UI elements that felt out of the ordinary and fun, like displaying pictures in frames and showing collections as floating bubbles.
When designing my wireframes I kept my persona in mind and imagined her using my app, which helped me ensure I was making the right choices to benefit my target audience. I also wanted to focus on alignment with grids, text size and legibility, and simple copy, so the design would be clean and accessible for all users.
User testing helped me see a different perspective
I conducted two rounds of tests, making changes after each round. It really helped me realize which parts of my app weren't as intuitive as I thought. I prioritized the changes I wanted to make in order of importance, and got to work implementing the solutions:
I discovered that millennials love subtle gradients and soft pastels, as well as bold colours. I combined the two into my brand, and chose design elements to make the app feel playful and quirky, like bubbly fonts, rounded corners, and solid colour drop shadows.
The Pixie Prototype
I'm incredibly proud of this project - it will help people store less photos, and addresses my users' major pain point of running out of phone storage.
But it also allows people to truly enjoy their pictures, and instead of being bored while scrolling through their galleries, my users can have fun again while reliving their favourite memories.
Trust the research
It's important to make decisions based on research. Rather than steering the solution towards something I thought my users would love, I learned to always make purposeful choices based on evidence I'd collected.
Listen to your users
Getting perspective from the people you're designing for is crucial to making an accessible, human-centered experience, that responds to a real need in the target market.
Iterate, iterate, iterate
Be agile and open to change. When you realize you're going in the wrong direction, return to the research with more insights and make a new game plan. Acknowledging my assumptions were wrong and making changes helped me immensely in creating a solution specifically tailored to my users.