Camorify – Enhancing the photo editing experience

Camorify - Enhancing the photo editing experience

Duration

May 2015 – June 2016

My Roll

Product Discovery

User Research

UX Design

UI Design

Usability Testing

What is Camorify

Camorify is a multi-platform mobile app that allows users to modify images using enhancing tools and add text and stickers to them. Users can unlock a world of creativity with our offline app, delivering 800+ editable stickers without the need for an internet connection!

Pre-roll

In 2015, our long-awaited summer holiday in the countryside finally arrived, but the poor internet connection came as a surprise. While we were attempting to relax from the rush and bustle of city life, the slow internet made it difficult to keep connected with the outside world. A friend of mine ran into a frustrating quandary when we were trying to make the most of our time there. He needed to make a beautiful greeting card for his clients, but the poor internet was preventing him from adding creative stickers and his company logo to the photo. His frustration intensified with each passing time, and we could see the sadness on his face.

However, I refused to let the slow internet dampen our spirits, and I began brainstorming solutions. That’s when the idea for the Camorify app struck me.

White Paper Research

Starting with the white paper research, I found some interesting insights from the article Effect of Mobile App Size on Downloads from Twilio Segment

White-paper-research image

With the larger app sizes, we saw substantial losses in the product page to app install rate. In particular, there was a substantial drop around the cellular download limit (~100MB), above which Apple does not let users download the app over 3G or 4G.

– Peter Reinhardt, Twilio Segment

User Interviews

Based on my primary research, I have identified that app size plays a crucial role in user acquisition. However, I still need to test my hypothesis regarding how the internet requirement affects users’ usage of photo editing apps, particularly those focused on text on photos. To gather insights, I conducted qualitative interviews with 12 individuals, including students (Gen-Z), housewives, and shopkeepers who have encountered issues with data loading while using photo editing apps. During the interviews, I asked open-ended questions to uncover patterns and trends regarding the impact of internet connectivity on their decision to use a specific photo editing app. Subsequently, I organized the collected data through affinity mapping.

Research Questions:

  1. Can you share which types of photos you edit and explain the reasons behind your choices?
  2. Which features do you find yourself using the most while editing photos?
  3. What elements or components do you tend to utilize the most when editing your photos?
  4. What is the primary purpose for editing your photos?
  5. Which social media platform do you predominantly use to post your photos?
  6. Could you describe your process for adding captions or artwork to your photos?
  7. Would you be able to demonstrate the step-by-step process of how you edit photos using the current app you are using?

Main Insights

Based on my analysis of the affinity map and the feedback from my interviewees, it has become evident that the availability of stickers and artwork packs is significantly impacted by the requirement of data connectivity in the previous apps they have used. Additionally, the amount of storage space required by the app plays a crucial role in users’ decisions to either utilize or uninstall it from their mobile devices.

Interestingly, the data reveals that my interviewees were four times more inclined to use an app that did not necessitate an internet connection for editing photos and adding art and text to them.

Theme 1: Data Usage

  • When it was necessary to download sticker packs each time using the internet, users became frustrated.
  • Users require various types of sticker packs based on the occasion or purpose.

Theme 2: Availability of sticker packs

  • The requirement for stickers varies depending on the occasion and purpose, necessitating organized sticker packs.
  • Users’ image editing purposes can vary over time, such as product offerings, happy moments, greetings, invitations, and more.

Theme 3: Editability

  • When placing a sticker on a photo, it is crucial for it to match the colors, aesthetics, and effects of the photo.
  • Users require maximum editability options for stickers, such as the ability to change colors, add shadows, erase parts, and more.

Competitive Analysis + The gap

Considering the majority of competitor apps host their sticker and artwork packs on servers or in the cloud, I conducted an analysis of the four most popular direct competitors and two indirect competitors, taking into account both statistical data and personal experiences shared by the users during interviews.

Problem Statement

As a resident of a remote place or small town, I’ve many times encountered very low internet connectivity. So, making a good image with stickers and artwork requires a lot more time to load sticker/artwork packs in the photo editing app.

Users often encounter frustration when using photo editing apps that rely on stickers due to the requirement of an internet connection, particularly in scenarios where network connectivity is poor.

User Persona

Based on my interviews, I have identified two user personas who are highly inclined to use the app and represent the most impacted personalities.

User Journey Mapping

During my interview process, I asked open-ended questions that defined the user’s journey when editing photographs on competitors’ apps. Based on the answers, I created a user journey map.

Camorify-User-Journey-Map

Solution

Users often encounter frustration when using photo editing apps that rely on stickers due to the requirement of an internet connection, particularly in scenarios where network connectivity is poor.

Create artwork packs that are smaller in terms of file size.

  • No need to access the Internet.
  • It Consumes a much smaller size in the phone storage even if all the artwork is preloaded in the app.
  • Lower app size increases user acquisition by 79%*

Sitemap & Information Architecture

Improvements

During the entire app development journey, I actively engaged with our brilliant team members, including talented developers, and even conducted user testing sessions. Their invaluable insights served as the compass for refining and iterating on the design throughout multiple app versions.

Iteration #1

Adding Albums as the Primary Step

  • Taking into account the feedback from developers, the initial step in selecting an image involves albums, given that Facebook integration and Android native gallery view both begin with albums.
  • This approach will simplify the process for users, enabling them to locate their desired images more quickly, as they are accustomed to organizing and recalling their images through albums.

Iteration #2

Switching from Horizontal Scroll to Vertical Grid Scroll

  • Initially, the stickers pack was designed with a horizontal scroll format.
  • However, as packs grew to include over 50 stickers per pack, users were required to scroll extensively to view all the available options.
  • To alleviate cognitive load and enhance user experience, the stickers collection transitioned from a horizontal scroll to a grid layout with a vertical scroll, inspired by the mental model commonly used in popular apps like Instagram.

Iteration #3

Switching from Overlapping Color Wheel to a Linear Color Bar

  • When editing 9:16 or similar images, the size of the color wheel was too large, causing it to overlap with the editing area.
  • User feedback highlighted the difficulty in visualizing color effects on an element when the color wheel was overlapping with the color controller.
  • In response to this feedback, a significant improvement was made by replacing the overlapping color wheel with a linear color bar.
  • This change ensures a more user-friendly experience, allowing for clearer visibility and easier control of color effects without any obstructive overlaps.

Final Product

Camorify- the final design

Watch the demo of final product

Colour & Typography

Privacy is one of the most crucial decisions for photo-editing apps. So, to develop the trust I’ve included blue colour as my primary colour.

Iconography

For the iconography, I’ve searched the internet and gone through material design, but couldn’t find some of the icons which fit into photo-editing. So, I took things in my hand and designed all the icons by myself in Illustrator.

Componenents

Achievements

Our initial version of the app had an unattractive design, featuring bright colors such as dark blue and yellow. However, after a major redesign using the color scheme highlighted in this case study, we saw outstanding results:

  • Camorify was featured in the “Must-Have Downloads” section of several local editions of the Times of India.
  • The app has been listed among the Top 20 free apps in the App Store in more than nine countries.
  • Following the release of the revamped version, we observed a staggering 400% increase in app downloads.

The app’s visual appeal has proven to be a vital component in our success, and we are thrilled to continue delivering a high-quality product that users love.

Conclusion & Lesson Learned

This being my first major product, and one of my most cherished apps, I embarked on a development journey that involved various non-linear UX steps. Unfortunately, due to technical issues like massive memory leaks and the departure of a key tech lead, the product faced a significant setback. However, I embraced this failure as an opportunity for growth and embarked on a learning journey through UX courses offered by the Interaction Design Foundation. Here are a few key lessons I have gleaned from this experience:

  1. Embrace Iteration: Throughout the app development process, I quickly realized the importance of iterating relentlessly. Although our initial version featured brighter colors and some mistakes in the editor screens, we launched it on the Apps Store and Play Store. As I transitioned from using Photoshop to utilizing Figma for restructuring the app, I discovered the value of newer tools that foster collaboration with developers.

  2. Adapt to Technological and Business Trends: While designing the app, I encountered the emergence of the subscription model, yet opted for the older freemium model to align with the initial complexity of the product. In hindsight, this decision resulted in significant costs and suboptimal return on investment. The experience taught me the importance of staying abreast of evolving technology trends and aligning business practices accordingly.

  3. Failure as a Stepping Stone: I firmly believe that failure is not the end but rather a series of discoveries on the path to success. Throughout the journey, I diligently sought feedback from peers and mentors, constantly questioning my UI choices and uncovering underlying UX problems. By persevering and ensuring the app’s continuous improvement, I remained focused on providing the best possible experience for the users, regardless of the challenges encountered.

By embracing these lessons, I have grown both professionally and personally, and I am committed to applying these insights in future projects. The journey has reaffirmed my belief in the transformative power of UX processes and the importance of maintaining an open mind, continuously seeking feedback, and prioritizing user-centric design.

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