A fresh take on photo management


Click through the prototype on InVision


The Challenge

Posed as a design challenge to create a unique experience for a cloud-based photo management web application, the design focuses on three personas with varying needs and preferences for managing and interacting with their photos.


Age: 25-30

  • Owns a PRO DSLR and uses 4 lenses to shoot photos
  • Photography enthusiast. Travels around often and very serious about shooting photos. Names the individual photos and uses tags heavily.
  • Modifies photo using powerful photo editing tools and always backs up the original photo.
  • Takes maybe 100 photos a month and online backup is important for her.
  • Considers herself an advanced user and wouldn’t mind a sophisticated  interface. She only cares about getting the job done right. 
  • Prints and frames her top photos


Age: 20 - 25

  • Uses an Android and doesn’t own a camera
  • Takes photos at friends/family events, or while walking his dog to parks nearby - these are saved in folders labeled by event name and date. Doesn’t care of renaming individual photos since its time consuming
  • Often looks through to find a specific photo (usually by subject) for his own reference or to show it to his friends
  • Manipulates photos through Instagram but saves a copy of original image
  • Takes at least 5 photos a day
  • Considers himself as a basic user and he likes to have a clean, seamless experience with the application 


Age: 30-35

  • Owns a Semi-Pro DSLR
  • Married and has one small child
  • Takes photos mostly of his son, also photos of occasional trips and events.
  • Dislikes default file names, finds it to time-consuming 
  • Seldom looks for specific images; generally looks for groups of photos related to an event or date.
  • Wishes he could find photos in other ways, not just by date
  • Uses simple photo editing features like Cropping, Rotating, Brightness fix, etc.
  • Sharing is mostly via Facebook and is a major motivator for taking photos.


Age: 40-45

  • Owns a high end Point and Shoot 
  • Takes photos at all the events he goes to
  • Like to share event photos with friends and family immediately after the event
  • Prints photos to frame it
  • Would not mind switching to cloud based backup
  • Never deletes photo he takes. Every photo taken wants to be backed up.
  • Uses very basic photo editing tools and replaces the original
  • Dedicates time to create folders, organize photos and tag them
  • Would like to retain chronological order in which he took photos, but also track information about them. 





My first approach to the interactivity within the app was to incorporate an expandable top-bar, that serves an area where the user can apply filters. My vision for the top-bar was that not only for the user to interact with it, but for it to also update and be responsive to the collections that are being displayed. So for every filter applied, the map would update, and other relevant filters within the results would be made available. This can enable users to discover new categories and micro collections within their search results, and also save them time.


Adding more functionality and features to the bar by making it responsive or "smart", I realized that the narrow top segment was not enough space for all the exploration to occur. The top-bar became a very small area with high interactivity, which could confuse users, and lead to several erroneous clicks and actions. Taking all the features I envisioned, I approached the architecture in a new light - separating out the search, and having the other options such as Select, Import, Sync, and Profile as top nav options. Most of the interactivity, including filters, tags, location, etc. would now occur in the sidebar. The sidebar would also be the area that serves the four main navigational sections (Select, Import, Sync, and Profile) retaining the focus on the photos.


Home Grid View

Realizing that the photos itself can have a wide range of colors, vibrancy, and content, I determined that the app itself should take a more minimalist approach in its design components and elements. Having considered a dark and light theme as the two extremes, I asked several people which one they prefer and why. The light theme prevailed as one that delivers a calming effect, and enhancing the focus on the photos itself. The brand color was another key decision, that could be used consistently across the app with the light theme.


Welcome Screen (empty state)

Style Guide