Mobile wireframes – PicStagr.am

Here are some mobile wireframes that I have been playing with. Its my first attempt to wireframe anything. I call it “PicStagr.am”, a mashup of PicPlz and Instagr.am. These are two photosharing apps that I really like. I’ve also been using Path (love it), Liveshare (cool) and Color (sux).

So I’ve tried to create my own photo app, based on my experiences with these apps. But it pretty much ended up looking like Instagr.am.

Why? Because I really love the UI, look & feel and everything about Instagram. It is just so easy to use, and I have tried to replicate some of the features that I like about it. I believe that elements of it can be used for other mobile apps. The numbers don’t lie, 2.5 million users in 6 months. PicPlz has about 200k users. And hey, they say that imitation is the best form of flattery =)

Wireframe 1: Onboarding of friends

What I really like about instagr.am was how easy it was to onboard your friends. By that I mean how easy to add them to your new social network on Instagr.am. It uses facebook connect, and you can easily see who in your network is using the app. You just touch “add”, and voila!

There’s also an option to select all, but I havent included it. I rarely use any “add all” option. This interface is just so simple, and enticing to just touch the “add button” for all the people you want to include. You don’t have to go to each person’s profile. You already know who they are because you are friends with them on Facebook. Much easier than using a mouse, just tap “add”!

I’ve also included an option to add friends via email that are not in your facebook network of friends.

Wireframe 2: Uploading photos

What I like about Instagr.am, Path and also Dropbox is that they keep the UI really simple. And it looks gorgeous. Same with Airbnb as well. I think there’s been a renewed focus on user centered design and designing things that just look awesome. I believe that Apple helped pave the way for this.

Here, we’ve kept it really simple. I wanted to keep the layout very similar to the first wireframe. Give it a consistent user experience, so the user does not get confused and knows exactly where everything is.

You hold the phone camera in front of the subject and can select one of these four buttons at the bottom:

1. Share to social network: Facebook, Posterous, Tumblr, etc…

2. Filters: What Instagr.am does is that it makes ordinary pictures look extraordinary by giving it an older or tinted look. Potentially their business model could be selling additional filters. Filters that other people don’t have.

3. Camera icon

4. Delete the current pic

Button 1, 2, 4 cannot happen without taking the photo first. I like to keep the camera icon in the middle, because the user will naturally look for it.

I probably should have put a “done” button in Wireframe 1 in the top right hand corner as well. Its pretty much a save button.

Wireframe 3: View Stream

I actually really like what Picplz does with this. Their grid of pics shows the best pics from the public. Your network of pics on PicPlz is actually vertical. You scroll down, but sometimes it takes too long or you don’t want to see too many of a particular person’s photo. I also like how instagr.am also allows for content discovery of cool pics as well.

I like the grid format because it enables you to view a lot of thumbnail pics at once. Similar to how Facebook albums works, you can view them all and select the ones you like.

I’ve tried to keep a consistent format with top banner and bottom banner with the 4 icons.

That’s all for now. I’d love to hear your feedback on my first attempt to do some mobile wireframes and my analysis.

I’m out like digital cameras,

Matt Ho.

Camera phones record fatal shooting of Oscar Grant

The availability of camera phones has made everyone a photographer and a movie producer. Now, we have a device that is with us 24/7, that can record just about anything. Sometimes, they record things we wish we couldn’t see with our own eyes.

On New Year’s eve in Oakland, 4 men were arrested by BART transit officers. BART officers are basically like CityRail officers in Sydney, Australia. Oscar Grant was one of the men that was put up against a wall and was sitting down. He has his hands up and is then forced to the ground, face first. One of the officers puts a knee against his head. Another officer jumps on top, pulls out his gun and then shoots him in the back.

Check out the footage below, in its raw form (there’s a long comment at 0.11 seconds).

That is just incredible footage of a man who was wrongly shot. He was not struggling, he was co-operating with the police and then he was shot for no apparent reason. There’s also another angle which has emerged from another girl who also shot it with her camera phone. I have no words to describe this, other than shocking. if you watch the officer he actually put his hands on his head as if thinking “What have I done?”.

The family is now suing for wrongful death and the BART officer in question has resigned.

I came across this incident via Flickr. I subscribe to the Flickr blog which highlights interesting photos. In the aftermath of the shooting, there was a memorial service and a protest against police brutality (sidenote: BART officers are not police officers). The protest then turned into a riot ala the Rodney King beatings which happened like 2 decades ago, and this was captured by a Flickr user who has uploaded the photos.

A colleague of mine suggested using the search engine Mahalo, so I thought I would give it a whirl. It gives you blended search results with a mixture of wikipedia style facts, video, and results from google, yahoo, live, flickr and youtube. One of the video’s I came across was a personal account of the riots, which show how dangerous it was and also the frustration of the youths at the end.

The availability of camera phones, the internet, the various platforms from flickr, youtube, and google, have made news so much more viral. It also allows us to see things from a different perspective. Without camera phones, we would not have visual evidence of what happened, other than the oral accounts of eye witnesses. User generated content now plays an important role in the dissemination of news items and to provide greater depth, angles, and storylines which we previously never had.

The camera phone recordings will also be crucial in the legal proceedings in finding justice for the family and perhaps to prevent incidents like this occurring in the future.

I’m out like the riots in Oakland,

Matthew Ho.

www.inspiredworlds.wordpress.com

Flickr’n

The lengths some people go to take photos

The lengths some people go to take photos

The last couple of posts have been mostly focused on google innovations / online social media. I thought I’d mention something a bit different. Bumped into a friend of friend, Aaron on the train and we started talking about photography and SLR cameras. Just talking to him for the second time inspired me to think about photography and investing in a decent camera. Currently I’ve got a Sony cybershot 6.0 which set me back about $440 + (including the memory card) which I bought last year.

But I’ve recently been checking out photos of my friend’s on Flickr and other people. I love the pics where the pictures in the foreground are clear and the ones in the background are blurry – which I’ve been told is the “SLR effect”. SLR means “Single Lens Reflex“. The advantage of SLR’s is that you can change the focus and the lenses (i.e. put on a new lens). That’s how people can get the wide angle shots and those mad shots you see in magazines.

The thing I dont like about SLR’s is that they are clunky and heavy to carry. Its harder to blend in when your travelling or want to take pics without being noticed. What some people do, is carry both  – an SLR and a point N shoot camera. Some also carry video cameras too! So they dont miss a single second.

I’ve been checking out this Flickr of Tim Rudder and also Andrew Cato’s blog, who did my mates wedding on the weekend. Some inspiring stuff. I’m going to have to look into these cameras as they dont come cheap and maybe some photography lessons. I might start off with a basic camera and go from there.

When I was travelling, I took so many pics and I’ve posted my best ones on Flickr, so check’em out here.

Also, I’m going to Clickaholics on Thursday @ Watershed – its an industry cocktail event for those in online. Check it:

With 710 people attending the last Sydney event, Clickaholics is the major calendar event for all in Digital Marketing. This even is shaping up to be even bigger with 1,200+ people RSVP’ed already on facebook. We have built our events to this level by following the simple formula of offering an evening where the industry can seriously network in a relaxed, fun environment.

I’m out like point n shoot cameras,

Matt