app icon

Acer Camera 4.0

Smart engine, Simple interface

holding device

Overview

Acer Camera is a built-in and essential app in Acer smart phones. Acer Camera tries to help people take good photo easily and faster with the following features:

- Pause N Shoot -
It is always hard to take a selfie by yourself or with a group with one hand. Pause N Shoot solves the problem. While a face is detected and the phone is held still for 2 seconds, the camera will assume you are going to selfie and start the timer to capture. The action is so intuitional, just the same as the normal behavior of selfie.

- Timer Restart -
It's annoying that the camera shutter is triggered by the timer but users are not ready for selfie. With Acer Camera, users can restart the timer by shaking the device. It also can avoid blurred photo caused by camera shake while selfie.

- Down-Down Shooting -
Do you always miss a moment to capture while your phone on sleep mode? The Acer Camera users can press volume down key to evoke the phone and camera app at the same time, and press the same key again to capture. It keeps the users' fingers in the same place on the phone to decrease action time.

- Favorite Shot -
Users can swipe right to switch from default auto mode to Favorite Shot, a secondary frequently capture mode the users assigned, or swipe left to selfie mode.

• • • • • •

It's a project from April to June in 2015. I held the brainstorming with my supervisor to explore imagination of a smart camera and collect scenarios and the difficulties of photo shooting. We also reviewed our competitor's app and our previous version. With a UX researcher's support, the way of users holding device is investigated by literature review and the first hand research.

Three interaction designers participated in concept development. Wireframing is in my charge with detailed UI flow for implement. I also made prototype and animation with a junior designer. The visual design shown here was not official one. I just also designed it during my work free time as practice.

Time

Apr 2015 - Jun 2015

My Role

Research
Interaction Design
Animation
Visual Design

Company

Acer Inc.

Credit

Research: Chun-Chuan Lin, JP Chen, Cooney Huang
Concept: Chun-Chuan Lin, JP Chen, David Chen
UI flow: Chun-Chuan Lin
Animation: Chun-Chuan Lin, Leo Wang
GUI design: Chun-Chuan Lin


Main Screens

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Brainstoring

Exploration Stage

01

Brainstorming Topics


(1) Let’s talk about your capture experience
The devices you usually use for photo shooting.
The use scenario, purpose and object.
The best and wrost experience within 3 month.

(2) Talk about your photo shooting experience with mobile apps.
What feature do you like or dislike and why?
What do you care about?

(3) What Smart Camera should be?

02

Affinity Diagram


To organize a large number of ideas generated from brainstorming

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Research

Competitor Analysis and UX Study

Competitor Analysis

01

Competitor Study


From UI & UX perspective, we picked up the main stream players’ newest phones, analyzed Camera App, from signature features to main screen UI structure and placement, compare with Acer Camera App to figure out how we could improve in NEW Acer Camera.

02

Current Acer Camera Review


The Acer camera 3.5 is reviewed. Some issues are found and classified into Interaction Design, Visual Design and Wording as below. In conclusion, Favorite shot is difficult to realize and modify; Capture modes are hard to understand and operate; User interface is a bit complicated for beginners.

IA of Acer Camera v3.5

Problem summary: scattered functions, cluttered layout & operation confusion

Interaction Design

  • Too many emphasized functions in main UI make it messy.
  • Quick Menu makes people confused because the actions also act as indicators.
  • It is difficult for users to understand the Favorite Shot as the 2nd shutter in main UI and know how to assign a favorite mode.
  • Capture Modes have too many items without introduction about their real functions. It also causes confused that Capture Mode is put together with Scene Mode and Filter Effect.
  • Mode Menu consists of various settings including basic and advanced ones. The new users feel it complicated because the structure is not organized well.
  • Zoom In/Out Bar makes UI more complicated. Using gestures, like pinch in/out, to zoom will be more intuitive.
  • There is no obvious feedback during and after capturing.

Visual Design

  • Some icons, unable to represent their real meaning, are hard for user to recognize.
  • The visual style which mixes Metal and Flat, is not harmonious.

Wording

  • Users cannot understand the functions from mode names, such as Presentation, Bright Magic, and Free Focus.

UX Study Inspiration

03

Literature Review


"How Do Users Hold Mobile Devices?" and "The Rise of the Phablet: Designing for Larger Phones" by Steven Hoober are reviewed to understand how people interact with their smart devices. We also collect some images from the internet to see how people hold devices while taking photos.

How Do Users Hold Mobile Devices?

Steven Hoober

Source: http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2013/02/how-do-users-really-hold-mobile-devices.php
This study was ended on Jan 8, 2013, took two months and observed 1,333 users.

Summary of how people hold and interact with mobile phones

“The important is the way in which users hold their phone is not a static state. Users change the way they’re holding their phone very often — sometimes every few seconds. Users’ changing the way they held their phone seemed to relate to their switching tasks.”

“People keep buying large devices—and not all of them are people with large hands. So we know that users are not going to torture themselves with a one-hand grip trying to reach all areas of the screen. We should understand if they’re not comfortable with the way they’re currently holding the device, they’ll simply change their grip to one that works better for them.”

The Rise of the Phablet: Designing for Larger Phones

Steven Hoober

Source: http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2014/11/the-rise-of-the-phablet-designing-for-larger-phones.php

People Switch, a Lot

“The assumption that most mobile-phone use is with one hand is false—even more so for larger phones, or phablets.”

People Tap in Multiple Ways while the Center is the Easiest Area to Tap

”The center of the screen is still the easiest part to tap, people can easily shift their hold to touch anywhere on the screen.”

04

UX research


We interviewed our internal staff and investigated how they hold and interact with devices while taking photo. The most interesting thing is that some people use covers to protect their devices and that would influence their way to take photos.

Thumb Hot Zone of Comfortable Area While Taking Photos

In general, considering smartphone size, landscape or portrait mode usage and also with or without a cover, it is suggested that puttng primary and frequently-used control buttons according to above priority to enable user to operate easily under any holding position.

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Definition

Design Goal

From Brainstorming, Competitor Study, Current Acer Camera Review and UX study about device holding, the following points for developing Acer Camera 4.0 concept is summarized briefly:

  1. In the previous version of Acer Camera, the cluttered layout, scattered functions and some features (e.g. Favorite Shot, as the 2nd shutter) make users confused and frustrated.
  2. For most of users, what they really care about is shooting speed and photo quality. Just a simple tap to get a good quality photo is what they want. Too many complicated control items, only helpful for advanced users, may distract normal users from taping a shutter simply.
  3. Most of users have difficulty in selfie when holding the device by a single hand. Different holding position should be considered when designing the layouts. Frequently-used buttons should be put in the place which is easy for user to touch.

HMW:

  1. How might we balance the normal users and advanced user's requirement.
  2. How might we help users selfie easier with one hand holding?
  3. How might we help users taking photo faster?
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Concept Development

Idea Exploration

Initial Concepts

01

Concept A


Users can add Favorite Shot, the second shutter in a specific capture mode, by pinning a mode from capture mode menu to the main screen. It tried to solve the issue of version 3.5, which people do not know where to setup Favorite Shot. People can also customize their capture modes by dragging.

02

Concept B


We keep the capture mode menu in the screen bottom to enable users to select easily. When capture mode menu slides up, other control buttons, useless for the moment, are hidden to let users focus on mode switching. People can also customize their capture modes in edit mode.

03

Concept C


The guesture is used for mode switching. Users can swipe up or down to change the capture modes. But it lack a hint to indicate users they can swipe.

04

Concept D


We put switching cam button in the bottom. We added page indicators to let users know they can swipe. But it is not a good idea when there are lots of the capture modes. They are unable to memorize the order and may swipe many times to select what they want.

Concept Convergence

01

Concept - Pin Your Favorite Shot


Keeping only two main action buttons, Photo Taking and Video Recording, in main screen makes users to take action more directly after launching camera app.

Users can add Favorite Shot by pinning a mode from capture mode menu to the main screen.

02

Concept - Flick to Switch Camera


Keeping only one shutter in the main screen and using flick gesture to switch cams let users take a capture without interruption in a simple UI.

Visual guide will show every time when the app is launched to hint users they can flick to switch cams.

Users can customize the capture mode and modify the modes to be visible or invisible to decide what capture modes they need.

Transition

Pause N Shoot

It is always hard to take a selfie by yourself or with a group because on more hand to tap the shutter. Pause N Shoot solves the problem. While a face is detected and the phone is held still for 2 seconds, the camera will assume you are going to selfie and start the timer to capture. The action is so natural and intuitional because it is just the same as the normal behavior of selfie.

Time Restart

It's annoying that the camera shutter is triggered by the timer but users are not ready for selfie. With Acer Camera, users can restart the timer by shaking the device. It also can avoid blurred photo caused by camera shake while selfie.

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Interaction Design

Detailed Wireframes and Flow

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Visual Design

Icon design and visual layouts

01

Camera and Video Recoding


Keep camera shutter and video recording button in the main screen makes users to take action more directly.

02

Cam Switching


Users can flick left to selfie mode; flick right to switch camera to Favorite Shot which users can define by themselves.

03

Capture mode Menu


Users can tap menu icon to evoke capture mode menu listing top 6 most frequently-used modes in default. Users also can swipe up to view more capture modes in the full screen, in which users can customize the order of modes by long-pressing.

04

Capture modes


In addition to Auto mode for general situations, Acer Camera 4.0 provides various advanced modes to meet users’ need in different situations.

05

Settings and Top Controls


The interface is kept simple by collapsing Flash Light, Timer, Private Shot, Voice Control and Settings into overflow button. The indicators will be shown with overflow if the value of controls are not in default.