After we understood what the current system looked like, and the pain points with that system, we were able to pick a couple of problems to brainstorm solutions for. We used sketching and storyboarding to bring these ideas to life.
I was surprised to hear how inefficient other areas of the image editing workflow were. It wasn’t just the cropping that was time consuming. Photo research in the application was also very time consuming. I broadened our idea generation to include these areas also.
After doing crazy 8’s, sketching 8 ideas in 5 minutes, and then sketching one big idea, we put on our zen voting hats. Each person interpreted the sketches without explanation and put a green or red dot on pieces of the sketch they liked or didn’t like. The team combined concepts from the sketches into one big idea.
We created three prototypes using Sketch and Invision. The first prototype was a global media upload that allowed users to view and edit photo renditions by clicking an upload button in the primary navigation. The second prototype provided advanced search features for image research. The third prototype was ‘The Reaper,’ a tool that allowed you to preview and override machine-generated image renditions.
We shared the prototypes with people we met during user interviews that told us they handled photo production. Editors loved the concept of a global media bar because it made it easy to find and use images at any stage of content creation. And, the extreme editors we thought would want control over every image crop decision were comfortable with the “safe zone.”