The Light L16 camera
Writing for products is all about saying the right thing at the right time to the right people. Words help people get where they want go. I help design teams find the right ones to guide users through an experience.
My process is fairly simple...
1. Understand the problem. Why are users having trouble?
2. Put myself in the user’s shoes. What information do I need to know?
3. Find inspiration. How do other brands talk about this feature? How are we different?
4. Draft, test, repeat. Is the copy consistent? Is it on brand? Does it adhere to design principles?
5. Iterate until seamless. Does copy feel intuitive for the most basic user to the most advanced?
Challenge: Show users how to operate the most basic functions of the L16 without overwhelming them.
The L16 is not like other cameras; it’s a true smartphone-DSLR hybrid. We needed a way to ease new photographers into the experience and show them the most important features without getting too technical.
We created this interactive tutorial to help onboard new photographers to the camera of the future. The blue button moves up and down to mimic the movement users should take with the thumb.
On the left slide above, we first used the word, “finger,” instead of "thumb." Our testing indicated that this wasn't specific enough. People were using their pointer fingers to zoom—and it resulted in lower quality images. Since this was not the desired behavior, we clarified with “thumb" and the problem was solved.
The L16 buttons function a little differently. People expect to tap rather than hold their finger on the button. In our first iteration, we wrote "drag your thumb..." but quickly realized in testing that "drag" wasn't enough. The simple addition of "press" eliminated this problem.
Image Quality Tutorial
Problem: Users see the preview image and get frustrated with poor quality.
Challenge: Show users how to process and view higher quality photos.
Solution: A quick tutorial that explains differences in quality; indicators on bottom left.
The Light L16 is a complex camera. It captures multiple images of your scene at the same time, then stitches them together using computational algorithms. The result is extraordinary: a 52-megapixel image that is so crisp you could put it on a billboard. But the preview image you see in the camera’s gallery is just one of the 10 photos your camera took for that shot—not the final, fully fused photo. We needed a way to convey this.
The first iteration looked something like this...
The feedback from user testing was clear: people don't read (especially big blocks of scary text!); the icon was difficult to understand; and users wanted to know more about how to get higher quality photos and less about the technology behind it.
Our next iteration
- Created a naming structure built around image quality
- Used action phrases to show people how to use the image-quality indicators
- Drastically cut copy, opted for bullets instead
- Tossed the tech-splaining and stuck to the basic info users needed to make informed decisions about photos
We created a special app for the L16 camera so that users could give us feedback whenever they experienced an issue. You might notice a random-looking sidebar on the right—that's the camera's Android navigation. All L16 apps are accessible via the home screen.
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