A Kodak Moment

We began with a challenge from Kodak: How do we redefine classic the Kodak moment?

How we started — Displaying beautiful photos alongside narrative descriptions.

Earlier this year our design team at Junior collaborated with Kodak Alaris to build and design the Kodak Moments application thus redefining the classic “Kodak Moment”. The goal of the project was to help people elevate their most precious moments through photography and create a narrative describing the experience. We wanted to emphasize the user’s photograph as well as give consideration to the user’s written description making each Moment into more of an editorial. We focused in on the opportunities with Kodak Moments to elevate and preserve one’s memories and our team began a process of ideation, research, and implementation to bring all of these aspects forth.

The Inspiration

We drew heavily from existing social applications such as Instagram and Medium to leverage the user experience solutions that were done so well in those products. Bringing in these ideas helped to draw upon established user interface patterns and helped to inform our team of what we wanted to achieve. We identified through a week long design sprint two crucial aspects for a socially driven Moments app. The first key insight was obvious: the photograph. The user’s image needed to be captivating and with the emotional resonance needed to bring the idea of a Kodak Moment into the digital space. The second insight was the witty/funny/inspiring description which establishes the photograph as a narrative, similar to those in an editorial piece. Our team gravitated to building out tools that would help the user make the most of these two important insights thus giving meaning to the Kodak Moment in the digital age.

We wanted to emphasize the user’s precious moment in time and carefully created a system for the user to elevate their photograph into a narrative driven experience. Typography was a key element in achieving this. The description carries the same level of importance as the photograph because it sets the atmosphere for that particular photograph. Our team chose the typeface Whitney for its ability to appear like print typography on a digital screen. We were trying to achieve with typography the tactile feeling of paper on screen, therefore giving a sense of permanence to the user’s post. The attention we gave to the description turns the user’s post into a narrative and each photograph begins to take on the look of an editorial.

Designing Kodak Moments

What is the purpose of Moments and what space does it occupy in the social digital landscape?

One of the earliest challenges we faced with Moments was the brand positioning. What would be the approach, purpose, and target audience we were going for? With those questions in mind we developed our ideas through intense ideation phases and a week long design sprint to gain a clear picture of our end goal. The sprint phase was rife with roadblocks, breakthroughs and insights all done to achieve a glimmer of the product we were looking for.

Our insights took into consideration the idea of redefining the “Kodak Moment”, something we defined as a memory suspended in time. Photographs can be elevated and take on more of a permanence in the digital realm. These ideas were grounded in analog media yet we wanted to bring them to the Kodak Moments application giving it a similar aesthetic to the magazine Kinfolk(which was a style the client really gravitated towards).

A connection to Kodak Kiosk

The great thing about working with Kodak on Moments is the sheer amount of resource and interconnectivity within a larger system. The app itself lives in iOS and Android. One of the key areas where we were able to connect the real and digital world was within Kodak’s preexisting kiosk system. The user is able to edit and post their meaningful photographs on Moments and then take the photo to a Kodak kiosk and produce physical prints. It allows the application to transcend digital and take on the physical permanence of print. We thought the existing kiosk system was a dynamic way to tie in both the digital product and physical product to the idea of permanence.

It’s all about Kodak Moment’s User Experience

Designing within Kodak’s scale

Designing for the user means to account for the different perspectives in experience of the different users. We intensely focused on designing a user experience that felt intuitive to both the user posting and a user viewing. A user posting has the available tools to enhance both the quality of the photo through filter adjustments and an opportunity to write a narrative that appropriately describes their photo. A user viewing is the recipient of these narrative experiences and has the opportunity to comment and show some love!

Leading users to the Kiosk feature

One of the primary challenges of Kodak Moments was to pivot the user experience to lead people into using the kiosk feature. We realized that there was a large amount of friction going from posting and viewing photos to the kiosk feature. Our team solved for this by giving the kiosk feature its own clearly defined process within the architecture of the app and allowed the user streamline the process to the print feature.

Solving for UX challenges

The process of designing Moments was abundant with user experience challenges. Among the primary challenges was discovering ways to inform the user on our system of affordances. We were able to help the user navigate the application by providing gestural cues as well as textual cues. The user sees the iconography and is prompted to perform an action, an example is commenting and liking, this system of affordances is seen throughout Moments and helps lead the user to their action potential in order for them to begin creating their own “Kodak Moment”.

Lessons We Learned

Let’s get context shall we?

The biggest insight the design sprint produced was to get context early. It was important for us to focus on the purpose and audience Moments was attempting to appeal to, in our case we focused on the idea of scaling precious memories to the digital space. This means producing and prototyping ideas to see if they stand up to the test. It was apparent to get user feedback early in order to produce a user experience that felt intuitive and easy to use.

Accepting the constraints of the brand

When working with a big client such as Kodak there are of course many brand constraints to consider, these constraints however are the things that bring forth creativity. Our biggest constraint was having to incorporate the existing UI structure linking the digital app to the physical kiosk and working within that existing system. Although at times the constraints felt like restrictions we saw it as a challenge and opportunity to offer solutions that accomplish what we set out for.