Redesigning Capture Joy

Welcome to another edition of redesigning apps with Yuki! Well just kidding. This is only the 2nd redesign project but maybe it’ll become a regular thing in the future…

A little bit of background

Capture Joy is a wedding planning app that helps couples do everything from inviting guests, setting up a schedule, and share photos. The company itself was part of Y-combinator and still is in its early stages with around 15 employees. My friend (shoutout to Julian!) and I were asked to redesign a new experience for capturing moments. What are moments? Moments are pictures and videos that could be posted within the Joy app to be shared to all of the wedding attendees. Think of it as a digital photo album with everyone in the wedding being contributors.

Our goal was to rethink the way these moments can be captured in Joy’s mobile experience.

So what was the problem?

Upon digging through the mobile app and listening to our mentors, we noticed a couple of problems in the current flow of capturing moments.

  1. The mobile app itself has a messy information architecture that makes capturing difficult to access
  2. Upon reaching the capture screen, there aren’t any interesting ways to customize individual photos/videos
  3. Going through moments is pretty stressful. There are no organization features that makes it easy to sort through moments
  4. Incentivizing people to capture moments is hard. How can we get people to post more moments for the bride and groom?

Solving the pain points

After identifying the pain points stated above, we thought of elaborate solutions that could solve these so that they could later be implemented in the new redesign.

1. The mobile app itself has a messy information architecture that makes capturing difficult to access

One of the first things we did was to understand every single feature within Joy and write it down on a document. By doing this we were able to organize each of these features in to different categories. At the end, we boiled down Joy’s core experience into 3 pillars: Wedding Information, Capture, and Moments.

2. Upon reaching the capture screen, there aren’t any interesting ways to customize individual photos/videos

When thinking of new interesting ways to customize moments, we looked at similar social media apps on the market like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. One of the common features we noticed in all of these platforms was the existence of filters and stickers. While we did do some design sprints to come up with “different” ways to capture, we came to the conclusion that Joy’s capabilities in implementing anything beyond filters and stickers was unrealistic at this point of time. Eventually, “different” ways to capture could be implemented but we decided that now was not the appropriate time.

3. Going through moments is pretty stressful. There are no organization features that makes it easy to sort through moments

To combat the problem of unorganized moments, we easily agreed that there needed to be some album feature that lets users easily go through the many pictures and videos taken on the day of the wedding. The more difficult part was coming up with how these albums would be organized. For example, organizing moments by each individual contributor would cause an overpopulation of albums and sorting through it wouldn’t get any easier. After lots of back-and-forth conversations, we decided that an efficient way would be to organize albums by each event on the wedding day schedule. More on how this works will be explained later.

4. Incentivizing people to capture moments is hard. How can we get people to post more moments for the bride and groom?

The last issue we had to solve was how to get more people to capture more. Now this was a super difficult one. I say this because I use a variety of social media platforms but instead of posting every detail of my life, I’m more of an observer that likes to see what other people are up to. In addition, a majority of the wedding attendees are unlikely to be millennials that understand the culture of sharing. We did come up with creative ways to incentive this process like giving a gift to the person that shared the most moments but that was hard to enforce as it was up to the bride and groom to actually give something away. In the end, we thought of a leaderboard system where users are consistently reminded of who is posting the most . In this way, users would be motivated to capture moments since the more you do, the more exposure you get from all of the other wedding attendees. While being in first place doesn’t actually give users a physical (or in that case a digital) reward, who knows? The bride and groom might be kind enough to give the top contributor something special!

Early Sketches

Sketches are always fun to do. We actually came up with these sketches above by combining each of our early ideas on how the app would perform. The main thing to take away here is the drastic UI change we envisioned. There is a 2-level information architecture system to easily navigate through each of Joy’s 3 pillars: wedding information, capture, and moments. I’ll explain more in depth down below.

The Output

After 7 weeks of meetings and discussing our progress with Joy’s designers, we presented our prototype to them. Just as a note, this prototype is intended to demonstrate how the app would perform on the day of the event.

Joy’s redesigned information architecture

It can be pretty hard to describe the redesigned Joy app with static images but let’s break it down screen by screen. I’ll start out by explaining what’s going on in the top layer.

The Top Layer

The top layer hosts 2 tabs. The one on the left is the wedding information tab where users can access their profile, guest list, and other essentials. We actually quite enjoyed the previous design of Joy’s landing screen where it featured the couple’s photo so we continued that trend here. Also, as another way to remind users to capture more moments, we added a simple message from the bride & groom right up top.

The right tab is home to all of the moments captured in the Joy app. The moments are laid out in a fun masonry view that mimics a real life photo collage. You can obviously scroll through the many moments people have posted. Additionally, users can change this view by tapping on the albums icon on the top right. Upon tapping this, you will recognize that there will be albums sorted by the each event on the wedding day. This means that if you wanted to see photos just from the After Party (where all the fun stuff happens), all you have to do is tap on that button. This alleviates the issue of users having to scroll through a seemingly endless feed of moments.

On the top of this tab features the leaderboard I was talking about earlier with the faces of the top 3 contributors. Users are constantly reminded of these top 3 contributors so that they can compare their scores with their own.

The Bottom Layer

Next I will go over the bottom layer that is used for capturing moments. The reason we made this as a different layer was because we really wanted to prioritize the ease of access in capturing moments. Swiping down or pressing on the circle on the tab bar (on the top layer) will instantaneously take you to the capture layer. Essentially, this information architecture ensured that users can access capturing moments regardless of whether they are in wedding information or moments.

The capture layer enables users to post essentially 3 types of content: photos/videos from a photo album, a text post, and a new photo/video. These all can be easily accessed by swiping through the screens or tapping on each individual button on the bottom menu bar.

The most interesting feature within this capture layer is within taking a new photo/video. As with most social media platform conventions, tapping on the circle will take a picture while holding the circle will take a video up to 10 seconds. Users can then customize these moments by adding a caption, sticker, or a drawing with their finger. One interesting thing you might notice is the “Breakfast” drop down menu on the top right. This indicates which album this moment will be posting to. In this case, the moment will be posted to the Breakfast album based on the user’s location and time of event. The app is smart enough to understand this because the bride and groom has already setup a schedule for each of the wedding’s events.

The added benefit to this design is that users don’t need to pick an album each time they capture a moment since it’s already pre-selected. Of course, they are able to choose which album to post to if for some reason that specific moment doesn’t apply to the album. Upon pressing the post button, it is added to the moments where all wedding attendees can view it.


Like I said, an app is hard to convey with just static images. Below are some animations I made with Flinto.

This is the flow of a user going from wedding information to moments. Switching between these two views can be done by swiping left and right or tapping on the tab bar.

This is the flow of a user going from the top layer to access capture. Navigating between camera roll, camera, and text post can easily be done by swiping through the screens or tapping on the bottom menu.

Reflecting Back

All in all, redesigning the capture experience within Joy was a total blast! Part of it was because this side project was working on a real-life app and the other part was because I got to work on it with one of my closest designer friends. It was also a great opportunity to use more motion tools and it’s just always a ton of fun since it communicates the idea more fluidly. I do wish that we had the time to do more user testing and in-depth research but with the 7-week time constraint, it was difficult to manage. Hopefully we can continue to work on this more in the future.

Thank you for sticking till the very end. Feel free to check out the rest of my work at!