Time 1 week, 2017,
Tools Principle, Sketch,
Context self-initiated project
As an Apple advocate, I have often wondered why this functionality lags so far behind other iOS features. Therefore, I decided to rethink it as a contextual interface. Rather than viewing it as a redesign, the project is more of an exploration of alternative possibilities designing system features.
People take screenshots to remember a song or an event, to gather inspiration, or just to simply send them to friends. Intentions vary, but screenshots always end up in the same place, namely in the photo folder (iOS until early 2019). As a result, the user is obliged to leave the current action in order to achieve the intended goal.
Smart screenshots makes recommendations for further actions by anticipating the user's next interaction based on the screenshot content and the user's prior activity. The suggestion can be accepted, changed, or ignored without interrupting the user's current flow.
Originally this project started as I moved to Berlin and later to Shanghai. Within 4 months I collected about 300 screenshots of mainly public transportations in both cities. I was bugged by the constant decluttering of my photo folder. I thought I was just an edge case, but talking to other people, most of them told me about similar issues. That's why I started to look further into this topic.
There were hundreds of screenshots people sent me, which I sorted according to the purpose for which they were taken. In order to get a better understanding of specific use cases, I talked to 2 people in more detail about their practices.
Below I have visualized an example of an current user flow, where Laura sends a screenshot to a contact via Whatsapp. She described it as:
"it is annoying to switch back and forth between apps"
Seeing where the person's hand is when taking screenshots was very insightful for the further process.
Following the user research, I created various prototypes to find out which interaction was the most user-friendly.
With this contextual approach, the user does not have to leave the current flow when taking screenshots, and is able to continue with their current doing.
To make the design look and feel like part of the iOS system, I followed Apple's visual guidelines.
• Balancing constraints and freedom in order to avoid losing focus or limiting the creative process too much.
• Being confident in how to continue with the process.
• Getting comfortable with being solely responsible for a project.