Moss app was a lean project of a small team that had a photo sharing app concept they wanted to develop and pitch with investors. What if we represented the popularity and interest gained by user-uploaded photos in a natural, visual way, and found a way raise the level of dynamicity in generated photo collages? The Moss team hired me to design a UI that would turn these abstract ideas to concrete user interface design, and help the technical members of the team develop a prototype in Unity.
Moss app's photo UI and look and feel.
My starting point was interviewing the customer, and exploring various navigational and layout approaches that might present the concepts of user content growing when "watered" by other users' positive interaction. After the ideation phase we chose to go forward with a tile-based interface with meta level functionalities filed away from view as far as possible. We wanted to let user-generated content fill the screen, and keep the number of key interactions to a minimum.
I work a lot on a conceptual level, and on Moss we had to spend a lot of time to find the right mental model to serve the users (and investors). I always start a design process by drafintg out the key concepts and main service-level interactions of a product, and while it's important to keep iterating on them, it's also important to keep lower-level design decisions aligned to these higher-level guidelines.
I had the pleasure of working with an enthusiastic and experienced product manager who was a good partner in dialog about the service concept. He hadn't fallen in love with his own solutions and was able to give clear information about the background and reasoning behind their original ideas as I interviewed him. He responded well when I brought up potential pain points of some of the solutions we decided to use for our MVP.
The customer team's schedule required fast turnaround, a grasp of their specific needs and good technical understanding of asset production in order to get a demoable product out of the pipeline in time for Slush 2014. Finding traction for a seed round failed, but nevertheless Moss was an interesting and refreshing small tablet project where I got to work with rich media content and focus on individual interactions, which is a nice balance to enterprise projects.