Capturing Moments: The UX of taking photos

This project challenged me to create a solution for a common problem: the way photo-taking interrupts our time with friends and family, causes strife between the photographer and those being photographed, and the overall negative experience of being with that friend or family member who insists on taking many, many photos in an effort to get the perfect shot.


The opportunity to create a solution for photo-taking that doesn’t interrupt people’s time together was was twofold: I could simultaneously help obsessive photo-takers get the pictures they crave while also making the experience of being photographed something that was more pleasant and did not disrupt people’s time together.

My Role

UX Research & iOS design


11 days


Most people have someone in their lives who is what I call an “obsessive photo-taker” — someone who is always shooting with their camera or smart phone, who photographs mundane events and requests posed photos with multiple takes to get the right one. That this is an unpleasant experience (usually for everyone involved, including the photographer) goes without saying.


Contextual Inquiry

I already knew the mindset of people who are subjected to time with a friend or family member who is an obsessive photo-taker and interrupts the moment to take pictures. I almost never take pictures with people, but will be the first to ask someone who did take pictures to send them to me. I wanted to know — what’s going on in the minds of people who do take a lot of photos? There was only one way to find out: I had to start prioritizing having photos of my friends and family and then take them. A LOT of them.

Survey and Interviews

A survey of men and women from age 17–60+ revealed:

  • 20% of respondents take photos daily, while 39% take photos 3–6 days/week and 34% take photos 1–3 times/week.
  • 26% of respondents take “lots” or an obsessive amount of photos, while 50% take photos of specific moments and 14% only take photos when they deem something uncommonly special.
  • Of the non-obsessive photo-taking women I interviewed, nearly all of them reported wanting to take photos with friends or family but forgetting to do so until it was too late.
  • Of the obsessive photo-take people I interviewed, all reported a common pain point around organization of their photos. Taking the photos on their phones and then moving them to their computers where they would get sorted and labeled is a lot of work, and these users craved a better way to caption, tag and organize photos right from their phones.



Feature Prioritization

After conducting research and creating personas, the features I was looking to create were clear and needed to include ways to:

  • quickly and simply share all the photos taken during an event with others
  • tag and organize photos to be easily found and used later
  • remind the user to take photos during certain events
  • create physical items, such as prints and gifts, out of the photos


Testing and Iterations

I used affinity mapping and a design studio session with my classmates to think of all the ways that the user’s problems could be solved.


You can view the clickable prototype of Moments here. It begins with a walkthrough of the app, and includes a flow of creating a Session, naming it, tagging a photo, and creating an ornament with it, based on the needs of Jen’s persona. It also includes a flow of creating a Session, inviting friends of collaborate, upvoting and commenting on photos and sharing to social media, based on Nina’s needs.


There is no such thing as a unicorn — this project pushed me in my visual design skills and I came to a point where I recognized that I needed help withe finding the best colors and fonts and received some from a very helpful classmate. I in turn helped others navigate some of the more complex parts of Sketch as well as setting up InVision sync. In UX, giving help freely and knowing when to ask for it yourself is extremely important.

Tech | Design | Code | Feminism | Minimalism

Tech | Design | Code | Feminism | Minimalism