WunderPhotos - Photo Upload Redesign
The Weather Underground WunderPhotos product hosts a large community of nature and weather photographers. Thousands of photos are uploaded to WunderPhotos each week. Each photo goes through a moderation process, where they are looked at by volunteers and accepted/rejected based on their appropriateness for the site. This ensures that we have a large collection of beautiful, pg-rated, nature and weather photos. Perhaps the largest collection on the internet.
However, the WunderPhotos upload process left a lot to be desired. I led a team of designers and developers in a project to improve the photo upload process. Our central goal was to remove technological and interface obstacles to uploading photos for our users.
Known Problems from the Onset:
The original photo upload process...
- required Flash to be installed on user's computers. We wanted to remove our dependency on Flash.
- was not responsive. We wanted users to easily contribute photos from their mobile device.
- was not intuitive. We had a large body of anecdotal reports from users describing difficulty in contributing photos. In particular, users expressed difficulty knowing when they were "done" or had successfully provided all required information and successfully submitted their photos to the photo moderation queue.
To investigate how users typcially engaged with the WunderPhotos product and community, I created a survey that was publicly launched on the Weather Underground website. I also conducted a series of interviews with selected WunderPhotos users. I then reviewed all of the survey and interview data and derrived stories or "themes". These themes (represented as blue post-its in the image above) were grouped based on product area, and served as the basis for creating product requirements.
Early Prototypes and Sketching
In the first prototype attempts I tried to draw clear attention to the photos that were complete and ready for upload, and those that still required more information/fields to be filled out before it could be uploaded. Also, I tried to make sure the user knew which information applied to a single photo versus what actions/information applied to the whole set of photos.
After your photos have been successfully submitted, you are presented with a summary of the images and their meta data as well as a couple options on who to proceed from here.