Etchings App Redesign

Etchings is a retro photo editing app that was submitted to the apple app store in 2013. Its most recent version was last updated in 2016. The design task was to improve the current interface to make it look more modern. I worked on the Etchings App Redesign project in 2019.

My Role
UX Designer
Problem Definition, User Research, Competitive Benchmarking, Wireframing, and Prototyping

Project Overview and Features

Easy navigation between before and after photo edits

Users can now see the before and after of an image while they edit using the filter feature without returning to the previous page or undoing their action.

Considering that most user add filters to their pictures and look at the extremely small details. Therefore, it is important that the interface allows users achieve this action seamlessly.

New filters and microinteractions
The app now has a swipe and bolder filters. The images are larger and the gesture allows realtime update without adding extra steps when a user taps on a filter.

With the expand button, the settings can easily be put away to avoid any distractions while the user interacts with the app. It has also been designed to sit right at the thumb area for easy click and interaction. This feature makes the interface less cluttered with an obvious sign showing that there are actions hidden below the button.

Project Plan

My UX plan was to define the problem by reviewing the current app interface by specifically looking for design and usability problems. This will then make lead to identifying opportunities for improvement. Also, the plan was to carry out user research through interviews to understand their motivations and pain points when using a photo editing app.

Problem Definition

With an abundance of apps that helps users edit their photo and videos seamlessly, there is a need to develop a modern, user-friendly, and functional app that can work with other features and affords social interactions. Based on research, a large number of people who use photo editing apps do so to post images on social media platforms for their followers to appreciate and give thumbs. Current app interface below;

User Research

I have been able to generate relevant insights from potential users of etchings & other existing photo editing apps using my assumptions as a premise for research. I came up with a few questions, which I used in quickly interviewing 5 people. While I found this exercise useful, a lesson learned early into the process was that that of the 5 random people that I approached to interview, they were all not artistic and only used photo editing apps for cosmetic photo retouches. Although, they all admitted to having tried an artistic app that illustrates and create retro effects.

Research Insights

Key Insight 1: There are two ends of a spectrum on the user types. “The pros” and “Amateurs”.
Key Insight 2: Those that use photo editing app use it as a social activity whereby they put the completed image on a social media platform to share with friends.
Key Insight 3: To get their desired results, users agreed that they go through an average of 4-5 steps. This process includes uploading images, trying out the filters, and saving and image.
Key Insight 4: The aim is to create more flawless pictures. The filters that are currently available are good enough although they may be better if categorized for easy use.
Key Insight 5: Not so many young adult users are artistically inclined when editing their photos. Therefore, the etching app may appeal more to older adults/ seniors who have a sense/ appreciation for a retro feel. An opportunity will be to attract young adults who are active “editers”.


Competitive Benchmark

A competitive review was done to find patterns on some existing photo editing apps. However, it is important to know that one of the photo editing apps that was reviewed below is a multi-feature photo app and does not directly fall within the same category as Etchings.

Thanks for stopping by!
Do not hesitate to email me to discuss a future project, an opening or to chat anything of interest over a cup of coffee.