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A first pass rough sketch of my proposed new solution, in service ecology form. At this stage, it looks like just about every digital service ever.

“Here we are vulnerable, particularly as women, without the tools or means to protect ourselves.

Algorithms do not know the context of a photograph, they don’t understand, or pre-empt the consequences of their own function.”

Ghost Stories: do we know where our images end up online?

My research shows that control over depictions of our selves is not important to everyone, but maybe it should be. 

We are all our own ghosts, now. 

My case studies culminated in this framework.

Looking at photography-related limits revealed that all of them can be classified into time, space, or quantity in terms of the type of limit they impose. Looking further into the relationship between time, space, and quantity led me to A Theory of Magnitude. Cognitive scientist Vincent Walsh created the original version of this framework to illustrate his finding that we process these three types of limits with the same part of the brain when working to grasp magnitude. 

With digital photography, space and quantity have become irrelevant. Time-based limits are the only meaning-making limit that remains. Vine and Snapchat are obvious examples, but even the photo stream or feed is harnessing time to create a limit.

My deletion app uses time to determine how long you get to keep a photo. I’m also considering how sharing environments can de-emphasize history; does time have to be the organizing element?

Sloganeering is always fun for me. My app deletes your photos, something people universally do not like. How could I make that sound like a positive feature instead of an undesirable and powerless state of being? 
I decided Save what matters. Let the rest go. sent a positive and self-affirming message that sits well within our environment of digital and physical stuff overload. 
As digital and print media continue to cross-pollinate, I think we’re heading toward a future where “digital” services will be advertised in “print” media. Accordingly, I made two print ads for It Photo that emphasized the strange and personal nature of what matters. I shot these at my house with objects that came from boxes of stuff I’d been meaning to get rid of. That seemed fitting. Sloganeering is always fun for me. My app deletes your photos, something people universally do not like. How could I make that sound like a positive feature instead of an undesirable and powerless state of being? 
I decided Save what matters. Let the rest go. sent a positive and self-affirming message that sits well within our environment of digital and physical stuff overload. 
As digital and print media continue to cross-pollinate, I think we’re heading toward a future where “digital” services will be advertised in “print” media. Accordingly, I made two print ads for It Photo that emphasized the strange and personal nature of what matters. I shot these at my house with objects that came from boxes of stuff I’d been meaning to get rid of. That seemed fitting. Sloganeering is always fun for me. My app deletes your photos, something people universally do not like. How could I make that sound like a positive feature instead of an undesirable and powerless state of being? 
I decided Save what matters. Let the rest go. sent a positive and self-affirming message that sits well within our environment of digital and physical stuff overload. 
As digital and print media continue to cross-pollinate, I think we’re heading toward a future where “digital” services will be advertised in “print” media. Accordingly, I made two print ads for It Photo that emphasized the strange and personal nature of what matters. I shot these at my house with objects that came from boxes of stuff I’d been meaning to get rid of. That seemed fitting.

Sloganeering is always fun for me. My app deletes your photos, something people universally do not like. How could I make that sound like a positive feature instead of an undesirable and powerless state of being? 

I decided Save what matters. Let the rest go. sent a positive and self-affirming message that sits well within our environment of digital and physical stuff overload. 

As digital and print media continue to cross-pollinate, I think we’re heading toward a future where “digital” services will be advertised in “print” media. Accordingly, I made two print ads for It Photo that emphasized the strange and personal nature of what matters. I shot these at my house with objects that came from boxes of stuff I’d been meaning to get rid of. That seemed fitting.

An early planning sketch, mapping the available tasks and options within the deletion app. The very definition of too complicated. Putting this on paper and discussing it with others helped me hone in on the most important interaction: social history of each photo.

How do you design an app that embodies the concepts of transparent, digital, and content-shaped… while giving people what they don’t want in a form they might enjoy using? This was the challenge I faced in designing an app that deletes photos you don’t use. 
Putting a color to “digital” was particularly entertaining. My first instinct was to go with hyperlink blue. It’s the color I most associate with the internet, but only because I was on the internet when blue text was the only color. I quickly realized that I needed something much more modern. I looked for colors in the current cultural lexicon that seemed disconnected from nature, and settled on a bold hot pink. 
The iconography was a similar challenge. I tried to separate my personal perceptions of digital from broader cultural perceptions, which is of course incredibly hard. I ended up using far fewer icons than I thought I might, which was a good thing for the user experience.
I struggled with the name. I went through many iterations of negation-based naming before settling on a really straightforward and much more affirming name. I also tried a few different logo ideas at a very rough level, many of which veered into electroclash territory.
I finally settled on a typeface and a name, and I use the term settled in its negative sense. As usual, my conceptual approach and thinking process was much more robust than my outcomes.  How do you design an app that embodies the concepts of transparent, digital, and content-shaped… while giving people what they don’t want in a form they might enjoy using? This was the challenge I faced in designing an app that deletes photos you don’t use. 
Putting a color to “digital” was particularly entertaining. My first instinct was to go with hyperlink blue. It’s the color I most associate with the internet, but only because I was on the internet when blue text was the only color. I quickly realized that I needed something much more modern. I looked for colors in the current cultural lexicon that seemed disconnected from nature, and settled on a bold hot pink. 
The iconography was a similar challenge. I tried to separate my personal perceptions of digital from broader cultural perceptions, which is of course incredibly hard. I ended up using far fewer icons than I thought I might, which was a good thing for the user experience.
I struggled with the name. I went through many iterations of negation-based naming before settling on a really straightforward and much more affirming name. I also tried a few different logo ideas at a very rough level, many of which veered into electroclash territory.
I finally settled on a typeface and a name, and I use the term settled in its negative sense. As usual, my conceptual approach and thinking process was much more robust than my outcomes.  How do you design an app that embodies the concepts of transparent, digital, and content-shaped… while giving people what they don’t want in a form they might enjoy using? This was the challenge I faced in designing an app that deletes photos you don’t use. 
Putting a color to “digital” was particularly entertaining. My first instinct was to go with hyperlink blue. It’s the color I most associate with the internet, but only because I was on the internet when blue text was the only color. I quickly realized that I needed something much more modern. I looked for colors in the current cultural lexicon that seemed disconnected from nature, and settled on a bold hot pink. 
The iconography was a similar challenge. I tried to separate my personal perceptions of digital from broader cultural perceptions, which is of course incredibly hard. I ended up using far fewer icons than I thought I might, which was a good thing for the user experience.
I struggled with the name. I went through many iterations of negation-based naming before settling on a really straightforward and much more affirming name. I also tried a few different logo ideas at a very rough level, many of which veered into electroclash territory.
I finally settled on a typeface and a name, and I use the term settled in its negative sense. As usual, my conceptual approach and thinking process was much more robust than my outcomes.  How do you design an app that embodies the concepts of transparent, digital, and content-shaped… while giving people what they don’t want in a form they might enjoy using? This was the challenge I faced in designing an app that deletes photos you don’t use. 
Putting a color to “digital” was particularly entertaining. My first instinct was to go with hyperlink blue. It’s the color I most associate with the internet, but only because I was on the internet when blue text was the only color. I quickly realized that I needed something much more modern. I looked for colors in the current cultural lexicon that seemed disconnected from nature, and settled on a bold hot pink. 
The iconography was a similar challenge. I tried to separate my personal perceptions of digital from broader cultural perceptions, which is of course incredibly hard. I ended up using far fewer icons than I thought I might, which was a good thing for the user experience.
I struggled with the name. I went through many iterations of negation-based naming before settling on a really straightforward and much more affirming name. I also tried a few different logo ideas at a very rough level, many of which veered into electroclash territory.
I finally settled on a typeface and a name, and I use the term settled in its negative sense. As usual, my conceptual approach and thinking process was much more robust than my outcomes. 

How do you design an app that embodies the concepts of transparent, digital, and content-shaped… while giving people what they don’t want in a form they might enjoy using? This was the challenge I faced in designing an app that deletes photos you don’t use. 

Putting a color to “digital” was particularly entertaining. My first instinct was to go with hyperlink blue. It’s the color I most associate with the internet, but only because I was on the internet when blue text was the only color. I quickly realized that I needed something much more modern. I looked for colors in the current cultural lexicon that seemed disconnected from nature, and settled on a bold hot pink. 

The iconography was a similar challenge. I tried to separate my personal perceptions of digital from broader cultural perceptions, which is of course incredibly hard. I ended up using far fewer icons than I thought I might, which was a good thing for the user experience.

I struggled with the name. I went through many iterations of negation-based naming before settling on a really straightforward and much more affirming name. I also tried a few different logo ideas at a very rough level, many of which veered into electroclash territory.

I finally settled on a typeface and a name, and I use the term settled in its negative sense. As usual, my conceptual approach and thinking process was much more robust than my outcomes. 

What do Twitter, rolls of film, and the 100 Things Movement have in common? Stay tuned for some case studies. 

“… despite an apparently enormous capacity for digital storage, this abundance should not be viewed as a blanket invitation to a continuous pursuit and offloading of all the minutiae of existence. (It is hoped that we will not all turn out to be closet pharaohs seeking immortalization in our digital pyramids.) Few can cope with the unending waves of reflection and pseudo-reflection that permeate the Web, including its blogs. Or one day all too soon we will mourn the analog, a single photograph on paper seeming refreshingly modest by comparison.”
— From Fred Ritchin’s 2008 book After Photography. Preach on, Fred.
Everyone Photographs, by Blake Andrews, another long-time favorite piece of the internet. Making photos is practically a bodily function. What do we do them all?  Everyone Photographs, by Blake Andrews, another long-time favorite piece of the internet. Making photos is practically a bodily function. What do we do them all? 

Everyone Photographs, by Blake Andrews, another long-time favorite piece of the internet. Making photos is practically a bodily function. What do we do them all? 

Two concept moodboards for Pieces 2.0. Reinventing the service of native mobile storage to be communicative, multi-functional, and above all transparent.  Two concept moodboards for Pieces 2.0. Reinventing the service of native mobile storage to be communicative, multi-functional, and above all transparent. 

Two concept moodboards for Pieces 2.0. Reinventing the service of native mobile storage to be communicative, multi-functional, and above all transparent. 

We take it for granted, and we settle for the worst, but the service of native mobile photo storage is truly lacking. Here, some mixed visual metaphors and detailed lists on how it could be improved.

For Pieces 2.0, I’m focusing on how deletion could support a stronger connection to the remaining photos. 

A (rough) experience map that captures the experience of phone photography vs the baseline experience of camera photography. This is the product of literature, conversation, and web research. Most of my research has been on sharing experiences through images, so that part of this model is the most robust. 

I think there’s a huge problem/opportunity in the difference in experience between phone and camera photography. Cameras are hardly obsolete, despite the popularity of camera phones. Yet camera photography isn’t part of the ecosystem of mobile (meaning more than just phone) photography, and the user experience of phone photography has yet to be thoughtfully translated to camera photography. 

Next step: investigate outliers in phone photography to inform camera photography, with the ultimate goal of supporting a meaningful relationship with collections of digital photos.

From Flickr, a community of photographers and photography enthusiasts, as of today at around 3:15 PM EST. 

If you poke around, you’ll find that point & shoot cameras are taking a nose dive in popularity, while camera phones are on the rise. The compact mirrorless is lagging behind the DSLR, and Nikon brand cameras are used less often than Apple phones and tablets. How ‘bout that.

“There’s something very odd about a world in which it’s easier to imagine a futuristic technology that doesn’t exist outside of lab tests than to envision expansion of a technology that’s in wide use around the world. How did we reach a state in America where highly speculative technologies, backed by private companies, are seen as a plausible future while routine, ordinary technologies backed by governments are seen as unrealistic and impossible?”

Tim Hetherington (RIP) on Image Overload. A short clip from an unrelated interview, but these two quotes in particular really nail it:

So what, there’s 10 billion images on Flickr. Do we look at any of them? Or do they make any sense to us?

Single images can move us, I mean advertising understands that. But we’re always looking for context, because context is what defines what we’re looking at, often. 

Of course this isn’t a new idea, but it’s a problem that isn’t going anywhere.