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Contour · UX & UI Design · iOS/Android/Firmware

Action Video, Evolved

One of the first entrants into the now saturated action camera space, Contour paved the way for a rugged, versatile, connected camera designed for outdoor and action sports. We created a simple-to-use action camera, solid firmware, and connected iOS and Android apps for previewing shots, remote control, and tweaking camera settings in the field. I helped lead all things design and product at Contour. Working with an industrial designer and firmware engineer I designed and spec'd the hardware/software interaction/feedback for the camera. I also took on interaction and visual design for the iOS and Android apps while leading a team of software engineers to rapidly iterate across software and firmware.

“The best consumer helmet camera on the market.”Engadget

The weeds: getting the firmware right

Preparing to release Contour's newest camera meant finally bringing the firmware in-house rather then developed offshore at the ODM. With a host of features (video settings, remote control, BT connectivity, HDMI output, and more), a connected app in the works, and only three hardware buttons on the device, the firmware interaction models had to be solid. Working with a firmware engineer we mapped out all the states the hardware could be in and what states it could transition into, many dozens of state diagrams later we had a solid map and build to map the app against.

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Designing & connecting the app

I mapped out all the screens of the deceptively simple app, testing it with internal and external users and stakeholders. Having a connected camera meant solving long-standing business and user needs. In addition to shot previews, remote controls, and video/audio settings changes in the field, quick, Facebook-based authentication and device ID-mapped firmware meant capturing users' info and enabling very simple quick registration. Previously, the product line required a USB connection to a computer to perform any changes or updates, this hardware and companion app release meant finally, and literally, cutting the cord.

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Consuming GPS data + video

Capturing GPS data with video was meaningless without a way to share it. Previously this relied on proprietary desktop apps or flash-based video players. While the bulk of the sharing happened on Facebook, Youtube, and Vimeo we did explore a community-based experience that enabled viewing data-enhanced video by swapping video-inset or map-inset synced to the timeline.

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The Apple Store: camera package concepts

The double camera release of the Contour Roam2 and the Contour+2 cameras meant getting our big break and being accepted as the first action camera to be sold in Apple retail stores. The plastic clamshell packaging disaster was finally up for a redesign much to the delight of the design & product teams. I worked on external box concept designs and led the effort working with an industrial and graphic designer to design a 100% recycled material package.

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Get in touch

Let's make something awesome

If you're looking to augment your team, roadmap your digital product, get your MVP off the ground, or even chat about a full-time design gig, I'd love to connect and help bring thoughtful, calculated design to the table.