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Moment · UX & UI Design · iOS/Firmware

A Connected Photo Case

Building on Moment's success with meticulously-designed lenses and mounting solutions for mobile devices, industrial designers and mechincal engineers worked tirelessly to design a battery case with a DSLR-like shutter button. Leading a team of software and firmware enginners I designed and tested integration with the Moment app.

Working with the hardware

The hardware design pre-dated me at Moment and a three-color, single LED was the only hardware-based indicator on the case. The software and app were meant to convey detailed information about the case status but I proposed updating the LED behavior to be a bit more granular to instill confidence in the device (only show red when things are really in a dire state) and also convey more information about charge status, firmware update status etc.

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The first-run experience

Having worked with Bluetooth-connected devices on iOS it was a breath of fresh air to work on a hardware-connected product. The battery case plugged in via a female-lightening connector which meant we could detect and connect to it immediately vs. the headache of finding, pairing, and troubleshooting Bluetooth hardware. The goals for the first run were a) Connect the case immediately and start charging the phone b) Get customers to install the Moment App if they haven't b) Get them shooting with the case immediately. 

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Managing firmware updates

Nobody loves updating device software or firmware. With a v1, China-produced product getting the intial product out to Kickstarters quickly was important, as was continually fine-tuning the firmware in the case along with the iOS app. We walked a fine-line between reducing errors (for God's sake, please don't disconnect in the middle of an update) and making things as quick and as possible. Given Apple's app approval timelines, we also pushed the firmware updates over-the-air rather than always rely on iOS app updates.

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Working outside of the app

In addition to the shutter button working with both the native, iOS camera app and third-party apps, many of the tasks and states can be conveyed while the app is backgrounded. Various notifications like battery state and firmware update status are surfaced as notifications (if enabled, and app is not open) as well as via an iOS widget.

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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.