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The Concept

The concept behind One Filter was to make an ultra-simple photo filter app. Rather than compete with the hundreds of other photo filter apps in the App Store, One Filter was designed to do one thing great: Make beautiful black and white photos with just one filter and some powerful photo editing tools.

Sketching Out The Design

As usual, I started the project by making rough pencil sketches on paper. One of the biggest challenges of this project was figuring out what features should and shouldn't be included. Working on paper allowed me to work through ideas quickly.

Wireframing and Prototyping

After the main features were worked out on paper, I made high fidelity wireframes. I then added the screens to Flinto to generate a clickable prototype that could be used on actual iPhones.

Pixel Perfecting

After all the screens were designed, I moved on to styling the design. I opted for a sleek interface that was mostly black with a few pop colors for main calls to action. I felt this would be the best backdrop for user’s black and white photos.

Specs and Collaborating with the Developer

I worked collaboratively with a developer in the Ukraine on this project. Because I wasn’t sitting right next to him while the app was being built, I had to design an extensive amount of specs and screenshots so that the design could be implemented as envisioned. There was also a ton of iterations we had to make to get the filters looking better than those of competing apps.

Production Design

I pulled out all the assets for the developer and saved them for retina and non-retina devices.

ICON DESIGN

When looking at competition, I felt there were too many app icons with camera lenses on them in the photo/ video section of the app store. A few highly-ranked photo filter apps didn’t have camera lenses on their icons, so I opted to have One Filter's icon go against the grain too. However, I did keep the icon colors and feel consistent with the app interface.

A Coming Soon Page for the App

I designed a simple landing page for the app. Again, my goal was to keep the visual language (colors, typography, and imagery) consistent across the app and marketing material.

Pivoting

Part way through the development process of One Filter, the developer and I started showing a prototype to people and promoting the landing page through display ads. What we found was that the value prop was met with mostly indifferent interest. Incredibly high-quality free apps like VSCO Camera also hit the market while we were developing the app, and even Apple included some great filters with their native iOS camera. We learned that we would have to make something much more complex to compete. Both of us opted to pivot onto other projects and shelve One Filter permanently.