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Observed Experience: Thoughts on Developing the REI 1440 Project User Experience

Observed Experience: Thoughts on Developing the REI 1440 Project User Experience

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Published by Harley Jebens
I wanted to take some time to discuss a project that I worked on and am particularly proud of: The REI 1440 Project.
Outdoor clothing and gear retailer REI is one of our clients at the ad agency where I serve as a UX strategist: BBDO Atlanta.

The 1440 Project is a desktop, mobile and social experience that we helped conceive and build for REI. It launched on November 26, 2012.

This document discusses the insights that led to the development of the site, user experience considerations and challenges involved with the project, and ideas for building on the UX learnings that came out of it.
I wanted to take some time to discuss a project that I worked on and am particularly proud of: The REI 1440 Project.
Outdoor clothing and gear retailer REI is one of our clients at the ad agency where I serve as a UX strategist: BBDO Atlanta.

The 1440 Project is a desktop, mobile and social experience that we helped conceive and build for REI. It launched on November 26, 2012.

This document discusses the insights that led to the development of the site, user experience considerations and challenges involved with the project, and ideas for building on the UX learnings that came out of it.

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Harley Jebens on Feb 19, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/19/2013

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Observed
 
Experience
 
 –
 
Developing
 
the
 
REI
 
1440
 
Project
 
User
 
Experience
 
01/24/2013
 
Harley
 
Jebens
 
1
 
Observed
Experience:
Thoughts
by
Harley
Jebens
 
JANUARY 24, 2013
The REI 1440 Project: Reflectionson developing the user experience
 I wanted to take some time to discuss a project that I worked on and am particularly proud of:TheREI 1440 Project.Outdoor clothing and gear retailer
REI
is one of our clients at the ad agency where I serve as a UXstrategist:BBDO Atlanta. The 1440 Project is a desktop, mobile and social experience that we helpedconceive and build for REI. It launched on November 26, 2012.
 What is the 1440 Project?
 
It’s a community celebration of every single minute spent outside, a minute-by-minute photo-based 24-hour timeline. Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to help fill each and every minute of this“Virtual Day” (all 1440 of them) with photography representing their collective passion for theoutdoors. Submitted photos are placed in the timeline based on the time of day they were taken.Some of the cool features of the experience:
 
The site reads a photo’s metadata to ascertain what time it was taken and where. The photo isthen placed into the timeline accordingly.
 
Observed
 
Experience
 
 –
 
Developing
 
the
 
REI
 
1440
 
Project
 
User
 
Experience
 
01/24/2013
 
Harley
 
Jebens
 
2
 
 
Users can create a profile and canpersonalize their own timelineof photos to share on thesite.
 
The site also facilitates the creation of customized timelines based on location (forinstance,Mount Rainier National Park , or Anchorage, Alaska), activity (like, say,canoeing and kayaking) and description ( waterfallphotos anyone?) tags.
 The UX thinking behind the 1440 Project
 
There were a couple insights that led us to the 1440 concept:1.
 
REI members love taking and posting photos of themselves enjoying the outdoor activitiesthey love.2.
 
 When most recent digital devices are used to take a photo, more than just that photo iscaptured as stored - along with the image, most digital devices also store information aboutthe device used to take the image, when that image was taken, where it was taken, etc. Theinformation is (in most/many instances) passed along with the digital image itself when thatimage is copied, shared, posted to a website, etc.
 
Observed
 
Experience
 
 –
 
Developing
 
the
 
REI
 
1440
 
Project
 
User
 
Experience
 
01/24/2013
 
Harley
 
Jebens
 
3
 
Those two thoughts got us thinking … What if we COULD create a “virtual day” showing, minute by minute, how REI fans and otheroutdoor enthusiasts enjoyed and expressed and captured their love of outdoors? With the 1440 Project, that’s what we set out to do.
User Experiences considerations and challenges
 One of the interesting challenges we had to address was the fact that the meta data that is storedalong with a photo differs, depending upon the equipment used to snap the photo, and how a photois stored or uploaded online. For instance, if you take a photo with your iphone, then the time andlocation (lat-long) where that photo was taken IS recorded. (Nondigital devices, of course, do notrecord this data.) If you upload your photos to iPhoto or Windows Live, that meta data is preserved, but if you upload your photos to, for instance, Facebook, then (although you can manually enter thetime and data of photo capture as you’re uploading) Facebook records as meta data the time thephoto was uploaded to Facebook, not necessarily the time when that photo was taken.

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