The act of photography can be deeply meditative. A soft focus on your surroundings allows a moment to come to you. Whether brief and ephemeral, or setting up a contemplative and considered shot. As an admirer and practitioner of photography, I set out to craft an experience around the inherent beauty of becoming intertwined with the ebb and flow of your surroundings. The concept is simple — an app that allows people to go on and create their own ‘photography’ tours.
If you’re like me, there have been numerous occasions where you’re in an unfamiliar city, or maybe even your own, and you’re presented with the challenge of where to start shooting. Constraints in the act of photography can be deeply beneficial. What if we could focus on exploring curated paths by the taste makers of your city? This app sets out to design an experience around that notion. While somewhat paradoxical in nature, the beauty of guided tours is that they can present a newfound perspective on an area. The app does not set out to create a singular path, but rather a path that can be used as supplemental material to help inspire along the way. Each person may have a differing perspective along the path, and each person may have their own path to contribute to the city. Freedom of expression through photography can be powerful.
Once you’ve selected a city to explore, in this case San Francisco, you’re presented with a directory of available tours. Tap on a tour and an overview appears. From here you can start the tour, view the tour map, and get more details regarding the tour. You can also see photography samples submitted by users — which are individually unlocked as you travel along the tour. Finally, you can read reviews regarding the tour.
Let's go on a tour then, shall we? The tour flow will navigate you to the initial destination with turn-by-turn walking directions. Tapping on the compass will bring up a map view. Upon arrival at your first destination you're presented with the feed view. Here is where you're presented with a feed of all photos and notes for the destination. Photos and notes for specific destinations along the tour are permanent. You're also prompted with a request to add your own picture to the batch. Active participation is encouraged as an incentive to continue along the tour.
As you continue along the tour you're prompted with a directional tab to indicate your next destination. More interestingly, there is an ephemeral feed of photos and notes that are geographically tagged. As you continue walking the feed auto-populates photos and notes taken by participants of the tour. You're also encouraged to contribute to the feed. The idea is that geographically tagged photos and notes can add insight to the tour that the original creator may have missed. Tours become organic and democratized in that they are ever-evolving.
The primary action tab button is the tour creator. The tour creator is an automated process. Contextual tool tips appear as you progress through the creator. In order to begin the creation of a tour, you must first walk to your starting destination. From here you are prompted with the ability to take and tag photos for the area. The completion of this process requires a description for the starting destination.
Once you've completed your tour, the exit flow appears. Here you're able to review and add more information regarding your tour.
And finally, the profile tab allows you to quickly modify and view your profile and account information. Alternatively, user profiles are presented in a manner that allows you easy access to their latest tours and photos. You're also granted the ability to follow them, which will populate your feed with their latest updates. The background image for the user profile view is dynamically generated based upon photos they've taken on tours.
The nature of this app allows an authentic and uncensored experience to emerge. This is merely an MVP take on the functionality. Looking forward, I would like to incorporate additional features, such as:
• Manual tour creator – not requiring people to actively participate in their tours to create them
• Photo filters – ability to add filters to photos you've taken on tours
• Live/group tours – A one-time tour that multiple people participate in at a given date and time
These are just a few of the potential future directions for the app. I'll be posting updates as things progress. Thanks for viewing.