Amazon Drive - Go360
Mobile platform to share and interact in 360° photos
As part of Cornell Tech's Product Studio, I worked in a multidisciplinary team consisted of MBA, Computer Science, Connective Media graduate students to unpack a product challenge proposed by Amazon Drive. We received mentorship from the Director as well as the Product Manager of Amazon Drive throughout the process.
My role in the team was to lead end to end user research, strategize user flow and design the prototype (including front end coding).
Cornell Tech Product Studio
Sept, 2016 - Dec, 2017
What is Go360?
Understanding the demographic
We first looked into common photo/video taking or sharing behaviors of 18-24 year olds. Through user surveys and analysis of popular photo/video apps, we realized millennials love to capture their daily activities beyond a flat image. They like to reveal the location through geotags, capture the time of the day, temperature and even motion.
Understanding the market
With the wide popularity of panoramic photos and rapid adoption of 360 photos in different platforms including Facebook, we decided it would be a great time to utilize 360 photos. Once, we decided to create a mobile app that utilizes 360° photos, we looked into apps such as Google Street View, Fyuse and Splash. We realized there are apps to take 360° or 3D photos but not an ubiquitous platform to take, share and interact within the environment.
Problem - Flat images lack depth in sharing memories
Solution - Step into the story of your friends through 360° photos
Flat images doesn't capture the wholesome environment. On the other hand, 360° photos allow you to deliver your experiences to others in your own perspective without losing any details. It also integrate seamlessly with VR, so you can allow others to immerse themselves into the environment and interact within the 3D space.
Initial Idea - Sharing travel journeys
Initially, we decided to focus our app for travelers who are more willing to take 360° photos to capture the whole environment. Travelers can share their travel route so friends can virtually walk through their journeys.
Wireframes & High Fidelity Mock
1. Sender - Sharing travel journey
2. Receiver - Viewing a friend's journey
Take 360° Photo
View Journey in VR
After doing user studies and testing with users within the age of 18-24 year olds, we realized people stopped engaging after 20-25 seconds of watching one travel journey. People wanted to quickly see the highlights of each journey instead of the entire travel route.
Iteration - Expanding beyond travels to sharing any experience in 360°
After our user tests, we decided to create a mobile platform to share any 360° environments. To make the experience more interactive and fun for our demographic, we incorporated an annotation tool that allows one to drop emojis into specific areas in the 360° space.
Final Product - Social platform to share 360° photos
Prototype(Coded in A-Frame)
The platform is built on webVR so it is compatible with iOS and Android through Firefox Nightly.
See info, related photos and comment tool
Easily jump into other environments
Comment in specific areas of the photo
Challenges and Learnings
1. Keeping consistent interactions throughout 2D and 3D spaces.
Throughout the whole experience using the app, one could interact through touch, physically turning the phone and using the gyroscope, or interacting with one button on Cardboard when in VR view. It was challenging to think about keeping consistency in the UI for the different kinds of interactions.
2. Understanding technical limitations early
We struggled to build the function to take multiple photos and use computer vision to stitch them into a 360° photo. Instead of spending time trying to demonstrate a feature that is prevalent, we decided to focus on the key features that differentiates our app from others: annotating within 360° environments.