Creating a tool for creators
Eightly was a content creation platform for the iPad that combined easy authoring with social communities. Users built "mini app" experiences using a drag-and-drop interface and a set of scenes based on fine-tuned design patterns. We built consumer grade experiences at scale with highly-polished instant authoring tools.
Rather than just one UI, Eightly was a platform that offered various configurations for users to publish content. Users could combine a photo gallery, an article, or a video collection, into a "channel". We designed the UI for each publishing template, and also designed the interface for the authoring system to create, edit, and curate Eightly channels. That interface consisted of a template menu, and also an advanced editor that used playing cards to represent media, content, and social media feeds for users.
• Art Director
• UX Designer
• UI Designer
• Motion Designer
I started out designing interactions and motion, to demo the intended result to our engineers. It helped me as well, as designing through the app's operation helped me understand the scale of what we were trying to build. I also designed animations for Eightly's UI elements: menus opening and closing, siding in and out, and loading animations.
Art Direction: Designing communities
Eightly audiences were divided into themes, characterized by eight illustrations. I art directed the illustrations, and used them to mock up onboarding flows for new users.
UI Design: Powerful Publishing
At the heart of Eightly was its editor: a gamified interface for publishing content, featuring an interface that connected nodes of content by dropping them onto a surface as "cards." Each channel had scenes, each scene had content, each content had a source: Soundcloud, Flickr, Twitter, and many others. Each card had a control panel for adjusting the parameters of its use.
I designed inspector menus, and designed the motion of elements in the editor as they were dropped onto its surface, sometimes replacing previous elements.
Design Templates for Beginning Users
We realized that not everyone loved to tinker with design options like we did, so we designed experience templates, for users that want to put content together without worrying about layout or fonts. I designed a set of themes for these templates by pairing fonts, and creating background art. I selected layouts from the options we had built for the editor, and forms for users to fill in content quickly.
Eightly made it to an early beta, before suffering an early demise. I was sad to see it go, but I'm grateful for the opportunity that Andy Grignon, William Bull, and the rest of the team gave me to learn what it means to design a product from the ground up. My experience there marked my transition from animator to UX designer.
One last peek: I animated a concept of an animated photo album ahead of our demonstration at LeWeb in Paris.