Case Study - Capture App

Building a Tool to Bring the
Design Process to Non-designers

Design research is easy when a user has the right tools to make research documentation as effortless as possible

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Greater Good Studio



My Role

Requirements Gathering,
UX strategy,
Interaction design


Envision a mobile app and a desktop website counterpart that help users take and organize photographs during design research sessions and later caption them in a simple and standardized way.


A mid-fidelity solution that features a suite of mobile and desktop tools to help bring heavily repeated activities with many moving parts to a digital platform. Large collections of photographs are organized with little user effort by using familiar interactions and background automations.


Greater Good Studio in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is helping to bring design processes to non-designers to help solve important social problems. A project was proposed to make one particularly important step of this process happen more effortlessly through a digital platform.

Greater Good Studio repeats a photo capture process often to document behaviors and capture meaningful insights in a way that is visual and easy to discuss. This process sends observers into the field to observe, question, and photograph participants and then captioning those photographs to help have visual documentation of these conversations.

A goal of this project was to create a digital tool analogous to Greater Good Studio's own research process that non-designers can use to keep the process easy and tidy.

Requirements Gathering

The use cases were fairly well documented. We then needed only to capture the functional requirements and translate them into intuitive interactions with our less tech savvy user in mind.

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Documenting the feature functionality required in the application and the qualities by which they would adhere

We were fortunate in this case that our use cases were well-documented. This lack of ambiguity enabled interaction design to be fast moving.

Building a Solution

My involvement in this project was limited from the beginning to result in recommendations for a testable MVP. On an expedient timeline, we worked toward an intermediate fidelity MVP right away, taking care to keep critique constant and documentation and useful and lean.

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Collaborative sketches to help define feature functionality

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Interaction design for both mobile and desktop experiences

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Goldilocks documentation, not too much and not too little, lean enough to not become overly time consuming

The MVP Solution

Our design interations resulted in an intermediate fidelity solution that would be validated as an MVP soon after. We hyphothesized that the more we could automate the uploading process and the less decisions we could give the user, guiding them toward obvious action cues, the more successful they would be in their task.

How It Works in Four Steps

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The beginning: the digital experience starts in the mobile app and offers highly focused actions, few opportunities to be distracted

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The "magic" of the app lay in the automated sync from mobile to web

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Parity between mobile and web was important for our users to recognize tasks that they had started earlier

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The end result: standardized "data points," ready to print and discuss in a group


My involvement was, from the beginning, to capture functional requirements for two user types but to recommend an experience for one of those users only, the photographer/observer. Though we captured solution ideas for the remaining user type, the moderator, before my involvement was over, higher fidelity solutions and interactions would be the responsibility of another designer entirely, using my initial thoughts as a foundation.

Rarely have I been presented an opportunity to work on a problem so well defined. We were successful in completing initial solution concepts in a short time, but I would always prefer to be present for testing those solutions. We ended on a satisfactory note of having an MVP solution that was not overly executed but still defined enough to ellicit a high level of specific value and usability feedback in the immediate future, a success by our studio's standards.