Moonstone Interactive

Moonstone Interactive is a small interactive web and multimedia development firm in Half Moon Bay, California. I worked with them as an interaction design consultant for about seven months.

Much of that time was spent on a software design project for Agfa. They hired us to completely redesign PhotoWise, the bundled software that enables a digital camera user to download, organize, edit, and print their images. PhotoWise ships with all of Agfa’s cameras and runs on both Windows and MacOS in 6 localized versions.

In addition to an exhaustive functional specification, we developed a working prototype of the application. We ran the prototype through a series of focus groups and usability tests to verify that our design solutions were appropriate to the target market.

To the right is a shot of the software displaying thumbnails of some images the user has downloaded. The downloaded pictures are stored in an “envelope,” which represents a folder on their hard drive. A list of available envelopes is visible on the left. Envelopes are in turn contained within “picture boxes,” providing the user with two levels of hierarchy in which to organize their pictures.

We chose the envelope metaphor to reflect the way most people work with analog photos: take a roll, drop it off at a photo lab, pick up the envelope of pictures, look at them, and finally stick the envelope in a box somewhere. By automatically putting pictures that are downloaded at the same time into the same envelope, we can provide at least as much organization as people are used to with analog photos without any additional work on their part.