Capture app

As a new father I found myself missing important moments while fumbling through my iPhone’s user interface, trying to get to the video camera. I knew there had to be a better way…

A record button for your homescreen

I took the idea of building a quick-launch video camera to Sky Balloon, my 3-man team. After a bit of market research – really only to make sure no one else was doing what we intended to do – we began building Capture.

The biggest challenge with Capture from a design standpoint was making sure the user experience was as simple as possible. Intentionally, Capture had next-to-no UX to speak of: simply tap the icon to start recording video, and hit the home button to stop recording to save to your camera roll. The user interface was equally minimalistic by design. Our goal was to make it as quick and easy to record video on iPhone as possible.

Another design challenge was the icon itself. I wanted to make it distinct yet familiar – and also wanted it to beg to be tapped. I settled on the metaphor of an actual record button on a video camera and iterated through a bunch of different texture and lighting treatments.

A matter of perpective

Because there wasn’t much to say about the app’s features or functionality, I knew the website promo/landing page for the app would be simple – if not, sparse – and that I’d need to capture (pun intended) attention in a non-traditional way.

At the time I’d admired the work Adam Lisagor was doing to help promote apps using video, so I came up with the idea of recording a quick, unscripted video of myself explaining what Capture did.

I ended up compositing the video on top of a product shot of an iPhone and skewing the video player using code so that it would actually play back at the perspective of the preview cover image. The effect was pretty cool, even if it was a bit gimmicky.

Topping the charts

Capture ranked in the top 3 apps in the Photography category and in the top 100 of all apps on the App Store in its first week. It was also featured on CNN, CNET, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Wired, and dozens of smaller publications and blogs.

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