Graduation Project for B.Des program at NID, Ahmedabad

Duration: 6 months
Year: 2018
Sponsor: Samsung Research Institute, Bangalore
Guide: Tarun Deep Girdher and Bhaumik Nagar

For my project I was working with the On-Device AI Innovation team. I was given the freedom to choose any brief that interested me - given that it would be relevant to Samsung's vision and goals. For the first few weeks, I spent my time interacting with all the teams, learning about the different ongoing projects - commercial, research based and tech driven. After a lot of consideration, I decided to work on the area of ‘Content Creation'

The shift from content consumption to creation is synonymous with how we have slowly shifted to digital based social interaction. A device does not require cognitive or emotional involvement, making our interaction with it much easier.​​​​​​​
The user becomes the axis of communication process, the content is the identity of media, multimedia is the new language, real-time is the only time, hypertext is the grammar, and knowledge is the new name of information.
Late Millennials, Gen Z  & Social Media
The combination of visual and impermanence in a mobile platform is the key to the Gen Z and Gen Y’s technology interest. We can say that it is impossible to have a conversation about late millennials and Gen Z without talking about social media.
It influences everything from the platforms they use (or don’t use) to their interactions with friends and family — and, of course, the brands they consider. Gen Z is the first true generation of “social natives.” They have been the subject of study mostly revolving around always-on media consumption. When we look at Gen-Z’s near-constant engagement with smartphones, the message is clear: it’s the social media platforms on smartphones that dominate their attention. And for half of this generation, social media blurs the line between the real world and the virtual world. Some points about their behavioural habits are -
Overly aware of their online presence
Today, having a digital presence involves having a strong social media presence. Gen Zers tend to attach great importance to personal appearance, in large part because they are the first generation to grow up “in public” online, i.e., documenting their lives on social media.
Multitasking and use of Multiple platforms
Gen Z is known to effortlessly switch between up to five different devices at a time (mobile phone, TV, laptop, desktop and tablet) and does not shy away from using multiple social media platforms on the regular.
Power of Like (Social Media Biology)
Between dopamine and oxytocin, social networking not only comes with a lot of great feelings, it’s also really hard to stop wanting more of it. Clicking on a thumbs-up or a heart icon is an easy way to stay in touch. But those “likes” can have power that goes beyond a simple connection.
Social Media trends of 2018

Personal Branding             Rise of visuals             Rise of Ephemeral content
Personal branding
It is the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organisation. Gen Zers are so painfully aware of their self- image and start building their personal brands before they even know what that means. Before social media became as ubiquitous as it is today, an individual’s “brand” was largely built around what they were like in person – how they dressed, spoke and behaved. Today, any sort of personal data that is shared online, all put together creates a persona of that individual.
The rise of social media has embedded personal brand management, previously the purview of celebrities and other renowned figures – into the everyday social mores of the emerging generations.

The beauty of social media is that you have the sole power to market yourself in the way that you want people to see you. You can manipulate photos, captions and filters to manufacture a specific persona that you want people to see.

Rise of visuals
Blog posts became Facebook updates and Tumblr posts, which shrunk to Tweets and finally to Pinterest images and further onto Instagram Stories.
The emergence and power of visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram have highlighted that publicly shared material
is shifting towards captivating visuals 
which convey relevant information while keeping the words to a minimum.

Rise of Ephemeral Content
Any shared content that has an expiration, be it 10 seconds, 24 hours or a month - can be termed as Ephemeral ContentSome forms of communication have always been ephemeral : in particular, face-to-face interaction.
According to the studies, the content shared over ephemeral format based applications was typically mundane, like - “little snippets” of everyday life. Participants typically understood the format as a form of messaging rather than photo sharing in terms of how instantaneous it is. They mentioned a range of everyday “carefree” topics they shared: a cute pet, a nice outdoor scene, the weather, or other everyday moments. A large component of everyday life messages were represented through “selfies” 
It points to the content’s expiration timing as a rationale for sharing everyday moments as opposed to momentous ones.​​​​​​​

Ephemeral Content helps the user achieve -
Greater privacy
Disposability, Anonymity
Real life-like conversations
Sharing of spontaneous experiences
More positive mood
The tools offered by the platforms which let you hare ephemeral content, let users customise text, doodle onto the images, add relevant gifs and stickers, etc. People have taken to their creativity and try expressing the mood of the ‘Story’ with not just the picture but a lot of these personalized visual elements as well. This seems to be the latest major trend on social media platforms
Formulated Design Brief
Developing and defining a system for a feature intensive tool that helps the user sort, filter, create and share content based on the current trends. In summary, a post processing AI infused tool as part of the
Samsung Gallery and/or Camera. 
The addition eventually helps Samsung in driving user flow to in-house apps (mainly Camera and Gallery) and maximise usage.
Evidence Planning

Key focus of the project
1. Driving user-flow to in-house Samsung apps (Camera, Gallery)

2. Feature intensive post production tool that helps user sort, store, filter,
create and share content specifically targeting social media platforms.

3. Attract a younger crowd towards Samsung mobile devices.
Enhance : What does it bring new value to?
1. Camera and Gallery app
2. Samsung Stories
3. Samsung Social Share

Replace : What does it make less desirable?
1. Third party editing tolos, camera apps
2. Time and effort for editing, sharing content
3. Time and effort in using multiple apps to do the task

Reuse: What does it build upon?
1. Samsung Gallery, Stories and Social Share
2. In-app editing tools and 3rd party editing apps
3. Existing AI and technology

Limit: What could be the negative effect?
Users might not like the new feature : they might find it
redundant or too complex; Keeping the feature updated
with current trends might be cumbersome
SWOT Analysis

Strengths : Internal Factors
Personal Strengths: Visual Design, well versed with Social media trends and sharing, understands millennialls and GenZ
Samsung: Already has projects like Stories and Social Share, has developed AI and technology for Camera and AR stickers and filters.

Weaknesses : Internal Factors
Improve - storage/sorting in Gallery, easier automated enhancements, give users power to choose their preferences, customised automatic suggestions
Avoid - Lengthy, complex processes, too many options or features while giving customisable settings, older age group may find feature to confusing

Opportunities: External Factors
Demand/popularity of highly engaging content on social platforms.
People look out for easy, effortless, automated features to get tasks done, rely on phone apps. Technology is progressing to bolster these trends

Threats: External Factors
Competitors - Tech giants like Google are already prodding this domain
Shift in content on social platforms can be sudden, predictions may not be accurate. Keeping track of changing trends can be difficult

Primary Research
Survey & Questionnaire (61 respondents)
Qualitative Interviews (15 respondents), 30-40 minutes
This personal interview questionnaire was conducted to get an understanding of Millennials and Gen Z’s camera, gallery, sharing and social media - usage pattern and behavior. The questions were put together based on the responses received from the surveys done previously. A face - to- face questionnaire proved to be very insightful and led to revelations which wouldn’t have been possible with written questionnaires.
User Persona
Affinity Mapping
User Needs and Problems identified
During the conversations, there were a lot of difficulties that people spoke about with regards to their experience with various phone gallery and camera apps and the process between clicking to sharing the pictures onto external platforms. I summed the pain points according to the features of -
Storage, Creation and Sharing
Major problem areas: Organisation, Scrolling, De-cluttering
A lot of users had problems with the way their gallery apps sort and organize their pictures. Comparing Gallery apps to Social Media platforms, we can see how the layouts of the platforms have changed a lot over time but the grid-structure of the Gallery have stayed the same.
Some people make their own albums and organise their pictures manually, but most feel that it’s too time consuming.
Trying to find pictures and scrolling through the gallery becomes tiring because of the numerous pictures.
Major problem areas: Using external apps, time & effort
Other than using the gallery app/ social platform editing tools, a large number of people use 3rd party apps to edit their pictures. This could be because of quick effortless edits or unique features being offered by these external apps. 
Manually editing in the gallery app is too cumbersome and the instant filters on the social platforms are too generic. Most external apps offer a wider range of instant filters and keep updating their collection of stickers, emojis, etc.
But even using these apps involve spending time on editing the pictures - so even though people want to create appealing and unique content, they don’t feel it’s worth the time and effort.
Major problem areas: Sharing instantaneously, convenience
Sharing and keeping your social media accounts updated with even the smallest moments in your life - is all the rage right now. People tend to share multiple pictures through the day - the friends they meet, the food they eat, a workout, their outfit for the day, any small happy moment.
But doing so means spending a lot of time clicking, sorting, editing and uploading content - and the process is quite tedious. Without realising people start spending a lot of time glued to their phones even when they would rather spend more time with the friend they’re with than clicking and sharing pictures with him/her.
How much more instant can instant sharing get? Can there be a more synchronous experience for sharing instant content?
Insights from Primary & Secondary Research
Seeking Relevance
1. Maintaining a Dual Presence
Seeking relevance in real life as well as on digital platforms
Keeping a balance between online-offline
Clicking and sharing on the go
FOMO - fear of missing out

2. Be heard
Validation to social presence
The feedback/reaction for all digital actions are uncertain
Curiosity and emotional involvement in the action-reaction process
Wanting to belong - making your presence felt

3. Peer pressure on Social Media
All actions on digital platforms have a wider reach than real life, to be judged by the entire world
Fitting in with the fast paced environment of changing social trends
Seeking appreciation

4. Feeling in control
Control over ‘intelligent technology’
Automated devices - who’s actually in charge?
Addiction to technology and social media
Living by the Minute
1. Instant Everything
8 second attention span - impatience
Super fast technology - instant access to everything
Culture of impatience and instant gratification
2. One time Delight
Archiving content
Temporary sharing, temporary storage?

Changing Reality

With quick editing tools and applications freely available to everyone, it’s easy to experiment with reality. Adding a few filters can change the emotions associated with a photograph, changing the colours might increase the appeal of a picture, cropping or adjusting the focus can change the message being conveyed by a simple capture.
Richer Recollection

Humans have a tendency to organize everything in bundles, after all the  perceived value of a whole is greater than that of an individual.
Pictures when bundled together, create a seamless experience for the viewer. A single photo from an old trip might bring back a lot of memories but a whole album from the trip might give you a richer flashback. So instead of re-living a nostalgic memory, you re-live the entire experience.
Sustaining Relationships
The sort of content you share with a person, depends on the sort of relationship you have with him/her. You live up to the personality of that relationship and validate it with the perfect type of content shared.
For example - you might only share work - related content with your colleagues to live up to the image you have built with them. You might share a lot of nostalgic old content with  your schoolmates, or send pictures of the dishes you’re cooking or food you’re eating - with your mother.
Transient Intimacy

Each time we post something on social platforms, we’re sharing a little bit more about ourself - we’re opening up about ourself, our likes, dislikes, our interests.
On posting a selfie, we’re conscious about sharing something personal, on sharing a political opinion, we’re conscious about being judged - we’re being vulnerable, and intimate about ourself.
The ephemeral form of content gives us the freedom of sharing content for a limited period of time - thus the vulnerability is short - lived, the shared intimacy is transient.
We’re more comfortable with this fleeting moment of vulnerability, and thus tend to share more personal data via ephemeral formats of sharing.
Next Steps Ideation, UX flows, GUI
This part of the project cannot be displayed online as it is covered under NDA​​​​​​​
The research and ideations from this project aided in the development of Samsung's Single Take feature which was released in 2021.

View other projects

Back to Top