The Challenge

The rise of smartphones has disrupted global digital camera sales.

According to the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA), worldwide sales of digital cameras have dropped 84% since 2010.

The on-going advancements in smartphone cameras have lowered demand for digital cameras, so how do you keep Nikon DSLRs relevant to changing consumer behavior? By turning the smartphone camera into a personal photo assistant, specially versed in Nikon speak.

Sales Graph
The Solution

Turn the Smartphone into a Smart Assistant

How might we use the smartphone that Nikon owners carry with them everywhere and turn it into a photo assistant? The design team leveraged the phone’s built-in capabilities such as GPS, light meter to help our Nikon owners take the best possible pictures.

Who is this for?

Aspiring Photographers

Janet (26)

Janet is a photography enthusiast, who has taken her love of images to the next level by investing in a digital SLR system. She wants to learn how to use her new equipment, but is feeling overwhelmed by all of the settings on her new camera. There are many controls, and her Nikon manual is a couple of hundred pages long.

Her needs

Jane needs a less intimidating way of familiarizing herself with her new camera and system. She prefers more guided tutorials that center around how to capture her ideal shot. She is motivated by wanting to take beautiful photographs that she can share on her social media.

The Solution


Let’s personalize the user journey

Photographers take great pride in their gear, so by having users select their equipment, we can provide exact instructions and contextual guidance.

Smart Tips

Creating the Perfect Shot

We can ask the user what kind of shot they are taking, and we can tell the user which lens to use and what settings are ideal. These tips can be supplemented by video and interactive tutorials.

The Vision

As part of the visioning exercise, we delivered a comprehensive user experience outline to highlight the key opportunities and the potential future state of the mobile app. The final deliverable was a high-fidelity wireframe, user flows, an InVision prototype, and some visual design exploration to convey how it might look.

Note: These wireframes feature images instead of placeholder images in part because this is a photo app, so a judgement call was made to flow in images to better convey the concept.

A key idea that we introduced to help make the process of learning how to shoot with DSLRs more engaging was to use a map to show users where photos were taken.

With the map, aspiring photographers could…

  • See what’s been posted near them and find inspiration.
  • See how a photo was shot, and how they can shoot something similar their your own equipment.
  • Engage in a conversation with the Nikon community about photo techniques.

Visual Design Exploration

Alternate Interaction Design


  • Craig Markus (CD)
  • Jonathan Hurd (XD)
  • Won J. You (UX)
My Role
  • Experience Lead
  • UX/UI Design
  • Strategy