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Epic (Social Photo Albums) — 2017

Chat with a teammate:
What if you could have stories that didn’t disappear?
What if you could have multiple stories at once?

Feed and story views

Opportunity
In early 2017, Corey Gwin (SweetLabs PM) and I wondered if there was value in creating an app that allowed you to curate multiple stories that you could add to, edit, and develop over time. Having multiple stories could allow people to show many angles of their personality. The idea intrigued us. How would people use this? How could it be different than all the other “Story” experiences we currently have?

Progress bar animation helps indicate the end of an Epic

Concept
We named the app Epic (a long story). Our goal was to enable super streamlined mobile story telling via photos and videos. People can create individual “Epics” that they add photos and videos to.

Profile, bookmarks and activity views

Market
Snapchat and Instagram are stewards of the stories concept. These platform’s take on stories (at the time) was that they were ephemeral, with a low bar for entry. You don’t have to edit yourself too much because your “in the moment” content would not be there the next day. Stories were becoming a common UI element, not just a feature of a few apps.

Pull in any direction to close

Challenges
Why would anyone invest time in creating stories with our app when they already have similar functionality and a community in other apps?

An interation of the content capture & Epic selection flow

Feature List

•   Epics with photos, videos and text

•   Curate multiple Epics at once

•   Rename Epics at any time

•   Bookmark Epics from other people & know when they add new content

•   Epics with multiple authors

•   Rearrange content within Epics

•   Other media types, YouTube, Giphy, Soundcloud…

Audience overlay

What we learned
We tested this with a small group of people. Through observation and discussions, we saw that while the concept was super fun, it was too far outside SweetLabs' app distribution focus at the time. I still believe there's immense potential in lasting, curated stories.

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© Bryan Sleiter & SweetLabs Inc. 2019