Etchings Redesign

Create beautiful etched illustrations,
a hypothetical app redesign


Etchings is a photo filter app by MindSea and as part of a design exercise, I redesigned the app.
The app was last updated on Nov 7, 2015.

Research & Analysis

I set out to identify and learn the problems that users are experiencing and make them concrete which is crucial in order to redesign the app. To gain a greater understanding of the user's pain points and insights, I conducted two methods of research: Heuristic Evaluation and User Reviews Analysis.

Heuristic Evaluation
After reviewing the Etchings app I came to the following conclusions:

  • App asks for camera and camera roll permissions whilst you're in the mindset of etching a photo
  • If permissions are denied there's no backup solution which renders the app useless
  • It's not clear that the tick icon means that you're done etching a photo
  • Cancel button doesn't prompt that the etching will go unsaved
  • I was asked to rate the app after I canceled an etching


User Reviews Analysis
58 reviews in total

2   ⭐️
2   ⭐️⭐️
5   ⭐️⭐️⭐️
13 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
36 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reviews from the App Store:

"...I wish there were more effects."
"You are forced to crop to a square, very limited filters"
"I wish there was more control for aspect ratio"
"I wish that I could etch full photos and change the aspect ratio"
"Why limit the effect to square when most of our photos are not 1:1 proportion?"

However, there's still 62.1% of positive reviews (5 stars). I think that could be because of:

  • App works as advertised
  • Users feel artistic and empowered by the ease of use
  • Enhances artists workflow
  • Works well posting on social media platforms
  • It's just plain fun to play with the etchings


Problem Statement

  • Users would use the app more if there were more effects
  • Users would be more satisfied if they had a wider range of aspect ratios to choose from
  • Users are annoyed that they have to pay to access more etchings


Ideation and solutions

  • Introduce crop feature
  • Investigate how to remind users to enable permissions
  • Consider replacing the tick icon with a text label
  • Introduce an 'are you sure?' dialog after tapping the Cancel icon
  • Review timing of the rating dialog


UI Design

Modernized the UI and added an
action to load the latest photo

Enable permissions
Friendly reminder to educate the user if
they've previously denied permissions

Effects - Before Redesign

Contemporary visual design

Prompts just after a photo has
been successfully shared or saved