July, 19th, 2012 The story behind million moments (former part)

Today, I'd like to deliver to you the story behind million moments. Myself, Gokaichi, has interviewed the original proposer of this app, Aki, to hear from her not only her passion toward the development and delivery of the app, but also her attitude toward her work. Don't miss it, especiallly if you like million moments and if you are a female audience in the same generation as aki!

So it's been almost a year

--gokaichi(gk) Since when have you started planning this app?

--aki   It was June 2nd of 2011 when I first came up with this plan, so it's been almost a year.

--gk   Wow, how accurate. Do you keep a diary of this project?

--aki   Actually, yes. I was so passionate especially in the beginning. I even dreamed about writing a book on this project.

--gk   (laugh)

--aki   But when I faced a setback in the beginning, I stopped taking notes, so there is a fairly long blank period.

--gk   A setback. For how long?

--aki   For about a half a year. The project didn't get authorized for that long.

--gk   That's tough! (laugh)

--aki   Meanwhile, I tried refining the plan. And I also tried to increase the number of supportes within our company, but it wasn't very successful.

--gk   I understand. Gathering motivated people is one of the hardest thing to start up a new business within a company.

--aki   Unlike the other apps, this app doesn't utilize the latest imaging technologies. So there were opinions within my company like "What's the point of us SDNA delivering this app?" It's very true that this app is not technology oriented, but what the users care is not always the technology.

--gk   Because we belong to a Sony company, I also feel people not only outside the company but also inside the company are expecting us to use latest technologies. So did you intentionally tried not to make the app look digital? I thought the app's look isn't very sharp, Sony-looking design.

--aki   Yes it's intentional, but I feel the simplicity is the direction Sony is heading too.

--gk   Right, it's clean.

--aki   I tried to make it as simple and clean as possible.

I didn't know I took this good picture!

--gk   Let me ask. What do you like most about this app?

--aki   I would say the balance between the simplicity and the richness of the feature. I sincerely wanted to make an app that people would love to use everyday to look back their photos. So it had to be extremely easy as import pictures and done. For people who want to do more, they have options to write comments and add labels. But those functions aren't something all users have to use. It's an app that has options on how deeply you'd want to use it.

--gk   How do you like the layout design itself?

--aki   I love it. It looks even better especially when you insert comments, though it takes a bit of work. By the way, I found out after using this app that it of course is good to look back at my kid's photos, but it's also fun to look back at different sceneries that I took.

--gk   I agree.

--aki   This app allows me to look back at photos I would never look back if I just let it drift pass on my Facebook wall or twitter timeline. When such photos are brought back in the good looking layout, I sometimes say to myself "I didn't know I took this good picture!"

--gk   Speaking of likes, I love the promotion video. I seriously like it. It matches my taste, including the music. It almost made me shed tears.

--aki   Many of my friends tried the app watching that video clip. Our link analysis also tells me that the video is popular. I love it too.

Then I thought this might turn out to be an interesting project.

--aki   Let me turn this around and ask you. What was your first impression when you heard about my plan?

--gk   Honestly speaking, I felt it would be a mediocre app.

--aki   Okay, then since when did you start to feel it's different from other mediocre apps? Was it when you saw the actual design samples from our designer?

--gk   The first moment? No, I think it's when you showed me your scrapbook.

--aki   That scrapbook?

--gk   When I just heard about your plan, I was wondering whether the app would be very natural and organic in its taste, or in turn, it may be in solid taste. I wasn't sure. But when I saw your scrapbook and heard from you that this is the image you have, it came clear to me. Then I thought this might turn out to be an interesting project.

--aki   Actually, it was very quick-made and half-baked scrapbook...

--gk   I think that kind of approach is very good. It's difficult to share concept to people around you, but tools like that and other examples you gave me helped me understand a lot. You've also mentioned many magazines that a typical user would be reading when you explained to me about the target customers.

--aki   This was my first experience to propose a product plan, so when I look back, I'm glad I blindly tried many things that might push things forward.


Continued to the latter part.

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