The Objective

Improve the on-boarding process and user experience by enabling potential and current Evercam users to explore, preview and add public cameras to their account.

Overview

Any camera added to Evercam by our users can be made public. If a user makes their camera public, it will automatically be added to our map of public cameras that users can explore to find cameras and add them to their account.

The problems

Our current Public Camera area fails to deal with a few key issues we have identified from a development and user point of view.

#1 Camera density
We have a large and growing number of cameras in the Evercam system. New cameras are constantly being added to the map and particular areas have a high concentration of cameras resulting in a clutter of pins in a small area.

#2 Relevancy of camera to the user (by location & content
Allowing users to explore all of our cameras in locations relevant to them and being able to see what content the camera contains involves a lot of click and drag. The map is not searchable so the user needs to click and drag to get to a location. Then the user needs to click on a pin to see a preview of a camera. It is not easy to get to a particular location and finding a camera with content that a user may be interested in involved a game of click and reveal. It’s certainly not fun and it’s only barely usable.

current-evercam-map

Insights

So the actionable insights which have arisen are a) users need to be able to get to where they want to go to on the map quicker. , b) we need to find a better way to organise pins or cameras at different zoom levels where a large number of cameras exist and c) the user needs to be able to preview cameras more easily

Inspiration

I looked around at various sites on the web that offer a similar service. Each of them try to deal with at least one of the above problems in some way.

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wunderground.com show a preview of the camera but don’t deal with the issue of camera clutter or search.

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webcams.travel deal with the issue of clutter from a developers perspective but give the user no indication of camera density in an area. Their solution for search leaves room for improvement.

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webcamsinnorway.com and geocam.tv respectively, deal with the issue of clutter nicely but still have the issue where the user needs to click each camera pin to get a preview of the camera. So the experience from far away is good but when a user zooms in closer the click to reveal game begins.

The Solution

Having looked at various sources of inspiration from around the web and having identified the main pain points for a user when trying to find cameras, I proposed the following design solutions.
evercam-public-maps

a) The user can either search on the map by a specific location, or search for cameras near their current location. b) Where a large number of cameras exist in close proximity relative to the zoom level of the map, the number of cameras in a location is indicated by a number on top of the camera preview. And regarding c) a preview of the cameras currently on display in the map are shown in the left sidebar and a preview is put in place of the pin on the map. Hovering over any of the in the left sidebar will reveal it’s location on the map to the user. This allows the user to search by a location they are interested in and also to browse cameras and find cameras where purely the content of the camera is what is of interest.

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Summation

All of the above references deal with at least one of the issues that arise for developers when trying to place a large number of cameras on the map and for users when trying to find relevant cameras by location and content in a cluttered areas. The proposed design is solution attempts to tackle all of the problems identified and to make it easier for potential users to discover cameras that are relevant to them either geographically or by the content they provide and ultimately to improve the overall user experience for our current and potential users.