Picturelife.com homepage - 3 ideas to improve the user experience

 Picturelife.com homepage as it appeared when I saw it first

Picturelife.com homepage as it appeared when I saw it first

Picturelife is a recently launched cloud service which stores your pictures and videos and lets you access them through your computer and mobile devices. Have you tried it already? If not, I suggest you make the following experience:

  • Go to picturelife.com (it will open a new browser window in order for you to toggle between picturelife homepage and this post).
  • Once the homepage is displayed on your screen, ask you where you would spontaneously click to get more information on the service.
  • Now, what would you do to join Picturelife?

Did you hesitate, even slightly, before identifying what to do, where to click? do you feel that the design is adequate? what would you do to improve user experience?

When I came across Picturelife homepage for the very first time, I had 3 issues.

Issue 1 - how to learn more

After having read the tagline ("Picturelife securely backs up, and organizes your photos & videos in the cloud. Free for Mac, PC, iPhone and Android."), I wanted to know more before joining the service. My eyes were looking for a "learn more" link next to the tagline without finding it; and with good reason: on the homepage (as it was online on May 1st, 2013), the only way to get more information is to click "learn" in the footer navigation.

How to avoid this issue?

By adding a "learn more" link at the end of the tagline.

Issue 2 - who is behind the service?

I not only wanted to know more about the service itself but also about the company: who are they? where are they? - I don't want to upload my precious pictures somewhere in the cloud without having some information about the business and the people behind the attractive homepage and tagline! But there is nowhere on the homepage a link to an "about us" section. 

How to avoid this issue?

By adding an "about" link in the navigation footer. Strangely this link is displayed on the other pages (except the support pages which have a different graphical layout).

Issue 3 - how to sign up?

I was a little confused by the sign up area layout. I spontaneously clicked the "Get started for free" button without filling in the email and password fields. The button label, past experiences on other websites and the overall layout made me wrongly think that the button was the very first step of the sign up process and that the 2 fields above were part of the login process. You could argue that if that was the right model, there would have been a login button and you would be right! But despite that, the page design misled me.

How to avoid this issue?

By reorganizing the items, by providing a title to the signup zone and by renaming the submit button.

The signup process is made of 3 actions:

  • action 1: entering the email address
  • action 2: entering a password
  • action 3: clicking the "Get started for free" button.

The different flows of actions

The simplest way of organizing the 2 fields and the button would be to put them on one single plane: either vertical or horizontal (see my sketch). The user would then naturally go from top to bottom or from left to right to complete the process. In the current design, the process is 2 dimensional: the flow of actions is first horizontal (from field 1 to field 2) then vertical (from field 2 to submit button).

Using one single plane not only makes the design simpler but also increases the perceived connection between the actions: all the 3 actions belong to the same process.

To make things even more explicit, I would give a title to the sign up process zone. I would also rename the submit button so that its label doesn't give the impression that it is the first action of the signup process.

New improved homepage

A new improved homepage for Picturelife

Here is how an improved homepage could look like. Of course, I would look strongly recommend performing usability tests to validate my suggestions. But my 15-year experience tells me that I'm most certainly right! ;-)

What do you think?

Pascal Magnenat

Interactions Associates GmbH, Dahliastrasse 3, Zurich 8008, Switzerland