Design & Development


The concept behind One Filter was to make an ultra-simple photo filter app. Rather than compete with the hundreds of other photo filter apps in the store, One Filter was designed to do one thing great: Make beautiful black and white photos with just one filter and some powerful photo editing tools.


As usual, I started the project by making rough pencil sketches on paper. One of the biggest challenges of this project was figuring out what features should and shouldn't be included. Working on paper allowed me to work through ideas quickly.

After the main features were worked out on paper, I made high fidelity wireframes. I then added the screens to Flinto to generate a clickable prototype that could be used on actual iPhones.

After all the screens were designed, I moved on to styling the design. I opted for a sleek interface that was mostly black with a few pop colours for the main calls to action. I felt this would be the best backdrop for the users' black and white photos.

Design and development

I worked collaboratively with a developer in San Francisco on this project. Not being physically close together was challenging, and I had to design an extensive amount of specs and screenshots so that the design could be implemented as envisioned.

There were a lot of iterations we had to make to get the filters looking better than those of competing apps. I pulled out all the assets for the developer and saved them for retina and non-retina devices.

When looking at the competition, I felt there were too many app icons with camera lenses on them in the photo/video section of the app store. A few highly-ranked photo filter apps didn't have camera lenses on their icons, so I opted to have One Filter's icon go against the grain too. However I did keep the icon colours and feel consistent with the app interface.


I designed a simple landing page for the app. Again my goal was to keep the visual language (colors, typography and imagery) consistent across the app and marketing material.
Part way through the development process of One Filter, the developer and I started showing a prototype to people and promoting the landing page through display ads.

What we found was that the value prop was met with mostly indifferent interest. Incredibly high-quality free apps like VSCO Camera also hit the market while we were developing the app, and even Apple included some great filters with their native iOS7 camera.

We learned that we would have to make something much more complex to compete. Both of us opted to pivot onto other projects and shelve One Filter permanently.