M

/Leica

Leica is a renowned camera manufacturer that produces the premium-quality Leica M System.

Role  
UX/UI, Strategy, Visual Design
Industry
Photography
Timeframe
2016

The Project
01

M is a tablet application that connects potential customers with Leica’s values while promoting confidence in using the M-series products.

The application encourages potential and existing customers to immerse themselves in Leica’s stories, while exploring and test driving a variety of Leica M products.

The team & our approach

02

In four weeks, I worked with 5 multidisciplinary designers and business students on planning, thinking, building, and documenting this concept project with Leica, where I worked primarily on research, UX strategy, and interface design.

We followed the user-centric design methodology to constantly reflect on both business and user's value proposition. The diagram below illustrates our work approach - transforming insights into customer value.

Read more about our step-by-step process on Leica M process book that I created along the way.

Define the problem: lack of personal experience

03

Leica M’s have been a standard for street photographers and photojournalists worldwide. However, perspective customers find it difficult to build personal connection with the brand due to three reasons:

01

Store Scarcity

Leica only has a few physical stores worldwide, this makes it impossible for many potential users to try a product before buying.

02

Difficult Design

The M System has a reputation for being hard to learn due to its manual controls and stripped - down analogue features.

03

High Cost

Due to its price tag of $8,000 many prospective customers cannot afford Leica Ms. It has been criticized by those who see it as a status symbol or fashion statement.

Finding the customer frictions

04

Although the steep learning curve that users must overcome when learning the Leica M System can act as an intimidating barrier for prospective users; those who succeed can find that they benefit from this experience by becoming better photographers.

Addressing the frictions

By introducing the Leica M interface through hands on interactions, the application aims to eliminate this barrier for first time users and relieve buyer’s remorse. Utilizing this application helps users better understand the feel of a Leica camera and increase their confidence in their ability to use one.

The Solution
05

An app that showcases Photo Stories to inspire confidence in a user’s own potential as photographers, while recreat the proprietary controls of the M System, giving users a first-hand experience.

Target Audience

06

01

Aspiring Photographers

Recreational camera users who have never handled a Leica before and don’t know how to use the M system.

02

Leica Enthusiasts

Customers who already use a Leica M but want to see firsthand how different M models or lenses could affect their photographic experience, and ultimately their work.

Stakeholder Analysis

07

To begin addressing the friction, we organized research into a stakeholder’s map. In the diagram below, we reviewed the current relationship (left) among photographers, Leica stores, and third-party retailers, and examined how the M app could come in and make positive impacts among the three (right).

Brand Positioning

08

We also envisioned how the M app can help improve Leica M’s brand position in the marketplace and among its competitors.

Customer Journey

09

I created the customer journey to find out about customer needs, the series of interactions that are necessary to fulfill those needs, and the resulting emotional states a customer experiences throughout the process.

Touchpoints

10

Measurability

  • The number of times the app is downloaded

  • Increase in online and in-store traffic

  • User feedback and reviews from the app store

  • Parametric data on how users arrived at the app

  • Increased traffic from Leica site

If you want to know more about the thinking process behind this 4-week project, feel free to check out the Leica M process book that I created along the way.

You can also play around with our Framer prototype created by talented Tony Jing 👾

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