September 3, 2015

Digital Stories: Compoz by Leaf Design

by Anusha Narayanan

After tons of articles, blogs, and speeches on Storytelling, here is one of those projects that came really close to it at the Digital Awards. Compoz, a visual storytelling app created by Leaf Design for Watercress Technologies Pvt. Ltd., lets the user become the storyteller, instead of the audience. You click photos, select them and make a few captions here and there – and Compoz strings together a beautiful little story for you, of you, by you.

The brief given to Leaf design was simple, “Everyone has a unique story to tell. The intent behind the app was to see, feel and know the world through as many eyes as possible.” And with the camera becoming second skin for most of us, it seems smart that all the app has to do is to neatly ‘Compoz‘ it and publish it.

“We want to see, feel and know the world, through as many eyes as possible. We believe no one can experience life in exactly the same way as another.”

Leaf Design made the app such that you need a minimum of just 3 photos; save it as a draft if you want to add more to it. You can even purge similar-themed stories to create a book and publish it. One tap and your stories fly out to millions of iPhone users around the world, spreading it through retells, comments and shares; so you could be looking at an author from Istanbul or Pembridge and walk the streets of their cities with them. The stories travel with you.

So what were the challenges they encountered while building the app? They say, “When we started working on the project, there weren’t any Visual Storytelling apps that existed [in India]. It is only now that we see it emerging as a new category, which is an inspiring thing.” On top of this, are of course the challenges that come with working with start-ups – the high bar set by the team, while the resources and time are pretty limited, and efforts required to achieve the desired quality are a lot.

compoz-screenie-1  compoz-screenie-3

compoz-screenie-4  compoz-screenie-2

The beauty of Compoz is the really simple User Experience and the User-generated Content, which remains clean and elegant with the social media plug-in. The focus remains undiluted: “A single idea of ‘short visual storytelling’ powered by people around the world.”

Given a chance, would the designers of this app really want to change something about this? We expected a “no”, but here is what they say they’d like to do – “There were lot of learning during the process of product creation, and now that we look back, there are many things we could have addressed them better. One of them could have been to provide enough flexibility and fun in the story creation process, while still keeping it simple and fast.”

Delightfully simple.

Compoz, designed for iOS 7.0 or later, won a Blue Elephant at the 2015 Kyoorius Digital Awards in the UX, Interface & Navigation for Mobile category. Have a look at all the In-book and Blue Elephant winners here.

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