Trail Cam UI – Moultrie

Usability evaluation, Information Architecture, Wireframing & Prototyping

About this project

Moultrie is a leading provider of trail cameras used for wildlife observation and surveillance. The 990i and 880 model trail cameras were two of their most popular products positioned at the top and bottom range of their product line. The company had received user feedback and wanted to take action. 

My Involvement

UX for hardware constrained user interfaces requires an additional set of skills that aren’t seen with web designs. These projects are always a fun challenge.

For Moultrie, I was brought in to evaluate the 990i and 880 model trail cameras with special attention on revising the IA and interaction design. Their goals were to improve overall navigation as well as the configuration of device settings and control of operations for each model.

While many features spanned both models, the major difference that impacted my work was the 990i had a 2″ TFT color display and the 880 had just a two line monochromatic LCD. So there needed to be specific attention on how navigation would apply to two discreet interaction models. 

Usability Evaluation

I took each model through their paces for both operation and configuration of all features and functions. During that process I documented my observations and conveyed areas that I felt had the most negative impact on the user experience. Some were based on the organization of content in the menu hierarchy and others were with the visual feedback and navigation methods provided through the interaction design.

Information Architecture

The content was organized in a relatively wide and shallow menu structure. This caused users to branch out further and further from the root menu’s parent category to accomplish many tasks.  This demand on users’ cognitive load lead to their becoming disoriented and lost in the menu and restarting from the ‘home’ position. Especially on the 880 model which only had a 2-line LCD to inform them.

My biggest change to the IA was to align the content into a narrow and deep menu structure which allowed users to get back to parent categories quickly. This kept familiar territory much closer in their working memory and improved contextual awareness in the menu. Essentially, I put less content into more buckets where the buckets are the parent categories and strung together linearly in the root menu. 

Task flow creation

Task flow diagrams were created to capture the proposed IA and workflows for task completion compatible with both display types in consideration. 

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Once we had task flows at a point of satisfaction, wireframes were created. All elements of the UI were annotated along with conditional behavior. Layout and  visual design were also included, while adhering to the hardware limitations for each of the different display types. 

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Prototype Creation

Before a decision could be made, I was asked to provide an interactive demonstration of how the new IA and interaction design model would work. I created a prototype to demonstrate a single task for each model trail camera. By using this, we were able to collaboratively discuss the concept and arrive at a final solution faster with a more solid consensus.

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