The team here at UI Palette got a chance to check out Pixology before its release on January 6. We took a look at how Pixology blends powerful photo editing features, user photos, and great user interface to step image editing apps forward. With Pixology, users will leave friends asking “How did they make that?”
In contrast to Moxie, Pixology focuses less on the native-social side, instead opting to just plug directly into your existing favorite image-sharing social networks (such as Moxie, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.). Because Pixology does something so amazing and specific, and little else, the capacity for sharing is even greater when you use it with your favorite other apps.
How Pixology Sets Itself Apart
With all of the different photo editing, effects, and blenders out there adding another photo app to the market requires clever, surprisingly rich features along with an easy to adopt interface that will draw in users – for example, with Pixology, users can pinch and rotate a filter to create an off-90° effect.
You can now scroll an image search feed, or cool creative blog, and treat what you find as your own personal filter library. If you want to spice up a profile picture, you’re no longer confined to the finite number of (often totally artistic) image filters included natively in other similar image editing apps. With Pixology, you’re literally confined only to the images available on the internet. combine it with any other photo in your iPhone.
Branding also plays a key role. While investigating other photo apps, we’ve noticed that many will have great features, but lack memorable branding. It’s important to realize your app needs to be memorable – not just at the app icon level, but within the app itself while a user is interacting. Otherwise, apps get lost, especially in the photo editing genre where there is competition on every side. The team at inVnt knows this and have created memorable brand moments built into the user’s journey.
For example, the in-app loading progress animation screen (below left) is tastefully branded with Pixology. When users load an image in Pixology, as the image renders, the Pixology logo literally shimmers – a lovely touch, adding depth and context to the app icon, and helping your branding signatures take a more permanent place in the users’ minds. When you build a fantastic app, neither you, nor your users want to easily forget about this awesome find! Branding your loading progress screen is a best-practice in mobile design.
Pixology definitely leverages the additive approach to image editing – powerful enough to use alone or in combination with a user’s other photo-editing apps. Once you’re finished adding your filters in, say, Instagram, you can then continue editing the image in Pixology, using filters, adjusting colors, and using your own photos for texture, to arrive at your unique image, which you can upload back to Instagram (or similar), and impress your followers with your mysterious, sudden image-prowess.
Pixology’s design teaches us that you don’t have to shun your competition all the time. By instead working with apps you know your users are already using can improve the experience for both your own app and your competition. Really, it has to stay about the user, and the truth is, users don’t mind using multiple apps; really, they expect to, and apps that “play nice” are generally better.
Here is a look at the UI – we’ve included screenshots of the process of combining two images, plus a filter, plus an adjustment, to arrive at an interesting, totally unique final photo.
– Powerful and simple layer editing tool
– 12 blend modes for unlimited layer blending
– Multiple layer types including photos, textures, and effects
– Full resolution output
– Zoom, rotate and free transform any layer
– Multiple cropping ratios – not just square
– Full control to reorder layers
– Growing texture library
– Multiple effects layers including brightness, contrast, exposure
– Publish to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
– Save to your camera roll or send to other apps
Pixology’s Clever Strengths
People are always looking for cool new ways to edit photos, and time-effectively create dazzlingly original works of art. Everyone has an artist inside, craving creativity, and Pixology dramatically lowers the skill-barriers to letting this artist come out. That’s the raw power you get when you provide a new feature like this, that few, if any, other developers have created.
The balance with Pixology is surfing that wave where your combined photos are greater than the sum of their parts – their intermixing tells a story, rather than just being two photos on top of each other. It’s possible to get bogged down with too many layers, and the final product can become muddled, and difficult to interpret. This is where the balance comes in – if you can truly balance what you do with Pixology, and stay upright on your proverbial surfboard, you can stretch your creative muscles and do some truly unique, awesome things with your images, and leave your friends wondering, “How did you even make that?”