Wednesday, April 10, 2013

PixMix in a wedding event

In October of 2012 we set out to test PixMix in the field. We selected a wedding event as a testing ground to prove that PixMix can actually make a good event a perfect one! So how did we do? - read on an find out...

Our purpose was to test the willingness of people to use PixMix, to test PixMix’s usability, to get some user feedback on UX and general application concept and to test PixMix’s web gallery as a live wedding slideshow.

The wedding had circa 250 people in the ages of 20 to 80. The average age was around 40 with an even number of women and men.

We have prepared a colorful roll-up sign to inform the wedding guests about PixMix. The sign also included a QR code with a download link to the application. Any device with a QR scanning app can scan the code and directly reach the AppStore/GooglePlay.

Get PixMix now!

We had a person (Gale) standing close to the roll-up sign to answer any question the guests might have. Gale was also an observer, keeping an eye on how the guests were coming along with their first PixMix use. This would be a unique opportunity to observe usability issues if any were to pop-up.
We had another person (Oliver) in charge of the Laptop that run the live (streaming) web album. PixMix sets up a live web album for each album a person creates on the mobile device. This web album has two modes: a gallery mode – where one can browse through photos like a gallery and a live-stream mode -where all the photos in an album are circulated on the screen. Each newly added photo is then automatically added to the live gallery and presented on the screen.

When the guests started arriving, Gale helped draw their attention to PixMix and the exciting idea that they can participate in showing others the wedding celebration from their own perspective. During the wedding ceremony guests were taking photos with their mobile phones, mainly of the bride and groom. During dinner, most people were busy eating ;-) Party time! (dancing area) - people were taking photos with their mobile phones while dancing or talking to others.

The dancing couple in front of the live web gallery


We've got very excited reactions about the concept. We were pleased to see that most of the guests quickly understood the idea behind PixMix. Wedding guests that showed interest also quickly downloaded the app and started taking photos with it, thus adding their photos to the wedding’s album. We were pleased to see that the wedding guests quickly grasped how to use PixMix – so it must be as easy as taking a photo on your mobile phone! The main event, from PixMix’s point of view, was the dancing party after dinner. Most of the pictures were taken at that time. The dancing area had two large screens where the live web album was projected on. The ability of the wedding guests to instantly view their own photos projected live on the screen, created a great interaction with the app.

PixMix worked flawlessly during the event. Photos taken on different mobile devices were synchronized instantly to all devices sharing the wedding album. The album’s live web gallery was automatically synced. When photos were added by the wedding guests, the live slideshow was updated on the screens.

And still there were few issues we would like to share with you. At the time of the wedding we had no available PixMix app for iPhone. We estimate a double amount of wedding album collaborators, if such an app would have existed at that time. Not all people were interested – most of the guests were more interested in congratulating the soon to be married couple than to download an application they never heard about. Some photos went out smudged due to poor lighting conditions (evening time).

So what did we learn in our first wedding event? Most pictures were taken during the party/dancing time. The actual wedding ceremony came in 2nd place regarding the amount of pictures taken by the guests that used PixMix.The wedding guests took around 300 photos.19 guests participated in taking photos (only the Android PixMix version was available at that time). We estimate around 40 participants if a PixMix app would have been available at the time of the wedding. Many guests found this unique wedding idea very exciting – to be able to add photos to a common album and stream a live slideshow during the wedding event. The married couple liked the idea very much. To us they said that projecting a live stream of the photos, taken by their own guests, on screens during the wedding was really cool. This made the wedding event much more interactive and let everyone (not only the 2 professional photographers in the event) participate in shaping this great wedding celebration. It might have been a good idea to add a small note to the wedding invitations, letting the wedding guests in advance that PixMix is going to be used in the event. This might have raised the participants' willingness to install and use PixMix during the event. Operating PixMix both as an app and as a live streaming gallery is very easy – couples who organize a wedding can easily make PixMix work (including using the live web gallery). The camera installed in mobile devices has its limitations. Under poor lighting conditions photos might not be that perfect. On the other hand – using PixMix in a wedding event surly creates very dynamic photos!

Oh yes… and they lived happily ever after! ;-)


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