PSX Capture

A Media Capture Application for Public Safety Users


About the Project

PSX Capture is a key application within the Mobile Apps PSX (Public Safety Experience) Suite. It is designed for public safety users, allowing them to capture evidentiary-grade photos, videos, and audios from a smartphone, as well as any bluetooth or internet-connected cameras.

My Role

I worked on this project for our client with another UX designer for one month. I participated in the brainstorming and ideation sessions, client meetings, and was mainly responsible for UX design, prototyping, and fast iterations.


Understanding Users


Imagining a scenario that two police officers are patrolling in a certain area. Each officer owns a primary hand-held device, a chest-mounted badge-size device, and a car-mounted device. All devices are connected via internet or bluetooth within a certain range. Once an accident occurs, the officer will have the choice to open his Capture app and start taking photos or recording videos/audios immediately with his hand-held device. However, what if he wants to capture the scene with all connected devices within the range (including the other officer's devices)?


Multi-device Setting

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Key Areas for Exploration

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Camera Multi-Select

A user shall choose to record using one, or multiple video cameras available to him/her. The user shall switch between one and multiple recording devices, and can also view details about these cameras.

Recording Format Selection

A user shall elect to capture a photo, video, or audio. The user must clearly see which state they are recording in, the options available for the particular device selected, and how to switch from one to another.

Lightweight Gallery Functionality

The app shall include a gallery view that displays recent media, with an entry point to switch to a full media library and sophisticated filtering tools. When populated with media, the user shall be able to open media, view image details and search and sort media by type, device, and time.

Question #1: Camera Multi-Select

How to create a seamless experience for users to capture media from a single or a multiple device view?

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Defining the user flow of switching between single camera mode to multi-camera mode was the most challenging part in this project. According to user research, a user should be able to open the app to a default single camera mode, ready for evidentiary media to be taken. However, as a product serving public safety users, the media capture function should be able to support not only the primary device, but also all other devices connected via bluetooth or internet.

After brainstorming sessions and discussions, we created three different concepts with regard to possible user flows for camera multi-select. The edge case was in consideration during the design process: What happens when one recording device gets disconnected and reconnected later?


Concept 1: Additive

The user starts recording with a single device. When needed, he has the option to add more devices in the recording session. Camera does not start or stop recording until explicitly told to do so.



Concept 2: Subtractive

Previously connected cameras are selected by default when a recording session is triggered. Once the user starts recording the group of devices, he has the option to deselect any device to stop the recording on it.


Client Verified

Client Verified

Concept 3: One-or-All

Once in the app, the user has the option to start recording from one single device (the primary hand-held device) or all connected devices. When recording all devices, if one camera is disconnected and reconnected later, it will be added in the recording session automatically.


Why One-or-All?

Single device view allows user to immediately orient themselves to the environment. However, user also has the ability to view and control all paired cameras in multi-device view for positional awareness.

Pros and cons:

  • Immediate access to either the primary camera or all connected cameras

  • Limited camera selection, but not really needed for public safety users


Edge Case Under Video Recording Mode

From multi-device view:

  • A camera gets disconnected during the video recording session.
  • A camera gets disconnected and reconnected at a later time.
  • A camera does not get connected until the middle of the recording session.

Assumption based on the edge case:

A disconnected camera reconnects automatically when the device enters a certain proximity.

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Question #2: Recording Format Selection

How to build a user interface that allows users to clearly see the recording state, and to easily switch from one to another? 

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Our approach to explore the recording format selection started from comparing camera tools on current smart devices. We conducted several brainstorming sessions on our possible design solutions to meet the expectation of this feature. We came up with five different concepts and UI variations under each concept to present to the client. These concepts offered a design solution that allows users to select the desired recording format using scrolling bars, tab menus, slider menus, gestures, or buttons.


Explorations with Different Concepts

  1. How can users clearly see which state they are recording in? What kind of visual clues we can provide on the interface?
  2. How can users switch from one recording format to another?
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The Winner

Button Press as the Menu Selection

After providing our client with various concepts and variations below each concept, we finally reached to the agreement on how this may work the best. This concept was finally selected by our client was due to the following reasons:

  1. Text clearly indicates the function of the button that triggers the recording format menu.
  2. Recording format selections stay in the same position.
  3. Format switch can be completed by button pressing or swiping.
  4. Visual cues including cameral tools, elapsed time bar, sound wave, and capture buttons, clearly indicate the current recording format.

Switch Recording Format in Single Device View

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Switch Recording Format in Multi-Device View

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Question #3: Lightweight Gallery Functionality

How do users view the media captured from a multi-device view?

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