Digital Obituaries


Gather Innovations, Inc.
https://gather.app

Senior Product Designer / UX Team Lead
2020 — 2022

Projects include App Architecture, Photo Uploader, Editing & Re-Ordering, Commenting, Personalization & Themes, Obituary Search, Funeral Home & Family Collaboration, Events, Live Streaming & Case Management.

The digital obituary page was the face of the Gather app when our clients (Funeral Homes) presented the solution to families in need. It was something visual and comforting for families to use — and to understand that their precious memories will live on this page forever.

Our primary goal was to design something strikingly better than the standard, bland layouts from the big online obituary competitors like Ancestry or Legacy.com. Not only was it more personalized and visually pleasing, it includes an entire suite of functionality for family and friends to participate with.

The Gather app was fully responsive and could be viewed from any device with a web browser. An initial part of my process was mapping the entire app, both the client facing dashboard as well as the family/public facing front-end.

From here I can see the app from a 30 thousand foot view, and the flows our users may follow.

A large part of what makes a good obituary page are the photos. Without visuals, the page is fairly bland and text heavy. User generated content was encouraged through decisive targets and proper onboarding. An entire photo uploading tool was designed around touch including management, editing & re-ordering, content moderation, and privacy.

A user flow & prototype built for the photo uploader with touch gestures.

 

Several themes were designed and built into the existing obituary layout. The family could select a theme to personalize their loved one's page. 

 

The photos module called "Hanging Photos" quickly became a key piece of the obituary page. I explored dozens of iterations until landing on the final layout, and then took the design through rigorous stress testing to iron out the logic of how the photos were drawn on the screen.

I worked closely with the development teams to dial in the logic, behavior and animation of all modules on the page. Speed and performance were a priority target so special attention was put on technologies used. We then performed thorough QA by trying to break the systems to see what bugs and vulnerabilities may exist.

The Hanging Photos were an iconic visual piece at the company's booth at a regional conference. It was exciting to see the design come to physical life and appear so impactful from a distance within the building.

A little fun prototyping the module in HTML/CSS & jQuery, adding a little swaying in the wind animation. I produced this quickly and provided to engineering to build their model based off this prototype.

As ongoing projects for the app continued, somewhere in the middle of it all I designed and built a new company website. This was a huge facelift and rise to brand equity that the company deserved from it's explosive growth.