For the last couple of months I haven’t been mentioning much about Daylife. The main reason was we’ve been working on a new product called SmartGalleries. It’s a product that gives a lot of control to publishers to curate and manage photo galleries. They can be 100% hand curated, 100% dynamically generated or a combination of the two depending on how much time a publisher wants to spend sorting through images. To do that we made the process relative simple in three steps. First we created a system that publishers can log into to find the images that they want to publish. (Actually the login screen is one of my favourite things…) Once they’ve created a gallery and edited it, they can publish it to a dynamically generated gallery page. Within the system it’s easy to make edits to the actually gallery page so it can look like the publisher’s original site.
Once the gallery is published and a slideshow is embed on a publisher’s site, the real fun starts. When a person clicks on an image they’re taken to a smart gallery which gives detail photo information. Below that are dynamically generated galleries on related photo galleries. What I like about this is that it’s really easy to start clicking away to explore more images that a person didn’t realize was available. I like to think of it as infinite clickability. Within the galleries there’s a couple different views. My favourite view is the mosaic because it keeps the image proportion with minimum cropping, and allows the image to be large enough to see a lot of detail. There’s also a thumbnail view so people can scan images quickly.
This product was built from the ground up with some really smart people from Daylife. I learned a ton from the team working alongside them. The engineers and developers did an amazing job. What’s fascinating to see is that we took one of the things people really liked about Daylife.com — the photo galleries, and made it into a product that publishers could use very quickly.
I’ve made a smart gallery photo stream of Spring 2010 Fashion Show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park as an example of the product in action. The first couple images I’ve picked and from there the system automatically populates new images as they come in. You can view that at http://designnotes.info/?page_id=1891.