Redesigning a timeline from millions of pixels to one screen

Reflectera timeline - millions of pixels

I had an idea you have probably had at one point in your life.

I wanted to organize all my pictures in chronological order.

At the time of this idea, my personal archive contained approximately 30,000 pictures and videos, from the 1930s through 2014.

To realize this wish, I would need to create a timeline long enough to fit every single memory.

To work effectively, this timeline would need to create automatic dates for both digital and analog media, with memories often created before the year 2000.

I re-engineered our entire digitization process from scratch, with tapes, reels, carousels, envelopes, and albums showing up in the proper year on each user’s custom timeline.

Reflectera, released in 2014, solved this problem pretty well.

Its horizontal timeline had a year for every memory.

This was an amazing accomplishment, all the way back in 2014 (we need help to spread this news)!

Seven years later, there’s still no other company anywhere that offers this digitization feature.

As I used Reflectera more, I noticed I would see pictures at the beginning or end of a year more than the pictures in the middle of a year as those required some additional scrolling to discover.

One Saturday morning, I set aside an entire day to scroll through every one of my 30,000 pictures.

On my 2012 MacBook Pro, it took approximately 7 hours to scroll from end-to-end.

I stopped enjoying the process long before I got to the end.

The problem was the number of pixels. And I had less pictures than the average person.

In a development version of the app, I recorded my timeline at the time as 8.3 million pixels long.

To scroll through an entire life would require thousands of complete screen scrolls. And it would take longer each new day.

How could I solve this problem?

I invented parallel time rotation for Memorable®!

I figured out how to fit a multi-million pixel story, all pictures from an entire life plus generations onto a single screen!

One minute life example

Now that this problem is solved, life can only get better.

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