Refactoring a timeline from millions of pixels to one screen

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

I wanted to scroll through an entire life of pictures.

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

Version 1

To realize this vision I would need to create a timeline long enough to fit every single photo and video in my archive.

This timeline would also need to create automatic dates for pre-2000 memories on printed photos, 35mm negatives, videotapes, and film reels.

I re-engineered our entire digitization process from scratch so tapes, reels, carousels, envelopes, and albums would show up in the proper year for any user’s timeline.

Reflectera, released in 2014, solved this problem beautifully.

Reflectera timeline - millions of pixels

As I used Reflectera more I noticed I would see pictures at the beginning or end of a year much more frequently than in the middle. The pictures in the middle of a year required additional scrolling to discover.

One Saturday morning in 2017 I set aside an entire day to scroll through every one of my 30,000 pictures.

It took approximately 7 hours to scroll through every picture from the 1930’s to 2017 on my 2012 MacBook Pro. I stopped enjoying the process long before I got to the end.

The problem was the number of pixels required to display an entire life end-to-end.

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

Viewing an entire life would require a user to scroll their computer or smartphone screen thousands of times.

Version 2

After changing our name to Memorable I wanted to solve the problem I had discovered after creating Reflectera!

How could a user with tens of thousands of photos and videos view such a mass quantity of memories without scrolling?

Parallel-time rotation was born!

Memorable’s groundbreaking design makes viewing an entire month, year, decade, and life of memories not only possible but enjoyable!

Video of app

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