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Dropbox Carousel: Two Footnotes Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

11 April 2014

Dropbox announced earlier this week that it had launched Carousel, a photo storage and sharing service. Since then, two quite unrelated footnotes have been added to the story.


In Crafting The Carousel Story, designer Alice Lee provides a behind-the-scenes look at how the visual language around the product was developed with fellow illustrator Ryan Putnam.

Key to the story, she points out, are two characters:

If you look carefully at every brand touchpoint -- whether the product in-app onboarding, the launch materials, or the marketing site -- you will notice the same two characters appearing in every single illustrated photo. You see this boy and girl, named Owen and Nora, through their life, starting as two friends who attend camp as children, grow up together, and finally get married. Along the way we also see their playful dog grow up as well.

Ordinary memories, she points out, that together "compose a compelling, relatable, and, importantly, unpretentious narrative."

She describes how the logo was created and how the team developed the illustration style while maintaining Dropbox's non-photographic look.

In the end, the team created a warm and inviting approach to the new service.


The same day Dropbox announced Carousel, it also made some changes to its "leadership team," as a blog post put it.

Sujay Jaswa became the new CFO and Dennis Woodside the new COO. And Condoleeza Rice joined the board of directors to "help us expand our global footprint."

That last move had a few industry observers scratching their heads. John Gruber at Daring Fireball put it succinctly:

Strikes me as an oddly tone-deaf move for Dropbox, in the post-Snowden world. Is not warrantless government eavesdropping the single biggest concern people have regarding Dropbox?

And yesterday Boing Boing Founder Mark Frauenfelder asked, Dropping Dropbox -- What's A Replacement?, explaining:

I loved Dropbox and Mailbox. I was paying for a 200-GB account. But after learning that Iraq war starter, torture promotor and warrantless wiretapper Condoleezza Rice will be joining Dropbox's board of directors, I deleted my account. (Dropbox doesn't issue refunds, so I lost about $100. They can keep it.) I also deleted the Mailbox app from my phone.

So he asked for some alternatives to consider for cloud syncing. The suggestions reveal some of the difficulties of cloud computing.

It's not quite like riding a carousel after all.

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