problem space

Instagram users are unable share content with followers because of a missing feature on the platform. 

I designed and developed a mobile app to enable reposting of content so users could share content freely. 

 

Role: UX Designer, Prototyper, Developer

Tools: Sketch, InvisionApp, XCode

Project duration: 3 months

 

stumbling upon non existent features

Guerilla Research 

I conducted a quick research study on the different options for Instagram apps, which API's were accessible to developers, and how I could use these for my solution instead of coding everything from scratch. I also brainstormed ideas to determine which users I wanted to focus on. 

Key Findings

Instagram is missing a critical feature on the platform

users actively use third party solutions to "hack" a repost solution

designers at Instagram refuse to be the next "tumblr" by offering repost feature

RelayWhiteboard.jpg

developing a solution within an existing framework

The next step in this process was create wireframes to show the developer exactly how the mobile app would work. I created the wireframes in Sketch and iterated on them a few times to simplify the flow. I also focused on the intro flow to encourage users who might want to repost, but didn't necessarily know how, to learn quickly. 

relay_wireframes.png

brand recognition to improve app store discoverability

The inspiration for the name and the logo design came from the existing ecosystem of Instagram apps. The two sticks positioned at an angle are meant to look like relay sticks, which also lends itself to the purpose of the app, continuous relaying of content from any account.  

 

Takeaways and reflection

The final result was a working app on the Apple store using a third iteration of wireframes, Instagram APIs, and a forked repo of an existing photo sharing program from Github. There were about 20-30 app installs per week and I was marketing the app on Instagram itself to get users to find the Apple Store link. The app was shut down after a few months because it no longer complied with Instagram's API requirements (and I was in grad school by that time so I kind of forgot about it). The app was also shipped before Instagram ads were open for public use so I didn't test out advertising the app to users to get them to download it. Perhaps I'll try this in the next iteration.