katrina dargel is a user reseearcher



How might we implement a new feature on instagram?




Instagram is a mobile social network that allows users to edit and share photos and videos. In June 2018, Instagram had reached one billion monthly active users, up from 800 million in September 2017. The app is one of the most popular social networks worldwide.


Instagram's goal is to diversify their revenue stream outside of advertising by adding a feature where users can customize and physically print their pictures.

Working with a team of three our task was to add a feature in Instagram for users to print their pictures. We created a button seamlessly integrated into the profile page of Instagram, where users can effortlessly enter into the flow of purchasing prints of their images, without disrupting from Instagram's branding. We implemented a new print feature on an existing platform while remaining consistent to Instagram's brand. 

My Tasks

Market Research, User Research, Persona & Scenario, Competitive & Comparative Analysis, Contextual Inquiry, Sketching, User flow, User Testing & Iterations


Research, Ideation, User Flows, Wireframe designs, Iterations High Fidelity Interactive Prototype, Usability Testing

Tools Used:

Pen and Paper, Whiteboard, Post-its, Google Forms, Omnigraffle, Sketch, InVision, Quicktime


We developed a feature added onto the profile screen for users to physically print their pictures. By using Instagram's brand identity we were able to create an easy user flow that was clear, customizable, and illustrated using pictures and short text as explanation.

My Process:

Survey and Interview Results:

We created a short survey to initially understand if people would be intersted in Instagram providing an option to print photos directly from the application. We asked the following questions.


summary of Findings

  1. Respondents use Instagram very often and the majority of them post pictures at least a few times a month

  2. People would be interested in ordering prints directly through Instagram and have done so in the past

  3. The majority of respondents preferred to send photos as a gift rather than their own personal use.

  4. Respondents wanted other options like set of prints, photo book, poster, and calendar.

  5. The Map/Location button proved to be unnecessary and not used by interviewees.

  6. Privacy issues, the majority respondents did not want other people to print their pictures.


Comparative and Competitive Analysis

In order to bring out the best in the print feature we compared several applications that already had photo printing. We looked at Sticky9, Print Studio, and Artifact Uprising. These applications provided great insight on what we should include and exclude. We took screenshots of each user flow and lined them up to analyze. By lining up all the screens it was easy to spot the positive and negatives parts of the flows, and we were able to implement the best features in our prototype.

Product Design & Development

After analyzing our data and identifying our target audience it was ready to start ideation. By creating a business model canvas we were able to narrow down our MVP. We did card sorting to organize priorities, and white boarding to collect our ideas leading us to our first sketches and paper prototype.

White boarding Ideas

Card Sorting


After careful research analyzing our surveys and interviews responses we compiled the data to create the ideal persona who would use this feature.

Janet Mason

Meet Janet, 28, Photographer, lives in East Los Angeles. She checks Instagram several times a day, posts a few times a month. Being more of a lurker than a creator, she's concerned with privacy, but generally has been satisfied with online print services. 

 Janet’s Pain Points

  • Uploading pictures took a long time

  • Instructions were not clear during the selection process

  • Poor quality of photographs

  • Photos had to be cropped before uploading

Research Based Business Goals & User Needs

  • Seamless, simple, intuitive flow that does not hinder the creation of imagery

  • Clear product details screen (paper type, weight, options)

  • Unobtrusive, easily accessible “print” feature

  • Variety of products (photo books, posters, cards, loose prints)

  • Easy access to order information / history

  • Quick and easy checkout process

  • Clear review of final product prior to purchase

  • Social integration / functionality

  • Consistent look and feel of Instagram brand throughout entire flow



"The Holidays are coming and I want to give thoughtful gifts to my friends and family on a budget"

Sketches & User Flows

We wanted to make sure that this user flow went seamless with Instagram's brand. Through collaboration we kept in mind that Instagram is primarily is a social too. After careful thought, we decided on the last screen at checkout to add a print studio hashtag for people to share their prints with others since that is what Instagram is all about. #PrintStudio

First Sketches of User Flow


Paper Prototypes & Usability Testing

I'm huge advocate for paper prototyping it is a great way to concept ideas on paper, use less resources and test them on people. It provides immediate validation, feasibility, and room for improvement without using a lot of time. My finding included how important it is to provide the right details (icons, explanation text, etc.) so when testers get to  certain pages they will understand what is going on rather than having to explain verbally, which obviously takes away from the experience for them.

paper prototypes

 Testing Results

  • Users wanted to navigate with progress bar

  • Users wanted to access print studio through photos

  • Paper prototypes lacked cues to guide user

  • Checkmark symbol was unclear

  • User not certain what to do after checkout


  • Reordered user flow to put photo selection at start

  • Included review of purchase at payment

  • Changes to visual design to reflect Instagram brand

  • Changes to nomenclature

  • Replaced checkmarks with arrows



Based on what we learned testing the paper prototype we then moved on to create low fidelity wireframes. Our biggest takeaway from testing was to add an additional user flow that could be accessible through viewing individual pictures, which you can preview below with the pictures:

User Testing

We did a user test with Libby for the first user flow please watch it below:

User Testing Results (Wireframes)

Our paper prototype helped clarify the most confusing parts of the user flow leading to this low fidelity flow with only a few parts users were having trouble with. 

  • Users wanted to access print studio through photos

  • Users wanted to navigate with progress bar

  • Users thought the selection fields were buttons


  • Turned selection fields into buttons

  • Eliminated a progress bar

  • Clarified concept of social function after checkout

  • Added selected states and duplicate functionality

  • Eliminated arrows on screens with calls to action

  • Re-ordered screens, added alternative flow

The ‘more option...’ was not something users selected often and they did not expect to see another option to access Print Studio there as well.


High Fidelity Prototype


User Testing Results (High Fidelity Prototype)

  • Payment method” confusing because of progress bar and tabs

  • Hashtag placement at top of page

  • Final review screen was unsatisfactory

  • Should be possible to make changes and update in final review

  • Shipping info could be filled in automatically

 Next Steps

After testing the high fidelity prototype we were happy with the results leading to fewer issues throughout the user flow. We understood it was not perfect yet but there if we were to continue this project we would have to ask ourselves:

  • Should users be able to print other people’s images?

Through research the question of privacy kept coming up and as the surveys show above 76% of respondents did not want other users printing their pictures. This could raise an issue, especially since the platform is based off of viewing other users' pictures. 

  • Should shipping options be included?

Shipping was something we spoke about but decided not to focus on. This could raise a lot of questions in regards to returns, lost items. It's important to ensure that pricing and shipping modalities are in line with business goals as well. 

  • Add ability to make changes to order on final review

Testers wanted to adjust their pictures in the final review page, we would have to do more testing to see if this was a general consensus.

  • Automatically fill in known personal information fields

Privacy is such a fickle issue and the application cannot assume that we have all of the correct information from the user, but it is awfully convenient for them not to have to type anything in. 

  • Increase size of typeface

It was important to keep the look and feel of Instagram's brand so the typeface was kept small, however many of our testers had some difficultly reading certain pages. This would definitely be something that would be considered for fixing.

This project was conceptual so there would be a lot of things to consider with regards to Instagram's policy. 

Banner pictures taken by @kristentersteeg @courtney.leigh.brown & @abs7m from ArtifactUprising