Instagram, empower people to inspire the way they hang out
As part of a personal project with my girlfriend Margot, we challenged ourselves to improve the user experience of a product we use every day: Instagram. The mission of the product is simple: to give each person the opportunity to build a community and bring the world closer together. So we decided to work in this direction around a topic we both love: going out with friends
Nowadays, there is a real shift in the way people search for information. Key Google services like Search and Maps are being impacted by a growing preference for social media and videos as the first stop on younger users' path to discovery. Indeed, more than 40% of young people mainly use Instagram or TikTok to search for places to have lunch.
Aware of this issue, Instagram has recently developed an interactive map feature to list ideas for places to go. We decided to interview several young instagram users (18-24) to understand the challenges and different steps of organizing their outings with friends, as well as the pain points associated with it
Thanks to these interviews, we were able to identify that the experience strongly depends on the profile of the person in relation to the rest of the group. We have categorized them into two main groups:
• The leaders who seek for something new while taking into consideration the views of the other members of the group
• The followers who wait for something to be suggested but may be reluctant to change
This leads to the leader being fed up with the situation. We have therefore chosen this persona as the main one for this feature. Here is their current journey
We then gathered with Margot to capture the opportunities of this project during a "How Might We" workshop. This method allowed us to take the insights and pain points and positively reframe them. We then identified the main areas where our solution should focus, which we could summarize with one question
Prototype & Test.
After conducting a crazy'8 ideation workshop, we identified the most relevant ideas that would allow us to build a functional prototype of the solution. Thanks to a remote user testing with 5 young Instagram users, we were able to improve our feature by adding mainly guidance, context and reassurance elements
With our final version, we want to cut out the endless conversations about what to do with our friends. Instagram is the perfect tool for this because it already knows our consumption habits thanks to the different places we tag in our posts and stories.
On the map, we've added a new "with friends" filter that allows users to select the friends they want to hang out with and then displays a personalized selection of activities for the group. They can freely browse this list that highlights key information and popular pictures from each location, or decide to send the full list to those friends to make it easier for them to find what they don’t know they're looking for yet
Through this project, we wanted to demonstrate our design process on a subject we are interested in. In less than a week, we were able to generate, test and validate a feature. It would be interesting to also test the algorithm of our solution and its relevance since it is a main factor of its adoption.