Fictional project


My role
  • Concept
  • Interaction design
  • UI design
  • Motion

A good old redesign

This fictional project was conducted during my first month of my interaction design internship at ustwo, in June 2012


Redesign the Instagram app for iPhone, as well as adding a new unique feature to it.
We feel that the current interface isn’t meeting its full potential and if anything is a little bland. It doesn’t reflect the coolness and great functionality of the app – this is something that we’d like you to address.
Rather than this being a purely visual exercise we would also like you to create a user story and mockups for a new feature that could be added to the app to expand it’s current feature set. This could be an improvement and expansion of something that already exists, or it could be completely new territory, whatever you feel would be an improvement.

During the time I worked on this project, Instagram was version 2.0, and just recently acquired by Facebook.


The first step was to study the application itself, see all the qualities and weak points. The information architecture gave a more detailed view of the app’s functions and the flow.

Then was time to look at what the market offers, which are the close competitors and what are their selling points. This not only gave a good insight on interesting features for social photo apps, but also started shaping the identity of Instagram and its market position compared to others.

User research

With all this in mind, the next natural step was to do some user interviews to gain a complete understanding of needs and possibilities, before starting with the idea generation and sketching phase

Design phase

The insights were somewhat straight to the point and made the picture obvious. It was the definitive step to get enough data to start designing.
The research and findings, along with brainstorming sessions and sketching, led to the idea that Instagram needed to be redesigned in a way that a misused and less relevant feature could let room to another one, much more interesting and promising.
In my design, the “popular” section, criticized by users for its questionable utility, was replaced by a section where users could find pictures based on selected tags and geotags.
Following are some sketches of the idea generation process.

Developing the concept

Visually, there was a feeling from the users of a lack of the personality that instant pictures and 1:1 (square) pictures have. The vintage, texture rich and soft values of the physical photos was replaced by a “standard” blue bar and anonymous UI.

My effort was to bring this feeling into the Instagram app. Remember, this was 2012, when skeumorphism was everywhere.

While not part of the brief, I took the liberty to make a video explaining how the interactions in the app could work. The base concept and idea was in this way expanded to pixels and motion.