Instagram, Add a Feature
Hypothetical addition to Instagram's UX. 
Creating an event space to help users find events going on near them.

My Role: 
Research, Personas, Task flows, Sketching, Wire-framing, Visual Design/Branding, Prototyping, User Testing

Group Critique Peers
Final Product Preview
Instagram Event Space
Events in a particular area can be hard to find when you are out of town. As a solution, I went to Instagram, one of the most popular social media apps. Instagram is catered to connection and an event space could keep Instagram a space people continue going, especially for event promotion.
(The week I submitted my project brief, Instagram did release "Places," a feature that shows users destinations around them. I still thought there was opportunity to build a more robust event feature.)

The Challenge
Instagram already does so many things. I worried that adding an event feature would add clutter to an already busy interface.

Add an event feature where users can find small events near them, for example; art shows, book readings, underground raves, cooking classes, yard sales.
Instagram does it all.
Some have said it does
too much.

Through a quick Google search, I found Instagram's objectives and one of the top three is community building,
And Instagram does community building and connection well.

If feels like a key component is missing. 
It only makes sense that Instagram's UX would include a space for people to connect, in real life.
An event space would elevate what Instagram is already good at.
Question is, would an event space intrigue people or would users feel that Instagram is 'doing too much?'
I set out to find the answer.

First, I asked people where they typically went to find events they were interested in.
Of course, almost all the people I interviewed mentioned that Google was a place they found events. 
Google seems like a no-brainer, but have you ever tried to find an event near you, that you were interested in, that wasn't a tourist trap? Not that tourist-forward events were... terrible, they aren't typically something I want to do on a lazy Thursday night.

Where did people find small events if not by word-of-mouth? Like, an underground rave, a small art gathering, a food truck opening?

Social Media. 
A lot of people were using their favorite social media platforms to also find out what their friends were doing or what was going on around them.
Users were already searching for events using the Instagram interface.

Two users were confident that they had used Instagram
to find events in the past. 
Both Sulamita and Jessica identified with using Instagram in the past,
though when asked to find an upcoming event, both struggled to get
information about the event they were searching for.
I continued interviewing users to find out how many people used Instagram to find events and understand where else they were looking.
Some key notes and thoughts from users about how they find events on Instagram:
“I look at tattoo accounts when I'm on my business account, to stay relevant and see what people are doing in town. Its important to know my peers in the business”

“If I was able to see a map and see what was around, that would be helpful. A visual. Planned events would be helpful.”

“I use it mainly because I want to be available to communicate with my friends and to keep up with their lives and see what they’re doing, not based on their story but upcoming events or things going on in their lives, so I could potentially join. To keep up with art shows and see when they are”
Empathy Map
I documented what I found using an Empathy Map, to help me understand what the user was feeling.
Affinity Map

I grouped my data to help recognize any patterns
and what needs my users had.
I realized that users ran into similiar issues and generally expected more from Instagram.
User Personas
Meet Andrew and Joey.

Both Andrew and Joey use Instagram often,
though they have vastly different interests. Both express a desire to find events through Instagram and feel that 

currently, the interface doesn't assist the user in finding events helpful to them, even though they feel that 
Instagram is very event-forward.
I started sketching possible ways to incorporate an event space that: 
- helped a user easily find small events near them
- allowed users to see what all events that were happening in their area
- created opportunity for businesses to create + promote events
User Flows
I created task and user flows to help me understand how an Instagram user may find the events tab.
Initial Sketches
​​​​​​​I faced one of the most important issues right away.
Where do we put the event space without crowding the already busy interface?
After some deliberation and a quick survey, I decided to nestle the main event feature underneath the Instagram story space.
Once this was decided, I was able to being sketching.
I created key screens for the landing page, a suggested event bar, a user's profile and a quick flow of the new search view.
I created a few cards to re-create what a new event post would look like. 
High Fidelities
I completed high fidelity frames before my final usability testing, just so users could really get the "Instagram" feel.
I had trouble with the calendar design and left it bare so I could get input from others.
Usability Testing
I conducted usability testing to see if users could spot any spaces where the UI did not feel like Instagram.
They did.
Users had trouble with the landing page, the stories / events listed underneath each other created confusion. The rest of the interface felt similar and I was able to get good feedback on the calendar page.
Changes were made based on testing feedback.
I re-visited the stories + event design buttons on the home page, and decided to have them side by side, instead of nestled underneath one another. This helped create visibility and gave the user a clear distinction of which feed they were viewing.
I re-designed the calendar space to give it more of an "Instagram" feel and updated other key frames per testing.
Users mentioned wanting to have an option to view events within a specific story, so I also added that as a key frame.
Future Changes
Instagram is always evolving and so would this feature.
My next steps would be to expand the calendar design and make it more intuitive, more robust.
I thought adding a feature to an already existing product to be exciting and brought its own set of challenges. I felt that I had a structure, which was nice, but when thinking about something like a calendar, the solution was not as clear.
With time and with notes from interviews, I feel that I was able to find a solution that worked for the amount of time I was allotted. I would plan to add numbers to the calendar to assist the user in finding a particular event on a specific day.
Final Product

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