UX Research & Design
Information Architecture
User Interviews & Testing

InVision App

Major contributions
Melissa Thompson: Prototype
Jessica Lord: User Personas
Terri-Lee Taylor: Information Architecture & Usability Testing

View Prototype

Social Media Participation vs. Consumption

PicsArt is a photo-sharing platform with over 100 millions monthly users. In this case study, we redesigned PicsArt's Photo Challenge flow.

Challenges are designed to enable brands & celebrities to engage their target audience by encouraging users to produce authentic content.

At the start of this project, we knew that we needed to approach this project from two positions in order to improve the overall experience.

  • Brand Flow
    How will brands create, track & manage campaigns?
  • User Flow
    How can we improve the challenge flow for users participating in a challenge?

How can we connect Brands and Fans using PicsArt’s Challenges?

What is the current PicsArt product and ecosystem for Brands to create engagement with fans via Challenges?

How can we understand how to drive engagement with PicsArt Challenges?

How can we improve the experience of participating in a challenge?

How can we onboard Brands to create Challenges that drive fan engagement, and is valuable to both Brands and Fans?

Key Final Screens. Credit to Terri-Lee Taylor.


Exploring the App

Picsart has a powerful editor with much more features & options that any of the top social photo sharing platforms. According to PicsArt, roughly 80% of the monthly users only used the editor. Since the editor is so robust, PicsArt found that most of the users opened the app to edit their pictures & export them to other social media platforms.

They also found that of the 20% that interacted with other features on the platform, those that participated in Challenges only did so to get better at using the editor.

We sought to figure out why by first uncovering any heuristic errors that an user may face when participating in the challenge flow, primarily when using the editor.

Heuristic Analysis for the Editing Flow. Credit to Melissa Thompson.


Comparing Other Platforms

While we worked on the C&C Analysis, I tackled the brand flow of creating a challenge. At the time, PicsArt created & managed the Challenges for brands & celebrities. However, they were interested in providing a way for brands to create & manage their own Challenges.

Since many social media sites already offer a way for brands & celebrities to create sponsored content, I decided to explore how other social media platforms make the process self-service.

My goal was to find common patterns in how similar social media platforms onboard sponsored content.

Comparative & Competitive Analysis. Credit to Terri-Lee Taylor.


Understanding Fans

Now that we had a idea of the issues participants may encounter when using the app, we decided to go out and get insights from potential users.

Most people have had experience using a photo-editing or sharing platform, so finding potential users wasn't hard. The challenge was deciphering the type of person that would be likely to register to PicsArt on their own.

Given the information we had, we drafted a few questions to ask users. We also asked each user to participate in a challenges & use three specific tools.

View Full Affinity Map
  • Users confused participating in a challenge with voting on challenge entries
  • Users encountered unexpected errors when prompted with an advertisement
  • Users found the amount of tools available in editor overwhelming at first.
  • Users found the language & copy used in the app confusing.
  • Users did not know how to check to see if their image was submitted successfully.

Clipping of Affinity Map for User Interviews


Creating Great Campaigns

While we user interviews were underway, I reached out to brand managers or social media managers in companies that made consumer products, specifically specialty products.

We already understood that PicsArt wanted to encourage brand managers to create campaigns on their own. However, first I needed to understand what brands needed to create or monitor a campaign.

View Full Affinity Map
  • Brands need information about their current & potential fanbases.
    Not only were brands concerned with how their content was being received in current markets, they needed to know if it was gaining traction in other unexpected markets.
  • Brands need progress tracking.
    Brands needed to know if they were on track to make it to their end goal. If they weren’t they needed information to make necessary pivots.
  • Brands needed success indicators.
    Within each campaigns major goal, there are several smaller goals. The success indicators communicate if the current campaign is inline with other, smaller business objectives.

User Empathy Map. Credit to Terri-Lee Taylor.


Mapping the Challenges with "Challenges"

One thing we found interesting about PicsArt is that although it is a photo-sharing social platform, users are encourage to engage with content as opposed to simply consuming information.

This complicates the user journey because in order to participate in challenges, users need to abide by a certain set of rules. Outside of the general rules of conduct for the app, users will need to upload images that fit into the constraints of any individual challenge.

They also need to be able to know when their content has been submitted successfully & if it has been approved/denied. In order to deeply understand a user’s pains, we decided to create a journey map outlining the user’s path.

User Journey Map. Credit to Melissa Thompson.


The Ideal Users

With all of this new information we created two brand personas, Morgan & Bailey. We learned that the Brands we interviewed could be broken up into two groups: the metric driven manager & the bottomline/business goals driven manager.

Morgan & Bailey need an easy way to measure the performance of their campaigns on PicsArt.

How might we help Morgan & Bailey have an intuitive and stress-free campaign using PicsArt?

We also came up with a user persona for potential users.

Claudia needs an easier, clearer way to navigate through PicsArt and participate in Challenges.

How might we help Claudia make awesome pictures?


Redesigning the Experience

We believed that by redesigning the navigation and editing tool, we can create clearer user paths for Christine, helping them find the challenge section with less obstacles.

With the redesigned editing, we hope to help Christine become more familiar with PicsArt’s powerful editor.

We will know this to be true when PicsArt users are able to identify tools in the editor and enter challenges more quickly and report higher satisfaction using the application.

Since PicsArt has good UI, we decided to screen shots from the existing app to plus a few of our own edits to create wireframes. First we started with a design studio where we collaboratively explored new ideas.

  • Redo the navigation in the editor,
  • Explore ways to make the difference between voting on a challenge & participating in one clearer
  • Make content in the top & bottom navigation in the app consistent
  • Redesign submit page to be clearer

Design Studio

In addition to redesigning & organizing the app, I worked on a bit of information architecture in the editor. First I made a list of all of the icons/tools that appeared on the scrolling screen in the app. Then, I reorganized them into 5 core groups so that users would not have to scroll through 16 tools to find one. Instead, they can choose one of the five major tools that theirs would fall under:

Old editor with scrolling bottom bar

New editor with fixed bottom bar


Introducing the Brand Dashboard

Although Morgan & Bailey have different approaches to managing a campaign, both can find value in a dashboard.

Here Morgan & Bailey can view all of their active campaigns & get statistics on each campaign. They gain information about their fanbase by exploring the demographics of the users that have submitted images to the campaign.

While a campaign is running, brands can also track the progress of smaller goals that were set at the start of the campaign, & get the necessary recommended pivots.

Brand Dashboard. Credit to Terri-Lee Taylor.


The Final Prototype

After some testing & validation, we created high fidelity prototypes to conduct usability testing using the same questionnaire & flow as before. Users founds the new flow to be simple & easy. They were able to find the tools in a short amount of time & understand how to participate in challenges with ease.


Next Steps

If we had more time & access to PicsArt’s existing users, I would have loved to explore how to inspire users to use more of the tools.

It would have also been interesting to see how to create incentives for users to compete in challenges.

Overall, I enjoyed this project because it was research heavy. It gave us the opportunity to delve into the UX process & explore solutions for an existing product.

Copyright Terri-Lee Taylor 2018 | All Right Reserved