Share-worthy moments

People love to share their adventures almost as much as the adventure itself. Instagram thrives as an interactive platform where users can share their photos and videos in creative ways. 
One moment where Instagram users can feel excited and confident about sharing their experiences online is while on vacation. But during this prime time of exploration, users run into issues that keep them from posting. Common reasons range from overlooking photo opportunities to plain forgetfulness.


Overcoming photo FOMO

These photo-taking problems come before Instagram’s family of apps can help. I sought to provide users with a unique experience that leads users to popular photo opportunities along their journey. 

Venture is a discovery app that helps you find incredible photos while on vacation.

Venture is a discovery app that helps you find incredible photos while on vacation.


Photos lead the way

Browse popular locations nearby with the help of your fellow Instagrammers, choose a spot that catches your eye, and let the Venture app guide you right to it.


Post photos during down-time

Instagram photos are saved to a vacation folder within Venture. You can look through your stash to edit and publish at any time. Or you can wait until you get home, where you can select from your collection the ones you’d like to share to the world. 


Proof is in the Posting

Instagram's Venture isn't just a catalyst for sharing more photos. Users will find that as they become exposed to more scenic environments, the quality of their photos will improve. Tied heavily to the information on popular locations visited and feedback on experiences, Venture is a smart tool that delivers relevant content to those exploring. Wherever they go, they're sure to find the best photo opportunities.
"I could totally see myself using this. Since I'm already taking photos, it'd be awesome to know other places to check out."
– Nelson Rader, @nelsonrader
"Vacations aren't relaxing—they're just as busy as being at home. Sometimes you need this to get you out and see something you would have missed."
– Ali Strate @alisonstrate


Instagram Venture

Instagram, Personal Project 


I was responsible for all phases of strategy and production— conceptual design/development (the big idea), graphic and interface design, interaction flows, prototypes, and more.

6 wks, October - November 2017
  • Conducted surveys and user research.
  • Utilized the user journey research to inform great UX in the face of product constraints.
  • Created detailed navigation flows, site maps, user stories, wireframes and interactions that maintained brand integrity and proactively solved problems for the more complex experiences.
  • Delivered high-quality user experiences within tight time constraints.
Scroll below to see my process

Design & Development Process

“Is this shareable?” is a question that we all ask ourselves with pretty much anything we’re involved with. Is this story worth sharing with a friend? Is that blog worth publishing? This social audit for photo posting has once acted as a content filter for Instagram, ensuring for great, likable imagery. However, even before booting up this project, Instagram’s use has started to evolve. With the success of Instagram Stories, the platform’s content quality has turned casual, being more of a user’s family album or visual diary of personal moments. What happened to people caring about what they post?
In a way, this design project was a way for me to contribute, giving users a simple tool that could link them to imagery they’re proud of taking. I wanted to help these 500 million daily active users explore the world around them, take risks with their photography, and share content that inspires others. 
Project intentions: 
Geo-location tactics
I exploreed geo-location push notification practices. These notifications have been wildly successful with other platforms, leading to a 40% clickthrough rate.
User onboard best practices
These notifications would a great way to lead users to a deeper understanding of the app, acting as part of our product's user onboard system. I was thrilled to learn more about this.
Communications within Brand Guidelines
Luckily, Instagram has a well established brand system that could be applied to any creative project. That fun 4C gradient was a joy to use.


A time for plans and a time for pics

Taking a look at potentially similar solutions in the market, I saw that products tend to fit into three categories: trip planning apps, photo journaling apps, and location-based resource allocation platforms. Each of these are immense in their structure and UI. I outlined their strengths and potential takeaways from what Instagram could do when creating it’s own solution in the space.
All of these products detailed could also be classified by their user journey. People are inspired to take photos either in the moment or by planning beforehand. As they head out for their time away from home, a decision has been made of how they view their photo taking opportunities. I knew that I had to pick a side, offering users with planning tools to take the right pic, or a system that inspires spontaneous ventures.
I conducted a short survey with 100+ volunteers that asked about their vacation photo taking habits and instagram posting rituals. The results of the survey were enlightening and informed some key design decisions.
Consumer insights from the survey
This line of questioning plays into the notion that Instagram users need help finding better photos for sharing their vacation with others. And by the looks of it, there's plenty of photo options for users to choose from, but still no satisfaction with what they have.  
of Participants take 11+ photos/video while on Vacation
of Participants feel dissatisfied with not capturing enough photos/videos
I also wanted to ask Instagram users about when they posted their pictures to Instagram. That went into a hunch of mine that people are forgetting to post their pics when they get home and wait too long to post.
During my vacation
After my vacation
It was interesting for me to learn of their passion about their own system of posting experiences to Instagram.
Consumer quotes
IV survey quotes


Vacation photo opportunities

I used the research from the discovery to inform the target user for my design solution. Knowing the nature of the problem I wanted to solve, I saw two personas stand out: Chris Toledo, the Life Curator and Emily Rogers, the Busy Parent. Each one has their unique purposes for Instagram and how the platform fits into their vacation happenings.
As I built out user stories for Chris and Emily, I learned a couple of interesting things. First, I realized that the solution is very situation oriented. This wouldn’t need to be accessed constantly for it to be successful, just in the right moments. Second, whether you call it inspiration or a reminder, the solution must invite users to go out and take more pictures. That’s the only way that the user can feel successful. Lastly, there must be a smarter system in place to handle vacation photos to ensure that they’re posted and celebrated. These users would use this validation to fuel future use of the product.
Design Considerations
  • Focus UI design on situation/location
  • Establish prompt notification system
  • Think beyond photo capture


It's time to Venture

At this stage of the project, this Instagram discovery tool was starting to firm up. One important note I had to consider was where this would live. As I outlined the solution, I weighed the options of incorporating these new features into the current Instagram app versus creating a whole new app.
Using Instagram alone was an interesting thought. After all, most UI elements and data lived within the app already in one way or another. For instance, it is possible for users to click on a location and search through other photos tagged with that same location, leading them to other posts and users. As I started to sketch user flows to access content easily within the app, I found some issues that disturbed the main navigation structure of Instagram. A tool like this seemed just too large and useful to bury within Instagram’s current scheme.
Instagram has a precedence of placing creative solutions in their family of apps. For instance, Layout by Instagram is a very useful tool that users may use in combination with the main Instagram app. Working this solution into an application that lives outside of Instagram started to feel right, as I could control the simple feature presentation, the notification system and general onboarding of the app without confusion.
UI design of situation/location
There were great references for the UI design of the app. I used Instagram’s colors and feel, but yet was able to take pages from the other apps of Layout, Boomerang, and Hyperlapse to show how far I can take the design to make Venture feel unique.
I created a simple brand style guide that would inform design decisions as I turned my wireframes into high fidelity compositions. 
Push notification system
I developed a push notification guide that will direct development. Knowing that users are sensitive to notifications, especially while on vacation, the feature onboarding plan must be relevant and concise.
Vacation folders
Thinking beyond photo capture, I wanted to create a photo holding queue in which users may post their vacation photos at a later time. The consumer is looking for sharing support (reminders) after their trips, and Instagram can provide a system to ensure that more vacation photos are published.


Making it worth the trip

The success of this app would depend on it’s ease of use at the right time. Having the user flow mocked up and the wires in place, I developed an instructional plan that would guide my designs and ensure that users would learn how to use this discovery tool properly through visuals and copy.
I started by developing the marketing messaging for the app, introducing everyone to the idea. Once the user downloads the app, which would be the typical end of a marketer’s onboarding plan, that’s where my instructional plan begins.
Baby steps into user onboarding through instructional design
An organized plan for your onboarding practices that helps users learn
With the planning in place, I applied the style guide to the wires, developing the screens into high fidelity mockups. I developed a prototype to test the flow of the app.
Welcome Tutorial
I wanted to reduce the amount of user decisions in order to reach the main benefit of the Venture app. This meant forgoing a drawn-out login process—they'll have the chance to do that later.
IV onboard designs
Clear color navigation
To lead users to success with the app, the UI elements are bolded or colored vibrantly displaying options or the next step toward going on or sharing a venture.
IV clear ui navigation
Venture Prototype

Get in touch

Email me

Talk to me 801.380.7986

About Me

I love connecting people to brands through meaningful experiences. The pleasure comes from knowing that there could be a flow... READ MORE
© 2018 Billy Reano.
All rights reserved.
Billy Reano

Get in touch

Email me

Talk to me 801.380.7986

About Me

I love making experiences that connect brands to humans. The pleasure comes from knowing that there could be a flow... READ MORE
© 2018 Billy Reano.
All rights reserved.
Billy Reano