A Desktop-first stories experience

Year

​​2019 - 2020

Role

​​Product Designer

Company

​​Instagram

Instagram Stories are a type of ephemeral content, usually photo or video, that disappear within 24 hours. People use stories to express themselves in an unfiltered way so friends and family can share in everyday moments. But stories are so easy to post that most of us have a large volume of stories to look through. Because of this, people felt like they were missing out on friends and family content they cared about. Stories were full of "stale" content, which meant repetitive, irrelevant, or commercial. Aside from Stories' overall challenges, the experience on Desktop felt like an afterthought. We wanted to design a product that felt native to its platform, and also demonstrated care towards the content being shared. It was an opportunity to translate all the magic of fullscreen interactivity to mobile-shot media.

We wanted to replicate the app's 3D-transition between story authors, but it looked like an afterthought on a wide screen.

So the explorations became very interaction-forward. Here are some other spatial models we tried.

This exploration helped us realize that the content needed to take up more space, to feel cinematic and rich.

Maintaining a sense of place was challenging with mobile-aspect content in a void. The familiar avatar tray helped.

Here are some layout explorations to take better advantage of the space.

Eventually we landed on this carousel-style model, to allow viewers more choice through previews of future content.

Hinting at past and future content gave us all the grounding and sense of place we needed. The avatar advancement felt superfluous.

This is what shipped! Check it out here and read a few words from the press, here. This resulted a significant lift in stories impressions and was a very successful update to the IG Web experience.