With all of the Instagram news lately, it’s hard not to think about it. It’s not clear what sort of impact Facebook’s acquisition will have, I’m hopeful that much will not change. If anything were to change, I hope it’s some of the experience design.
I think the Android app is good. Sure, the app is a direct port of the iOS version, and it doesn’t make use of the latest ICS Android design patterns. All that is obvious. In order to get a little deeper into the structure of the app I conducted a practical task analysis of the image capture & upload process.
Here it is:
The green boxes represent an action, such as taking a picture or hitting the upload button that a person needs to take in order move forward. Basically, someone can take a picture and upload it in 3 button presses (4 if you apply a filter). That’s very quick, simple, and that is why this app is a huge success.
For the most part this flow is solid. The notable exception is re-taking a picture, which has more to do with the navigation patterns employed. There also seems to be an opportunity to improve or optimize the image capture & upload process.
For devices that have larger screen sizes (e.g. 4.3, qHD) a lot of screen real estate goes unused while taking a picture. One way to utilize that underused space would be to incorporate some of the image editing functions. Perhaps the screen can display a list of most used filters and allow one to upload the image from that screen and avoid edit screen altogether.
Here’s an example:
The screen on the left, image capture, relies primarily on the action bar design pattern. The next screen, edit photo, also uses the action bar. These sketches leverage contextual cues better than what’s in production, and organize functionality in a more logical fashion. Also, you can upload an image directly after having taken it.
Hopefully this is the sort of stuff we’ll see from the acquisition. More soon.