Instagram Lists

High-fidelity Prototype Conceptualizing a List Feature for Instagram IOS App

SKILLS: Interaction design, Prototyping
TOOLS: Sketch, Origami Studio


As part of my application for a product design position, I was given a challenge to come up with a feature for a commonly used mobile app.


To find out how people use Instagram and what their main goals are, I started by doing a quick research. I then analyzed my findings to prioritize issues for improvement and proposed a feature that I believe can address these issues and enhance the user experience.


I observed several users as they used the app and asked them to think aloud. These were followed by short interviews to get more insight about how they use the app.

Here's what I learned:

  • Users follow hundreds of accounts including friends, family members, colleagues, celebrities, favorite brands and businesses.
  • Users' main interaction with the app is to scroll.
  • People use Instagram to stay connected to their friends and families.
  • Users commonly miss new contents from accounts they follow.
  • Users often can't recall the usernames of the accounts they follow and have difficulty finding them.

Define: Current Issues

How do I organize the accounts I follow?

Users would like to organize the pages they follow in a manner that is meaningful to them so they can efficiently use the app.

How do I decrease the chance of missing content that is important to me?

Users often miss updates from accounts they care about. They would like to catch up with these pages at their own convenient time.

How do I view content that I care to see at the moment?

Users sometimes go to Instagram for a specific purpose and information overload makes it difficult for them to find updates or pages for which they came looking.


Based on my findings, I decided to design a list feature for Instagram. This feature enables users to create multiple groups and assign the accounts they follow to one or more groups.

Using this feature, users can:

Organize the accounts they follow based on their desired criteria such as relationship, content type, etc.

Easily narrow down their browsing to view specific content.

Locate accounts they are looking for with less effort.

Origami Studio


To create the prototype, I was compelled to use Origami Studio as it is the main prototyping tool used at Instagram. So I used this opportunity to learn how to use this powerful tool. I mocked the screens in Sketch and used Origami Studio for prototyping the interactions.

Click on the video below to see the prototype in action:


  • The prototype above depicts major interactions and displays how Lists feature fits in with the current design of Instagram iOS app.
  • The design of this feature closely follows established Instagram UI and interaction patterns.
  • Switching between lists resembles switching between multiple accounts.

Further Considerations

  • Lists are private and only visible to the user.
  • Any account could be saved to more than one list.
  • Lists can be empty; users are not required to add accounts to the list upon creation.
  • Detailed interactions such as renaming or deleting lists as wells as empty and error states are not included in the prototype.