Later Media mobile app’s Instagram preview

Later Media

Enhancing product features with an emphasis on user experience

The ask

Later needed an experienced partner to champion the development of a core set of features for their media scheduler application.

The solution

Working within Later's usability and development guidelines, TTT Studios was able to design and deliver the key features that Later needed to grow its platform.

The outcome

TTT Studios enabled the growth of Later Media by speeding up the time to go to market with new and heavily requested product features. By providing Later with resources to increase their development capacity, the company focused their internal resources on its day-to-day business.

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We didn't have to overly explain what we were trying to do. We dropped them into an existing app, so they had to pick up concepts about our domain model. TTT Studios understood our project goals quickly.
Ian MacKinnon
Co-Founder and CTO of Later

Our approach

Quick schedule feature

Imagery and visuals are vital for posting on a platform like Instagram. Due to this, Later sought to make visualization a crucial part of the app’s features. The Quick Schedule feature allows content creators to plan and manage their posts efficiently, allowing creators to view the scheduled posts in a grid format. To build this feature, TTT Studios provided a dedicated team of designers and developers. And after creating an interactive prototype, we tested it with real users to validate its effectiveness.

User testing

TTT Studios set up four different scenarios for user testing. The scenarios were based on features in the app that could potentially be stressed or broken. Depending on the result, each test run was then classified as a direct success, indirect success, or failure.

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Direct success

User successfully completes scenario/task with little to no issues.

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Indirect success

User eventually completes the scenario/task after deviating from the intended main course of action. Indirect success results usually warrant further investigation to observe the indirect behaviour.

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Failure

User fails to complete scenario/task.

For the test, Later provided TTT with a handful of their users who agreed to take part in the testing process. We then used a testing platform called Maze to run each user through the four different scenarios. As for the results of the tests, scenarios 1, 2 and 4 were overwhelmingly successful. Scenario 3 had a 60% success rate with a 40% failure rate, and upon further investigation, it appeared that some users struggled to make the connection between the terms “account” and “settings”. However, they also stated that once the connection was made, it seemed obvious and felt intuitive. To mitigate the initial confusion, we changed the terminology from “account” to “settings” and added a tooltip to help guide users.

Calendar view feature

The second feature Later wanted to implement was a Calendar View feature, which presents a calendar of all scheduled posts and allows users to reschedule their content.

User testing this feature further enabled us to implement it with a human-centered design. Initially, we discovered that when users long pressed a post to move it around to the desired date and time on the calendar, the user’s fingers were covering the information. To remedy this, we added a dialogue box that pops up with the time and date while the post is being dragged allowing for a enhanced user experience.

Infinite scrolling

Originally, Later wanted separate views for each time frame (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) to have flexibility in what the user wanted to view when applying the filter. When testing the prototype however, we found that the lack of screen “real estate” made it hard for a user to see the posts in a meaningful way. To overcome this issue, the need for different time frame filters, the team implemented an approach infinite scrolling. Infinite scrolling is a design technique where it eliminates the user’s need to click to the next screen/page. As the user scrolls down a page, more content automatically keeps loading at the bottom.

When designing and developing this feature we kept two key factors in mind: usability and user experience. To provide an intuitive experience, the team implemented double scrolling for both time (vertical scrolling) and date (horizontal scrolling). The team also added a slight tilt to the post as it’s being dragged to the desired time slot to give the user a sense of momentum. The new feature provided the users an ease of navigation without affecting the flexibility of the time frame view.

User testing results

Using a platform called lookback.io, we tested the Calendar Feature with a live version in order to get more context on how the user was interacting with the feature/app. Similar to the Quick Scheduling Feature, we ran the users through four separate scenarios.

The results of the test were overwhelmingly successful with the only issue stemming from scenario 3. While all the users completed the task successfully, they reported a bug that required users to input a time and date for the post even though it’s already been set. We decided to omit the entry for time and date and only bring the user into the scenario if they have a time and date already set. This would prevent the redundancy of setting it twice.

Last but not least, we built a share component feature that enables users to reshare a post from another user. This would effectively function like a ‘retweet’, but for the instagram platform. Later wanted to allow their users to share content whilst preventing content theft which is a big problem across content creators, whether that be artwork, photography, or compositions. To combat this, TTT included a caption in the share component feature that automatically provides attribution and credit to the original post every time a post is reshared through the feature.

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TTT Studios provided high-quality code and delivered well-functioning features to the satisfaction of stakeholders. The team was capable and diligent, limiting unnecessary oversight. Their industry knowledge supported efficient collaboration, which positions them well for future engagement.
Ian MacKinnon
Co-Founder and CTO of Later

Services provided

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Digital Consulting
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UX & UI Design
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Mobile App Development
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Quality Assurance

About Later Media

Founded in 2014, Later is one of the fastest growing companies in Canada according to Deloitte's 2020 Technology Fast 50. The Vancouver-based company is a marketing platform for content creators with over 4 million users globally. Their Instagram scheduling tool allows content creators to visually plan social posts, publish automatically, and get tailored insights to help grow their platform. Originally created from a hackathon, they have since grown to become the #1 visual marketing platform for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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