A few semesters back, I took a course called "Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation" where we investigated a social problem tied to technology. My group chose to consider how Instagram affects body image and self-confidence among college women. Throughout the semester we conducted interviews, lead a heuristic evaluation, ran an A/B test, and sent out surveys to test our hypothesis.

My role involved conducting, transcribing, and analyzing the data from two user interviews and two usability tests, creating the survey, and designing the screens for the A/B test. For the A/B test, we removed the number of likes from an image to see how participants would react.


An exciting development to this project is that Instagram is now deploying this same condition to Canadian users, proving that our findings are something Instagram Corporate also sees as beneficial to users. We conducted this experiment in Fall 2016 and this article by the Huffington Post was written in May 2019.

Instagram Case Study

The Team: Christian Baird, Danielle Colbert, Kelly Weiss, Julia Wu