Find Friends

Find Friends



The Preamble

User growth was plateauing during my time Kik. To tackle this problem, I was responsible as the UX/UI Designer to design an added functionality to the existing Address Book Matching (ABM) feature: the ability to invite friends to use the app.

The Problem

Why do we need to improve the existing feature?

When a user is on-boarded onto the app, they can sync their contacts to see which of their friends are currently on the app. The feature notifies the user if one of their contacts joined the app. However, if none of their contacts are on Kik, there was no way for them to invite their contacts to join them.

This was a problem because:

  1. New users were less likely to be retained if there are few users for them to interact with
  2. Existing users cannot share their experience with contacts who are not in the app


What opportunity is presented from this problem?

The Invite Friends was an opportunity for the team to address the user growth plateau. With that in mind, I posed:

How might we design the Invite Friends feature to drive users to invite more users to join the app?

The Solution

Initial explorations

Initial explorations


I focused on the wrong problem at the first iterations of the Invite Friends functionality. Instead of focusing on the ability to invite friends, I focused on communicating to the user that we were continuously syncing their contacts.

The first iteration of the design was shipped on Android as an A/B test. The result: negligible impact on user activity

The first iteration. Lol.

The first iteration. Lol.


After the first iteration, I went back to the drawing board with my product manager to improve the first design. I refocused on the problem at hand:

How can we affect the user growth plateau through the Invite Friends feature?

The Importance of Copy

I changed the copy on the banner to emphasize more on the action to invite friends, and less on syncing contacts. Furthermore, I reduced the screen real estate populated by the banner to increase the amount of space for the contacts list. This emphasized that the goal of the screen was to invite friends.

Icon Button versus Text Button

I switched from icon buttons to text buttons in the second iteration. The Text and E-mail icon buttons were not clear or strong enough to prompt users to invite their friends. Moreover, switching to the Invite text button reinforced even further the primary goal of the screen- to invite friends to use Kik. Additionally, the Text button improved the visual cohesion of the screen.


The Result

The second iteration was a major redesign that emphasized on the Invite Friends functionality. My co-op term at Kik ended before I was able to gather any data on how the second iteration impacted user activity

The second iteration. Much better.

The second iteration. Much better.

Principles Learned

When adding functionality to an existing feature, it’s easy to get distracted and feel constrained on how the feature currently exists. It’s essential to focus on why the feature is currently a problem and figure out how can you use this problem as an opportunity to design a better solution.