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Jared Palmer
Posted Feb 17 - Read on Facebook

One of the most annoying things about Instagram is the inability to switch accounts (like you can with Twitter). Here's a prototype for how it might work...

In practice, tapping the username (not the profile pic) should probably trigger the account switching interaction since it isn't being used for anything at the moment.

Instagram Make it happen.

21 Comments

Stephen Crowley

I do think multiple accounts is a feature Instagram will implement in the future. My concern with your solution is discoverability and predictability. The averages users mental model when thinking "account" routes back to associating login/log out. My assumption is that they'll look back at there profile and look for something that associates to that like an icon, that will then give them options. I agree with your assumption that clicking the profile image may not be the best solution because it still is an image and the design pattern in Instagram is clicking an image in the profile brings it into a large view. Fun exploration and I like your multiple profiles view!

Jared Palmer

Stephen Crowley I agree with you. My inspiration was Twitter's current feature which is nested within the profile view (drag down your profile pic to see). Perhaps a better solution would be an icon on the top left of the user profile.

Stephen Crowley

Unless you can offset a second circle under the profile so it looks like the profile pics are stacked then your nice animation would connect the affordance. Just riffing on ideas, not saying they'd be better- don't mind me. :)

Brandon Souba

Why not place the setting under the gear icon? Seems unintuitive to click on my face and have the ability to switch. Cool animation though.

Brandon Souba

Also - the twitter interaction is fun but not too discoverable. Your idea about stacking the profile photos could work - might look messy though.

Stephen Crowley

That's what I'm afraid of- don't want it to seem too out of place or distracting either

Brandon Souba

Yep. The tradeoff is like 4 taps to change your logged in state.

1. Tap Gear
2. Tap "Switch Account"
3. Tap "OtherAccount"
4. Tap "Back" from settings

Jared Palmer

You could cleverly hint that there were more profiles under the current one with a Disney-esque animation that flushed out the images like poker hand, and then slipped them out of sight underneath the active one.

Josh Peters

I didn't even know about dragging down on the pic in Twitter. You can also long press on Me to activate it.

Speaking purely to the entry point, not the interaction this is about as simple as it gets without inverting anything. (I split the space Edit Your Profile was using into two buttons).

Jared Palmer

Josh Peters Woah. I didn't even know about long-holding the Me tab. B|

Jared Palmer

As per Josh Peters's suggestions: http://youtu.be/yAR49mr2FNI

Sander Värv

Josh Peters your solution just barely fits in English and probably in some other languages too. But it might not work in some of the 25 or so languages that Instagram supports.

Davey Heuser

This reminds me of the switch account feature of Twitter's iOS app, which I like! I'm not sure if the trigger for this in your prototype is the best in terms of ease of use though. I'm interested to see how and when Instagram will implement a feature like this

Josh Peters

True. I didn't localize the solution, but was just going for idea generation. Twitter uses the visual metaphor which is potentially missed as well. You do the best you can

Koen Bok

Cc Joy-Vincent Niemantsverdriet

Josh Peters

If you can imagine how popular Instagram is now, wait until they finally get around to adding multiple users. I'm sure it's not as if they are blind to such need. ;)

Al Abut

Slick animation. Unfortunately I'd expect tapping the profile pic to enlarge it and give me the option to change it, as I'd guess would the 99.99% of people that only have one Instagram account.

Jared Palmer

Al Abut See the updated video in the comments.

Al Abut

My bad! That's pretty workable actually. I still think switching accounts is an edge case, but that's a great way to at least make it possible.

Joseph Reni

2 cents here - don't clutter design over the predictability of an advanced feature. also consider states? how do I add a new account if you just have 1 account that button would not exist or would say add account - now you're stepping on the usability of the 90% for the 10. The 10% will find the feature and will certainly click on their profile as an option. It's not 100% predictable, but being 1 click away it's 100% learnable.

Jared Palmer

Joseph Reni You make a fair point about initial state. Perhaps an icon would work.

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