Splash Image showing multiple mockups of the mobile Jitter interface


3 month contract


UX/UI Designer


Google Sheets


Jordan Kolb
James Lim
View prototype


A client wanted to make an anonymous social media app.


The market has been in decline for a decade.
These apps have a reputation for fostering negativity.
They rarely last longer than 3 years.


I spent 3 months conducting user research and prototyping a minimum viable product.


A Fleeting Market

Formspring launched in 2009 and shut down in 2013.
Yik Yak launched in 2013 and was dissolved in 2017.
Secret launched in early 2014 and was shut down by the founder in mid-2015.
After School launched in 2014 and was pulled from the app store in 2020.
Facebook Rooms launched in 2014 and was shut down in late 2015.

Why was this market so fragile? How can we avoid falling down the same cliff where so many similar anonymous social media apps have ended up?


Market Research

In order to test the efficacy of our stakeholder's proposed features and figure out our target audience, we conducted thorough research:

  • Making a brand matrix in order to compare the different anonymous social media apps currently available on the mobile market.
  • Creating a screener survey in order to find the optimal people to formally interview. Our criteria were people who still use or have used anonymous social media in the past. We also wanted to interview people who used multiple different anonymous social media platforms and could explain why they liked or disliked them.
  • Conducting 11 user interviews that focused on learning about the overall experience of using anonymous social media platforms and their thoughts on anonymity in general.
Brand matrix showing different apps on a 2x2 grid sorted by friends and strangers vs anonymity.

A Candid Community

Key takeaways after synthesizing our user interview notes:

Users felt comfortable because they can be honest without having to worry about what others think.

Users liked staying in touch with the inside jokes and events that are happening in their local community.

Being quick to set up and easy to use kept users invested in using the app.

Users want to be able to enjoy looking at content without necessarily needing to interact with others.

A Peculiar Paradox

An interesting observation to note:
Users liked watching drama unfold...
Users have witnessed bullying occur on anonymous social media apps

A Slippery Slope

A collection of responses to the question:
Why did you stop using anonymous social media apps?


“Other people stopped using it.”


“The novelty wore off.”


“I stopped seeing new content.”


“I stopped being able to use the platform as I wanted.”


“There was too much negativity.”


“I matured out of it.”

Falling Like Dominoes

These apps entirely rely on users providing content to other users. If the users leave, so too does the content. It's no wonder then that 8 out of 10 people interviewed stopped using these apps due to other people jumping ship.

Incidentally, out of the 38 people who filled out our screener survey, only 1 person currently uses an anonymous social media app.


Don't Leave Me Out

Our Persona is the personification of our Affinity Map data rolled into one persona. We created them in order to design for a clear representation of our audience.

Persona named "Ellie Hudson" describing her goals, pain points, wants, and needs.

Follow the Leader

The Journey Map documents Ellie's journey from discovering an anonymous social media app like Ask.FM or Yik Yak to its inevitable abandonment. We created this journey map to justify our research process to our client. This is the journey many users went on. Here is our opportunity to keep them engaged as the app grows.

Journey Map for Ellie Hudson.


Ellie lost interest due to her friends leaving the platform because of the toxicity, thus having less content to scroll through.

How can we give Ellie the ability to effectively limit the harassment she may receive and also reduce her dissatisfaction with the app if her friends leave the platform?


Comparing Competitors

We continued our research by getting hands-on with our competitors. Comparing the features present in each app allowed us to get a better grasp of how they enhanced the user experience. This is a feature analysis.​

We then used the MoSCoW Feature Prioritization method to decide which features will be most suitable to be implemented during this three-month contract period.​

We prioritized ubiquitous social media functions and features that would provide the user with plenty of content even if their personal network runs dry. (or doesn't exist yet)

2x2 grid showing features that must, should, could, and won't be present in the final app.
Chart showing Jitter's competitors and comparators.


Design Studio

We ran a design studio session together and used the data from our previous feature analysis and prioritization to ideate some solutions on paper. These would then become the basis for our mid-fidelity wireframes.

Sketches of the interface
Sketches of the interface

Mid-Fi Prototype

We fleshed out the Discover page where users’ public posts can be viewed and liked. Users expressed the desire to have control over the content they see. They can sort by New and Popular and find posts from people in their local community. ​

The desired content being easily accessible seconds after opening the app forms the sense of instant gratification that users wanted.

Mid-fi Mockup of the Jitter interface
Mid-fi Mockup of the Jitter interface
Mid-fi Mockup of the Jitter interface
Mid-fi Mockup of the Jitter interface


Appealing to the Stakeholder

I was exceptionally proud of our ability to navigate talks with a stakeholder who did not entirely believe in the UX process. We carefully gathered and presented our findings in ways that convinced the stakeholder to trust in our suggestions. Gathering qualitative feedback and appealing to emotions by using actual quotes from interviewees helped a lot during these meetings.

Usability testing report showing a partially successful test


Solving Pain Points

We conducted 10 usability tests and had users complete 6 tasks on our mid-fi prototype. Here are the changes we made:

PAIN POINT: Users felt the text in the posts was too cluttered.

SOLUTION: We made sure all text in every post was indented at the same position.

Mid-fi Mockup of the Jitter interfaceHigh-fi Mockup of the Jitter interface
High-fi Mockup of the Jitter interfaceMid-fi Mockup of the Jitter interface

PAIN POINT: Users HATED the Jit score system, likening it to Black Mirror and feeling manipulated that the score would go down if they ignore deny posts. Users were also confused by the words “accept” and “deny” on posts sent to them.

SOLUTION: We talked to our stakeholder about recontextualizing the Jit score so that it is no longer a percentage and instead is an integer that can only go up. We reworded “accept” and “deny” to “reply” and “delete.”

PAIN POINT: Users did not like having to see both users and posts at the same time when searching for a particular thing.

SOLUTION: We reorganized the page so that posts and Users are separate tabs on the Discover page. Users can now sort every tab by moving the sort tab to the top of the screen, rather than just posts.

Mid-fi Mockup of the Jitter interfaceHigh-fi Mockup of the Jitter interface
High-fi Mockup of the Jitter interfaceMid-fi Mockup of the Jitter interface

PAIN POINT: Users couldn't tell that the button that switches whether your post will be anonymous or public was a slider.

SOLUTION: We made the button look more like a traditional slider. We also changed the icons on the slider to be in line with the profile picture that you see next to a post.

View prototype


If our contract lasted longer, I believe the next iterations would have focused on the following features:

Join communities on Jitter. One way to ensure users will have a stream of relevant content is from user-made groups. These could be fandom communities where people can post anonymously or ask other fans their opinion anonymously. These could be college communities, similar to Yik Yak, where users can anonymously talk about happenings going on in their community.

Comment on posts. This would increase the amount of content and allow users to interact with other people without having to directly ask them questions.

Jitter was a fun exploration into a side of social media I’ve never had direct exposure to! Immersing myself and gaining knowledge in something so unfamiliar was a great experience I look forward to doing again in the future.

Working on Jitter taught me about the importance of properly conveying your research to the stakeholders. When the designer and the stakeholders are firmly set in their ideas, compromise has to be made in order to ensure the users will be satisfied with the finished result. This also taught me how to ensure the design fits the research despite frequent changes to the established idea being made by a stakeholder

A laptop and phone mockup of the desktop and mobile interfaces of the Timesheet Entry app.Hi-Fi laptop mockup of the Homework Helper interfaceHi-Fi phone mockup of the Jitter interface.
© Jordan Kolb 2023