9/14 Ephemeral Narrative Systems’ Sociability Mediated by User Experience: A Case Study of Instagram Stories – Leah Montgomery

In Ephemeral Narrative Systems’ Sociability Mediated by User Experience: A Case Study of Instagram Stories, de Souza lays out the framework for the connection between sociability of users on platforms that have the option to post and share temporarily. Like Snapchat, a social media platform designed to send pictures to your friends and post on “your story” for a certain period of time, Instagram has also created that same system by the introduction of Instagram Stories. For these, whatever you decide to share will only be on the platform for a limited amount of time. De Souza examines the different aspects of socialization as it relates to this temporary posting.

This article describes different studies on users when interacting with instagram stories. The main focus of these studies is to explain how Instagram Stories supports this socialization process among users, and to discuss the consequences of said sociability in the environment of social interaction with users. In summation, these studies used different guidelines to track the ways in which users were interacting with the stories. Using HE, or Heuristic Evaluation to do this, the study looks for potential errors the users may make, as well as UX and Task related objectives, identified as “T” in the study. These guidelines were used to focus on the specific actions the users made throughout the study. What was found was that many potential problems that were anticipated were made, such as access markers, or tagging a location or user profile on the stories. Since the interface uses the maximum screen usage, depending on where the user places these markers, such as the comment bar, it can be difficult for viewers to click on them. These potential problems suggest that the interface and interaction model of the stories can be improved to make socialization between its users much easier. The ways in which the features are displayed on the platform makes it very difficult to access and figure out how to use the features, and this study explained that this difficulty limits the social interaction and sociability through the use of instagram stories.

This study can be difficult to follow, as there are many terms and aspects of it that can be unfamiliar to people who are not HCI experts. However, the accuracy of this study to analyze the potential problems and the easy fixes for the users on this platform seem to be of the utmost importance. This case was thoroughly drawn out, making it easy to understand that the features on the interface need to be improved in order to successfully increase sociability on these temporary posting platforms.

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