The value of Influence


Rapid Prototyping, Visual Design, User Testing

Robin Dhanwani
Chaitanya Alluru

2 weeks



As a company with a pulse on internet campaigns, Ykone found an opportunity in a unique challenge faced by the growing online market of influencers. With the rise in the number of people making a living out of product and service endorsements on social media, what would a fair trade version of this exchange look like?

We ran a classic 5-day design sprint to find out.

Day 1 : Understand, Define & Sketch

On Monday we went through exercises to find the key challenges of the project that we should tackle first in this opening sprint. The goal was to get the ball rolling and build momentum and a foundation for the project to continue on with. We also, individually, created several potential solutions to our challenge.

I. Understand:
Opportunity Statements that were voted on:
  1. How might we design the app to feel exclusive?
  2. How might convey the value of a venue/brand to an influencer?
  3. How might we define the currency between influencers and venues/brands more clearly?
II. Define
  1. Can we maintain the quality of influencers the app will have?
  2. Can we ensure that influencers will respect the deal?
  3. Can we create a product that is cool/hype (Like Tinder, Snapchat)

After voting on the Sprint Question, we looked at the user journey map and picked one workflow that we’d like to further explore and sketch out in more detail.

III. Sketch:
Crazy Eights & Storyboard

We then moved on to sketch 8 quick ideas each in 8 minutes, where all of your sketches represent the same screen/part of journey. The idea is to generate as many ideas as possible within a short timeframe, focusing on quantity of ideas not quality, and then once you’ve got a bunch of divergent thinking on one topic, to begin converging on some winning ideas by voting on the favorites.

We then reflect on our mind maps and Crazy Eights to fish out the best ideas; And then illustrate one of them in more detail. Everybody draws UI in the three or four frames of their storyboard showing a progression. It’s a way to make the user story diagram more concrete, and make something that will be shared anonymously and critiqued by the group.

Day 2 :

On Tuesday, post breakfast and niceties, we spent time reviewing the concept solutions that we all individually created, and made a decision about which ideas was worth testing in accordance to the initial Sprint Question that was voted upon.

Once that decision was made, we created detailed wireframes for the prototype and finalized a flow of screens through a democratic debate, discussion and voting process.

Day 3 : Prototype

Based on several of the lightning demos shared through the 2-day client engagement part of the Sprint, two of us designers set out to create the visual specifics for our selected wireframes. The prototypes needed an amount of detail that would make the user testing more accurate and useful.

We created a few visual design options for this on-boarding flow, and succeeding homepage and bookings sections, to test the core workflow with local influencers.

View prototype here ⤻

Day 4 & 5 : Test

On Thursday, we tested the prototype with 6 potential users/influencers. We spoke to lifestyle bloggers, Shweta and Anupa, and food bloggers, Vinay, Somya and Noorain Every interviewee was a goldmine of feedback that we took into consideration for the iterations we made in the following weeks. The key observations were around the following areas:

1. Communication about the exchange: There is lack of clarity in this part of the flow.
2. Contact / call option: A way to check back on your appointment more obvious contact points
3. Choice of offering: Lack of clarity around the number of people who can accompany the influencer and breakdown of social media post options.

Feedback and Next Steps

The product offering seemed to resonate with candidates once explained and the key learning was to improve and better the communication details about the exchange and ensure regular usage of platform by adding valuable incentive and engagement.

➔ The option to choose/customize your barter + clarity on what the experience will be.
➔ Terms and agreements spelled out better and more comprehensively.
➔ Reminders to complete and update experience content.
➔ Contact : An option to cancel or reschedule a booking and contact venue or organizers if and when needed.
Include qualitative ratings – visible to influencers because initially trust isn’t inherent or established.


This project helped me learn a lot about my skills as a designer, and the role I play in strategic business decision making. I was able to look back to my participation as key to allowing the feel safe about their ideas in a brainstorm and widen the overton window of ideas.