Setting up users for success by providing an actionable, start-up onboarding experience which guides users in connecting their device to their Instax Share printer.


Design Challenge — Examine a product that utilizes software and hardware components. Determine if there are any usability issues regarding the interaction between its software and hardware components and propose a solution to the problem.


Researcher & Designer
Responsible for compiling research, generating insights, and developing the onboarding concept. Created the visual elements, low-fidelity mockups, and high-fidelity prototype.

DEvice & application

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Printer
Fujifilm Instax Share on iOS & Android


February 2019, 3 weeks


Fujifilm’s line of Instax Share printers allows you to create polaroid prints of your memories from your smartphone. There are currently 3 different models of printers, the SP-1, SP-2, and SP-3 which all connect to the Instax Share app via the printer’s internal wifi. As an owner of an SP-2 printer, I love having the ability to print pictures I have already taken on my phone when I don’t want to carry around my bulky Instax 8 camera everywhere I go.

Recently, I was curious to look at the ratings and reviews for both the printer and the app. I found that while the ratings for the printer were averaging over 4.5 stars on most retail sites, the app is only rated between 2-3 stars on the Apple App Store and Google Play store. I took this is as an opportunity to explore the disparity in satisfaction between the app and the physical product and come up with a potential solution.


The research I compiled includes customer review analysis and usability testing to create user personas / journey maps.


Customer reviews are a form of qualitative research that can be a good source for collecting information on recurring problems and frustrations. In analyzing these reviews, I looked for repeated patterns or themes in the responses to determine the most common pain points.

GooglePlay Store Reviews — Android Phone Users

The most common issue for Android users is having difficulty when connecting the printer to the app on their device. Users have found that the device is unable to detect the printer's Wi-Fi signal due to the "Location" or "GPS" function being turned off in the Android device settings. Users comment that this information in not in the paper instruction manual and many had to find this information from reading the reviews on GooglePlay. Most users state they enjoy using the product once they turn on the Location/GPS permissions and are able connect their printer to the app. Users who weren't able to connect to their printer, left reviews stating they will be returning the product.

Users who are able to connect to the Wi-Fi also mention issues with the connectivity when importing photos from Facebook and Google Photos.

Apple App Store Reviews — iOS Users

iPhone users had fewer issues with setting up printer connection but more issues with accessing their photos on the app. Many users reported the error message: "This selected picture cannot be used" when selecting photos on their device or that they are unable to access photos from the social media import functions for Instagram and Facebook. Some users state that their photos are cloud-based (iCloud, Google Photos, Dropbox) and have to pre-download them before using the printer.

Amazon Reviews — All Users

From the reviews focused on the printer app, there were corresponding issues to those in the reviews on the Android and iOS app stores. Android users struggle to set up the Wi-Fi connection while both Android and iOS users have issues printing photos that require a local Wi-Fi connection to load. Users also mention the lack of troubleshooting resources and support.

USability testing — Current product

I conducted two usability tests with one iPhone user and one Android user who have never used this printer or app before. This was to determine if any issues found by these users correspond to the issues present in the customer reviews. This form of research also gave me a more detailed picture of how the user navigates and perceives the app.

The first task was to download the app and set-up the Instax SP-2 printer by connecting their device to the printer via the Wi-Fi.
The second task was to connect to the Instagram import feature and print a photo.

iPhone 8+ User —
  • User completed both tasks but felt confused throughout the process due to the lack of direction
  • User thought "Searching for a printer" message meant that the Wi-Fi connection process was to be completed in-app rather than exiting the Instax app and opening their device settings
  • User confused by the error messages due to jargon such as "wireless LAN settings menu"
  • User stated toggling between two Wi-Fi connections is inefficient but after figuring out how to navigate it, there was no problem selecting photos through Instagram

USEr personas & Journey maps

I developed two personas and their journey maps based on the customer reviews and usability tests to visualize their workflow and the most common system frustrations.


My research focused on the interactions between the hardware and software components by analyzing customer reviews, conducting usability tests, and my own observations of the product. Here are my findings and insights:

  • App has no onboarding; Printer instruction manual is missing key information for setup
  • App does have FAQ which provides some of this information but users have to search for it; Information is presented in a wordy and nonvisual way
  • Lack of direction causes users freely navigate which leads to user error
  • Error messages use complex language that users don't recognize then confuse them
  • Printer utilizes internal Wi-Fi signal to pair with devices
  • Printer's Wi-Fi connection interferes with retrieving photos from social media import options and cloud storage which require local Wi-Fi
  • Users have to toggle between the two Wi-Fi signals or pre-download their photos
  • Users are resorting to external resources to find out how to use the product properly

Ultimately, these mobile app issues and lack of customer service are driving users away from using the physical device, some even to the point of returning the product and buying a competitor's product. This will negatively impact Fujifilm's brand image in the instant photo printer market.


How might we enable users to print photos from any device or photo storage location by demonstrating to users that the connection between the printer and device is reliable?


An onboarding process for the app that visually demonstrates how to set up and use the printer's features in the most effective way so that users are set up for success in adopting the product. This includes enabling necessary device settings in the app. The instructions and tips will also be easily accessible after the initial onboarding for reference.

Long-term SOLUTION

While the onboarding solution helps users navigate the limitations of the current product, I suggest that Fujifilm should use Bluetooth to pair devices with future models of the printer rather than Wi-Fi. This hardware change removes the Wi-Fi interference when using features of the app that require local Wi-Fi connection.


Before designing, I did a competitive analysis with competing products (Hp Sprocket, Canon Ivy, and Polaroid Zip) to understand their approach to pairing the printer to devices and onboarding their users.

HP SPROCKET photo printer

  • Uses ZINK printing technology; Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • Prints from Instagram, Facebook, Google Photos
  • Provides a start-up onboarding tutorial
  • Uses visuals to illustrate steps along with text but the graphics are more aesthetic than informative
  • Prompts users to allow app to access device permissions (location and photo gallery)
  • How To & Help section for more resources

Canon ivy mini photo printer

  • Uses ZINK printing technology; Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
  • Prints from Instagram, Facebook, Mini Print, Dropbox, iCloud
  • Provides a start-up onboarding tutorial
  • Uses detailed visuals to illustrate steps along with text
  • Prompts users to allow app to access device permissions (location and camera)
  • Provides User Guide in settings with detailed graphic instructions for users to refer back to

polaroid zip instant photo printer

  • Uses ZINK printing technology; Bluetooth 4.0 or NFC connectivity
  • Prints from Instagram, Facebook, Google Photos
  • Provides a start-up onboarding App Tour
  • Uses detailed visuals to illustrate steps along with text
  • Provides contextual tips on features not covered in App Tour
  • Prompts users to allow app to access device permissions (camera and photo gallery)
  • Settings contain Quick Tips and Support resources

Takeaways —

My takeaway from these apps is that their start-up onboarding processes help educate users on how to use the app from set-up to most common operations through the use of graphic visuals and text. While they all use a static upfront tutorial, these can be problematic if used to explain a lot of information due to the user's short-term memory. Polaroid Zip utilizes some animated contextual tips throughout the app to explain unfamiliar interactions to users and reiterate ones from the tutorial. When prompting the user to enable access to device functions, I liked that the HP Sprocket app demonstrated how to enable and why it is necessary. All apps have resources in the settings to either view the onboarding tutorial again or a full user guide.

my approach —

With InstaxShare, I wanted to use both static upfront onboarding and contextual tips throughout the app. The upfront onboarding is mainly to guide the user in connecting to the printer for the first time by enabling functions and configuring the settings. The contextual tips will be used to provide helpful information at the point of user action such as when the user is selecting and editing photos.

Low-fidelity mockups

high-fidelity DEsIGN

Onboarding Flow

I developed an easily digestible onboarding process that illustrates how to set-up the printer by walking them through the process with actionable steps.

From the app home screen, I provided contextual tips for the user as they encounter certain features such as how to print photos from different sources by placing an instructional overlay on the first-use empty space.

After navigating through the app for the first time, users will be able to tap on the settings section of the app to find all the information they just learned and more.

I created all the visual elements using Adobe Illustrator and the prototype with Invision Studio. I chose this color palette and graphic style to convey the playfulness and fun that should be associated with using the product.


I created this design challenge for myself to gain a better understanding of products that require a mobile app to operate a physical device. Learning about how devices are paired to mobile devices, I was able to determine which technology (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) was best suited for certain functions. However, I found that in working with hardware there are limitations in improving the current product because the software can be updated but the hardware can not. So with this product, I had to work around Wi-Fi connectivity issues and demonstrate to users that this product can still provide the functionality it promises with the right maneuvering.