Designing for the “A-ha Moment” at Rolo

A five week contract working directly with the founders to ideate and design product experiences aimed at increasing new-user retention.

Client: Rolo
Date: October 9, 2016
Services: UX, Consultant, Design

Overview & Challenges

Rolo is an iOS app that lets you privately remember, organize and share moments with the people you love and trust.

Rolo had a unique challenge. Visually their app was great.  The UI design was pleasant and in-person user research-sessions indicated interest and ethusiasm.  But despite those positives, new user retention was lacking.

My task: Understand the gap between interest and adoption. Form hypothesis and execute several potential design solutions for testing.


An audit of the platform, combined with new user surveys revealed several key issues that were negatively impacting retention.


New user’s had a hard time comprehending the value of the product. The messaging was unclear and the set-up was lengthy and confusing. New-users landed on a blank screen. In-person sessions were guided, helping users comprehend the product- outside of these sessions users could not see Rolo’s value.   


Design several options aimed at improving product education to test on new users.

Recommendation 1: Onboarding

Copy & Imagery

The previous imagery didn’t connect the user with the app experience. The new photo roll to conveyed a collection of moments and included an aspirational style of photography to inspire users while showing screenshots of the product to passively educate the user’s product experience. Copy was also updated to connect with user’s emotions, while articulating the value of the product.


Simplify first time requirements. Do not require email, and phone number or multiple permissions. Start with camera roll, ask for more info after the user has began to understand why these permissions can enhance the experience.

Recommendation 2: Suggested Collections

Copy & Permissions

Like onboarding’s recommendation, the copy was updated and the permissions were simplified.

User Experience 

A suggested collections experience assisted users in understanding how to group their memories. Using information accessible from the camera roll and existing popular collections we were able to suggest the following collections with actual image selections:

Special Occassion= Many photos on a single day

Travel= Photos in locations far from home

House projects= Photos at ‘home’


Recommendation 3: Guided Posts


Added contextual copy in question form to help guide the user to crafting a successful post.


Simplified the first time requirements requiring only what is needed for product comprehension.

Recommendation 4: Landing Page Tests

User Experience

Provided three options for landing page tests. All suggested to combine search, collection and timeline into one tab to lower cognative load.

1. Landing on collection- A concept to help users comprehend memory organization via tags. Added suggest bubbles to encourage the next post.

2. Landing on timeline- A concept to help users comprehend memory organization in time. Added suggest bubbles to encourage the next post.

3. Landing on post- Updated the existing landing page experience to focus on the content and help the user understand app context.

Collections Landing

Timeline Landing

Post Landing