YouNow - Moments

YouNow - Moments

Summary: In May 2016 we launched "Moments," empowering YouNow users to capture and share exciting moments from live broadcasts, creating bitesized, sharable content. 

YouNow is an interactive social live-streaming platform that empowers content creators to earn a living by engaging with their fanbase in real time.


There were many challenges YouNow faced when it came to user retention:

  • Live broadcasts last for a limited amount of time - by the time many users respond to the notification their favorite broadcaster is live, the stream is over.
  • Replays are a big time investment for users with short attention spans, relatively boring without the live context, and do not highlight the best moments from the broadcast.
  • The majority of users are viewers only, and because they are not creating live content, they do not experience the same kinds of social feedback loops that motivate broadcasters to stay engaged.
  • Content discovery for live content is difficult - there’s no guarantee that a particular moment in time of a broadcast is engaging or interesting for a new viewer joining.

We conceived of “Moments” as a way to help solve many of these key issues. 

  • If a user misses the live broadcast, they see a collection of the best moments from that broadcast - surfacing high quality bitesize asynchronous content that can be casually watched on demand at any minute.
  • By empowering viewers to capture live moments, we turn non-broadcasters into content creators without having to even enable their camera (live streaming can be daunting!)
  • Allowing users to like/share moments would generate push notifications to drive viewers back to YouNow to re-engage with live content.
capture moment ux.gif

Design Process

I started by writing out the many different barriers to retention, with hypotheses how we could improve these issues.

For the challenge of extracting the best moments from a live broadcast, we had previously experimented with machine learning to identify the best live moments, but the end result was disappointing, so we knew that there needed to be a human touch in deciding what was “good content.” It became clear that we needed to empower viewers to capture moments from live broadcasts.

My notebook sketches helped me to organize my thoughts and explore various quick UX directions without needing to prepare mocks.

My notebook sketches helped me to organize my thoughts and explore various quick UX directions without needing to prepare mocks.

I began to sketch in my notebook & envision a holistic system where users could capture moments, edit/trim them while still in the live broadcast experience, and share them on YouNow and external social networks. There were many elements we would need to design for this system, including the moment creation experience, sharing flow, the moments feed, a redesigned user profile. Ultimately, I led a team of 3 other designers to get this done, and oversaw the product direction of the entire effort, along with our CEO.

We started with high-level discussion to understand the need for moments, as well as our constraints. Why would users want to capture moments? Is this something people would actually do? Should moments record forward looking, once the user imitates recording, or should the user be able to go back in time to capture a moment that has just happened?

We divided up the various components within the system to different designers on the team, but first began exploring and critiquing the experience of capturing a moment during the live broadcast. If that wouldn’t work, everything else would fall flat. 

We then conducted user research to inform our design, interviewing our partners (elite content creators on the platform) & showing them Keynote prototypes of the proposed UX to get their feedback. They were amazed & inspired by the experience of holding your finger on a broadcast and rewinding to go back in time, and the fact that viewers could identify and share their best broadcast moments. 


After many rounds of prototyping & design reviews, we landed on a UX that we felt confident in, and built out a holistic system to capture, consume & share interesting moments from YouNow. Overall, I was very pleased with the end result. 

Our initial hypothesis was if we could enable users to capture good moments from a live broadcast, we could improve retention through asynchronous engagement loops. In the end, "Moments" did not drive as large of an increase in retention as we had hoped, as capturing a moment was an advanced action for engaged users, rather than new users who were learning our app.

In the end, the biggest impact was viral growth. Through "Moments" we increased daily new users +560%, placing YouNow #14 in the App Store.


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