My Role

Design Lead


06/2022 -




Claire Lu
Yubing Ge

My Contribution

User Interview



Design Challenge

Influencer marketing has become a go-to strategy for brands to reach new audiences and engage customers. In the current creator economy, top-level influencers enjoy too many resources and market shares. It’s increasingly difficult for mid-tier and micro influencers to attract the audience and maintain a stable income in the marketplace. They need a fair and promoting platform to attract more commercial collaborations.

Design Response

We designed Popul, a mobile app that helps mid-tier and micro influencers build-up their profiles which can better showcase themselves and communicate with brands more efficiently.

Representative Profile

Creators can build up their profile to stand out in the market, and have a quick match with brands.

Customized Display

Creators are able to customize the display of their past work to best showcase their ability and style.

Smoother Alignment

A communication channel to negotiate collaboration details smoothly and effectively.



Competitive Analysis

The Influencer marketing platforms are online tools designed to assist brands in their influencer marketing campaigns. We first looked into the market, trying to find inspirations and gaps among existing marketing platforms:


Most existing Influencer marketing platforms are providing influencer discovery tools for brands and agencies. During the procedure, the influencers are more passive, waiting to be selected. Can we make influencers more actively participate in the process?

Secondary Research

To better understands user needs, we started by setting up our user group.

What Are Different Types of Influencers?

In general, influencers can be categorized into 5 tiers based on the number of their followers. We summarized their key characteristics, needs and challenges in 1 table:

What Is Our User Group?

Our group finally chose mid-tier & micro influencers as our target users, due to their ability to reach right audience effectively, high engagement & conversion rate and reputation

Reach right audience effectively on a deeper level

Long-tail influencers typically acquire followers who are able to relate to their content and find it valuable as those niches already interest them.

High engagement and conversion rate

They usually have better average click through rate and loyal followers who trust their ideas because of their authenticity.

Build reputation, authority and credibility

Their endorsement can help brands leverage the power of real relationships they built with audiences.

What Are The User Needs?

Then, our team conduct a deeper research to understand main challenges that our target users currently encounter. We have following findings:

Primary Research

From the secondary research, we identify our user group and their basic needs. In order to get more detailed insight, we interviewed eight mid-tier or micro influencers about their current process of establishing a new contact. We found that although there are plenty of marketing platforms available, most of them reach out brands by traditional methods such as emails. The main reasons are: there are more brands out of the platform, and they are primarily waiting to be selected.


It is hard to attract and maintain stable commercial collaborations either with or without agency.

“It’s much harder for us to find opportunities especially with good brands.... They (the agency) used to contact us, but it didn’t work out because the share they asked for was high.”

- Interviewee 1, Tik Tok

Current platform have constraints to display what they want to be hosted on profile.

“Every brand wants viral content. Each time reaching out for collaborations, I worry about brands seeing the content I just posted, which doesn’t show my true engagement, causing them to back off or hesitate to offer a flat rate.”

- Interviewee 2, Instagram

Time-consuming to coordinate with brands on collaboration details upfront.

“I wouldn't mention my flat rate fee, because you have to have a bit of humility. Once they get back to me, saying we're happy to send you gifts. I would then actually go back andsay : I don't accept gifts, I work on a flat rate fee basis. “

- Interviewee 3, RED

To better draw the insight from our interview, we used a user journey map to map out all the pain points that the interviewees mentioned during the process.


After summarizing and analyzing the interview results, we further synthesized the interview results and came up with the two personas, one for mid-tier influencers and one for micro influencers.

Design Goal

After the interviews, we were able to make our design goal more clearer to change the current condition

How might we

create a platform to help mid-tier and micro influencers attract more commercial opportunities with fittest brands, and get smoother alignment with brands at an early stage?




We brainstormed 29 solutions for the marketing platform and picked four features to develop after voting and thorough discussions, including: customized display, bio, analytics, and flexible negotiation.

Mid Fi

After brainstorming, we created sketches and wireframes to concrete the features into functions including ABOUT, PORTFOLIO, MARKETING ANALYTICS and MESSAGE. Finally we brought an mid-fi prototype to our potential users for feedback



Design Iterations

To test our initial design concept, we made prototypes and conducted the online test with four previous interviewees, generating three main feedbacks to improve our design. Insights we got from the testings are:


Minimize the flow through feature integration

“I feel there are too many steps from adding components to finally apply and make modifications. I want to see an integral effect at a glance and then make the decision.”



  • The profile is a long page which is crowded and with a lot of information, making users feel that there is a lot to fill in.


  • One long page is changed to multiple sections, making each section clearer at a glance for the users.
  • A progress bar is added, letting users know the where they are in the process.
  • Establish a better content hierarchy so that the user can navigate more efficiently.


Visualize user competitiveness in the market

“I couldn’t get enough valuable information just staring at the numbers.” 



  • Use data to exhibit the performance of influencer.
  • Use three pages to show the marketing metrics, audience demographics and reviews of the user.


  • Add percentage diagram and explanatory text to show how it is compared with other influencers.
  • Change to one scrolling page to make procedure easier to get information.


Simplify the profile page through navigate

“The profile page is a little bit too crowded for me to extract useful information that I am interested in. ”



  • The profile is a long page which is crowded and with a lot of information, making users feel that there is a lot to fill in.


  • One long page is changed to multiple sections, making each section clearer at a glance for the users.
  • A progress bar is added, letting users know the where they are in the process.
  • Establish a better content hierarchy so that the user can navigate more efficiently.



Home Page - Profile

Home Page - Create Portfolio

Home Page - Marketing Analytics





Narrow down the scope of the design
Influencer marketing is a very broad subject, so at the beginning it took us a long time to figure out what problem to solve. We have a lot of ideas in different phases of the process, including how to help brands find the right influencers and how to improve the negotiation process, etc. However, we have limited time, so we have to figure out what the biggest design problem is and spend most of our time on that. In this project, we finally decided on the final design direction by competitive analysis and users interviews.

Next Step

01 Complete the Discover function
From the interviews, we learned that when faced with problems, influencers mainly solve them through online inquiries and consulting other influencers, so we designed a discover button in the bottom bar to allow influencers to share portfolio and self-marketing experience. Due to time constraints, this feature has not been completed. We hope that we can improve the design so that influencers can get more inspiration in the process of seeking cooperation.

02 Consider other stakeholders’ needs in our design
Currently our project only focuses on how to help the influencers to improve their portfolio and share it with brands. However, the real process consists of other stakeholders, including brands and agencies, so it is also important to adequately address their needs, so we hope that we can develop designs that are as effective as possible for these stakeholders.