Gavin Basuel

Hashtag Tracker

How can we improve the way we search for trending hashtags on social media? This is the story of how we created this valuable #TAG based search engine.

Mobile User Experience | Information Architecture | Usability Testing

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A Tag Based Social Media Search Engine

Now rebranded as Tagrax, this app was recently released on the Apple App store early 2018! 

<<Scroll down to see the case study>> 

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A hashtag is a type of metadata tag used on social networkssuch as Twitter and other microblogging services, allowing users to apply dynamicuser-generated tagging which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content; it allows easy, informal markup of folk taxonomy without need of any formal taxonomy or markup language.

THe Challenge 

These days entrepreneurs who sell on Shopify, Etsy, and Amazon have evolved their methods for market research.  Usually they do not have access to complete platform datasets about indicating what sells and what does not.  Thus, they rely on creative ways to find out what is trending.  When performing product and market research, people search online and leverage Keywords and Hashtags to inform their next product. 

How can we create a mobile experience to help people sift through the internet to find trending Hashtags?

Product Description

Hashtag is a mobile application that allows people to search for trending hashtags on major social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and, Facebook.  

My Role

UX Designer


Chuk a Canadian entrepreneur who hired me as the lead designer for the project


Market Researchers for Shopify e-commerce Businesses

Tech-Savvy users who are interesting in social media trends


Starting with Information Architecture

I was tasked to redesign this hashtag application.  Before getting started, I had constructed the layout of the app with the client to help identify the current layout and current pain points of the application.  It was important to begin here in this situation to be on the same page, and understand the big picture of the app.  

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User Flow

Next was a discussion with the stakeholder of this app, and during this process we this constructed the ideal user flow. I found that most tasks were not designed, and this gave me the freedom to define how users would perform each task.  My goal was to keep each step simple, and designed with the end user in mind, so I went through multiple iterations of each path before designing a screen.


I began creating wireframes for the app.  Rough ideas were initially created by my stakeholder, so I made improvements to designs and generated new ones. 


Rapid user testing on 5 people

I was a bit pressed on time for the project and I tested my screens frequently with people that best represent the users.

I performed preference tests on the variations of the trend pages, and click tests with the first version of the prototype.  One of the greatest challenges was figuring out how users would view multiple tags of a post.  For example, if a post on instagram used 100 hashtags how would I display this on the page?  I needed to keep limited screen space in mind, so I tested a few variations.  In addition, I needed to properly display what type of media this post come from, and what social media it was sourced from.

The concentration of the tests centered around pain points on the tags post page.  I had to clearly indicate the main functionality of the hashtag buttons within the posts.  In addition, I needed to implement the ability for users to see more tags of the post.  I ran preference tests on several expand and contract variations for topics with 100 or more hashtags.   That way there could be consistency in terms of post sizes, and reduce information overload.


I had made necessary iterations to the key screens, performed one final click tests and pushed the result out to the stakeholder for review.  We had one final session for feedback, and I made revisions once more.  Below is the clickable prototype.



• Explore hashtags like never before

Follow hashtags
• Follow hashtags to know when they are trending

• Get notified when a hashtag is trending

• Search though the internet for everything about a hashtag. We can find your results on Social media sites: (Twitter, Flickr), Video site: (Youtube), retail site: (Amazon) and the News: (provided by

• Filter and sort through your search results

• Share hashtags with friends on social media. Your friends can also deep-link back to Tagrax app to see everything about the hashtag

What’s to come

• Integration to more social media sites: Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest
• Integration to more retail sites: eBay, Alibaba
• Integration to more News sites: CNN and Fox
• Integration to Travel sites: and Expedia
• Integration to Entertainment sites: Netflix
• Integration to other Search engine sites: Google and Yahoo
• Advance filtering i.e filtering by retail price or user location
• Advance search with a combination of tags
• Stats, charts and insights