UX Study — Redesigning Hidden Mode

Ironing flows & revisiting the feature

I had the opportunity to revisit hidden mode at hike. The hidden mode was developed as a hack over a week-long study. The need for hidden mode came into the picture when the need for extra privacy came into light from teenagers who had to snoop parents or partners.

Current Flow

The current flow for hidden mode is very simple.

  • Step 1: You tap on the “hi” logo on the side to invoke a pattern recording mechanism
  • Step 2: You record and verify the pattern and mark one or more chats as hidden
  • Step 3: Tap back on the “hi” logo to hide the chat away

Return Backs

  • Message Indicator: The “hi” logo bounces to show some activity inside hidden chats.
  • Message Notification: Vague notifications like “You have received a new chat” is pushed by hike.

Need for redesign

Hidden Mode was designed 3+ years back and overtime as mobile prices have dropped, fingerprint scanner has become a norm on most phones.

Data shows that our target audience group have moved to a fingerprint scanning mobile and feel the need to use the same on all their apps.

Revisiting the flow has become a priority as bugs have surfaced on iOS and Android platforms during the transition.

Parity: iOS and Android should behave the same in terms of the flow and experience

Considered Flows

I did a quick information architecture of the current flow to see where things like fingerprint scanner can be introduced and how multiple security options can be used without breaking the user’s mental model.

These were all the flows that this study will take into account:

  1. Introducing fingerprint (access as an alternate option)
  2. Enable fingerprint lock (in-case users haven’t done setup till now)
  3. Disable fingerprint lock
  4. Hidden Mode setup for first-time-user-experience (FTUE)
  5. Change pin/pattern settings
  6. Reset hidden mode
  7. Reset hidden mode when pin/pattern forgotten

Information Architecture

After considering the above flows, the iA of the newly stitched up hidden mode experience came out like this:


After iA, plotting the wireframes was fairly straightforward.

Final Design

Since this project needed to move forward fast, wireframes were made in high fidelity. This enabled the visual design to be applied quickly on top of it. This is how the designs looks like this (one flow covered here):

End Notes

Code Implementation

This project feature enhancement wasn’t rolled to 100% users. The rollout rate was to 10% users. Data was still getting captured to smoothen the implementation and bugs.


New users coming into the system have been able to discover the fingerprint mechanism. Old users are still asking for the feature.

  • Discovery: Good for new users | Bad for old users
  • Rollout: 10% (high active users) | +10% increase every week on week
  • To fix: Discovery / Welcome FTUE