After much research and observation of the existing WhatsApp, we noticed a few main points to focus on and change in order to better improve the app. The overall design is completely dated and feels as though it has been untouched since the app was created. Also, there are several features that were unclear while using. The signup process involved connectivity options that actually weren’t optional, this made it difficult for users to skip through these if they choose to not wish to sign up a certain way. Another feature that WhatsApp has is called “My Status.” This is similar to stories on Instagram and other social media outlets. As a team, we felt this feature was unnecessary and overdone. The final problem we ran into was the settings menu, verbiage and other menu items were labeled poorly resulting in confusion and misleading end results.
To start the research process we first started by making assumptions about WhatsApp and other messaging apps as well. We did this to get in the mindset of an individual who would use this app daily and to try to understand what they would actually use versus what they may not. From there, we continued forward by conducting contextual research to either prove or disprove the assumptions that were made. We really took the time to learn and emerge ourselves into what a daily user would want out of an app such as WhatsApp. Katelyn had never used WhatsApp before and Sarah has only a few times. We really took it upon ourselves to explore deeper into what the overall app can offer a single user.
USER JOURNEY MAPPING
Our goal was the address all the problems we observed. The objective was to create an interface that is minimal but also user-friendly and allows the user to easily message, call, preform a few tasks such as sending money and pictures, as well as customize their chat experience with no confusion.
It took quite a few trial and errors during our user testing experience, but we did end up finding a solid interface system that would then become WhatsApp’s new update. Our first user experience was very beneficial. We learned that the verbiage of several menu items were confusing to some users. We also found a few dead ends that we eventually needed to fix as a team. When we did the second round of user testing with InVision, we found that a lot of the changes and updates we made were incredibly successful and every single user, during the test, was able to accomplish each task at hand.
We created a word list for the overall concept and interface of our app. Some of the words included were SIMPLICITY, CONVERSATION, and CIRCULATION. We took these words and brought them to life. The current interface is slightly dated, and isn’t as clean as it could be. We also wanted to integrate the message bubble logo a little more as this is not something that is currently being done. The current colors don’t quite go and seemed to be a little off, so we also took time to reconfigure a color pallet for the entire interface. In order to make the app look more up to date, we did research on current trends in UX design and we found that gradients are very current. We used gradients quite a bit in the sign up process as well as for the call screen. Simple, clean and white backgrounds are also very current and extremely popular for UX design right now as well so we integrated this in our messages and settings pages.
During our research process, we found that the menu bar at the bottom of the current application was unnecessary and could be easily solved with creating a simple menu button at the top. We also found during our research that the majority of people that use WhatsApp do not use the status updates feature, so we removed this completely.