Instant Messaging App

Overview

As WhatsApp trends over privacy and personal data issues, there are growing concerns over the durability of the messaging app. Hence, designers are thinking about how to create alternatives as a possible replacement to the addictive app. While this design is certainly not only for a replacement but features additional settings that allow users to have more control over their privacy and explore local places like Restaurants, Train stations, Bike stores, and Electric car charging stations. These features will also include additional settings that allow users to hide their phone numbers from groups and preferred contacts, log out from chat sessions, and switch between online and offline modes. Additionally, settings that allow users to schedule chat/message delivery time, and finally able to add a hand-written signature to instant chat messages at wish.

Challenge

Design an app that enables anyone to instantly chat with friends, family and ultimately to have control over settings that allow them to decide whom to share contact number with, online status, and schedule message delivery time.

Hypothesis

I believe that designing an app that features more settings will allow users to have total control over their privacy and possibly have "tech assistance" to help improve social integrity. This will happen through a timed delivery setting feature. This works for people who are addicted to their mobile phones. With my research, it has been proven that over time, when replying too quickly to messages, it creates negative social impressions and a lack of confidence. Message replied! but...schedule the time to deliver the message will ultimately help clear curiosity from the mind of the user at the same time, delayed delivery will boost the social integrity of the user.

THE DESIGN PROCESS

Competitive analysis

User persona

Wireframing 

Prototyping &

Usability testing

1

3

4

5

6

7

8

2

User interviews

Information Architecture

Hi-fidelity

mock-up

Design

iteration

My role

17

David Benson

Researcher, Designer &

User testing moderator

Researcher, Designer &

User testing moderator

Tools: Adobe xd and lasted 2 weeks

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

I went online to search for what other similar apps are already

doing to solve the same problem.

Competitive research allowed me to have a broader idea of the issues that existed in the instant messaging space and the solutions that had already been created by others. By taking a closer look, the strengths and weaknesses of my competitors could help me determine the features that needed to be added or improved.

Goal

The goal was to come out exceptional in the market. In order to understand their design heuristics, of course, I'm a WhatsApp user. However, over time, I was able to understand their marketing strategy, pros and cons, identify their strengths and weaknesses. Using the SWOT methodology, to sum up, everything about their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

What I learned.

WhatsApp is definitely the most used messaging app at the moment, however, it has few issues with privacy settings. For example, WhatsApp doesn't have a way to make online staus private, there's no setting that allows users to make their mobile number private from group members and no setting that allows users to delay message delivery time like Gmail.

USER INTERVIEWS

Before conducting any interviews, I had to identify what I wanted to learn from the interviews. With that in mind, I drafted open-ended questions to help me gain relevant insights from the participants.

 

Goal

To Identify the needs, behaviors, thought, and pain points of the users.

 

Participants and the interview summary

Mary 45, Nurse

I'd like to be able to hide my contact number from WhatsApp groups and members

John 33, UX designer Berlin

I hate when people see literally every time "when I'm online" I'd like to be able to hide my online status.

Lena, 24 UXer

Milan Italy

The app is great, but I think it obviously has privacy issues. I'm afraid that my contact details are used for ad purposes.

What I learned

All participants are happy with the app, however, definitely want improvement with privacy and more controls

USER PERSONA

Name: Sandra 

Age: 34YO

Location: Germany

Occupation: Social worker

Status: Nurse 

Based on the interviews I conducted, I decided on a primary persona that will help me stay on track with user empathy and design decisions.

Sandra would like to be able to hide her contact number and profile picture from random WhatsApp groups. also because she struggles with messaging addiction, she would like to schedule message delivery time for her chats so that she can boost her social integrity, self-esteem, and confidence.

USER JOURNEY MAP

I created user scenario tasks to help define what my users would want to accomplish. Translating a human need into a feature allowed me to pinpoint solutions and necessary functionality from a user’s perspective.

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

1.User flow

I structured user flow to organize the steps in a way that allows users to complete tasks from an access point to the success criteria.

  • Personal profile-setting-privacy-hid "my online status"

  • profile-setting-privacy-hide "my contact number" from random users.

  • profile-setting-chat-"set message delivery time"

2.Card sorting

Card sorting helped organized the internal content of the app in a hierarchical way. This serves as the structural foundation that allows users to understand the information structure of the app and know where and how to find them

To do this, I conducted an online card sorting exercise using the optimal workshop website. This process helped me validate and make corrections to the initial idea of the site map that I created.

3.Sitemap

​​After analyzing the results from the card sorting, I restructured the sitemap to implement the gathered feedback.

IDEATION & DESIGN

1. Wireframe

To create the wireframe of this design, I started out using pen and paper to create sketches of the key features of the content pages. This process was quick and allowed me to focus on high-level functionality only.

2.Mid fidelity mock-up

Mid-Fidelity; Once the basic functionality was established, I translated my designs from sketches into basic greyscale visuals using Adobe XD.

3.Hi-Fidelity mock-up

Hi-Fidelity mock-up; The designs included more detail and provided a preview of how the real UI elements like the typography, the color, button, and icons would look and be placed.

Messaging App_Onboarding_1.png

Prototyping

​​​​​​​After upgrading the design from Mid to High fidelity mockup, I linked hotspots between the UI elements corresponding with my user flows, so that a clickable prototype of the app could be created.

Setting
main setting
Status .png
Time schedule

USABILITY TESTING

Since the main goal of design research is to build something useful for real users, next will be to evaluate the usability of the digital prototype. I'm going to recruit few participants to conduct a usability test.

My Goal

My main focus is to fix things that are missing in similar existing Apps like Whatsapp, so the goal is to understand what users will struggle with then use the feedback to iterate my design to meet users' needs.

Mock-up for messaging app.png
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