What UX Should Learn From WhatsApp
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What UX Should Learn From WhatsApp
WhatsApp is an ever-growing millennial instant message application. Do you think WhatsApp can overtake Facebook and become the dominant mobile platform in the world? Or do you think this has already happened? It’s time to learn why it’s such a formidable app. A combination of features and outreach makes it a billion plus download application. It’s very fun and user-friendly. One can’t imagine what users have achieved with the application. WhatsApp comes under the category often called Over The Top applications (OTT). OTT applications are free or inexpensive to download and use, and offer various capabilities for sharing media, images, video, audio clips, and even location data. Main OTT application found in phones other than WhatsApp are Skype, FB Messenger, Hangouts, IMO, and Duo in the communication sector. WhatsApp describes itself as “Simple, Personal, Real Time Messaging.” But over the years since the release of the first applications, WhatsApp has steadily grown within cross cultures and age groups becoming the top communication application today.
Its features support the exchange of text, audio, and video messages. It also allows users to see each other’s presence on the app through timestamp information that reveals when a user was last seen on the app. However, in accommodative usage the recent privacy changes, WhatsApp allows users to restrict access to information such as the last seen timestamp, and their profile picture. The app hit headlines in February 2014 when it was acquired by Facebook in a US$19 billion deal. With regular updates accommodating all user recommendations, they have maintained variable demographic and cultural user base.
User Experience: The Key Player
WhatsApp touches the everyday activity of users like no other application does, not even calendars. It touches everything from consumers communicating with friends to sharing their daily moments, to discussing what to have for dinner, making meetup plans, sharing online content, shopping lists, etc. The adroit nature of the platform increases the proficiency of the users beyond the instant messaging platform.
Covering the Essential and Elemental
The primary goal per screen is to promote communication among users with efficiency. WhatsApp is a user-centered product that wins over users on how conversations help them in daily lives. The application has an intuitive easiness associated with all its functions. This varies in different degrees from icon semantic to external representations. But their integral essence in UX is cemented to simplicity. In the entry screen, you have essentially all features of WhatsApp demonstrated in a non-intrusive way. Be it from opening new messages, starting a new chat, settings, or search.
The users need not learn new representations for each task - setting up a group chat in WhatsApp is aligned with adding new members to the existing chat. Within the screen, interactions are more than screen change interactions in WhatsApp. In this instant messaging medium, mainly to bridge gaps, users have found their own ways to use this to form social bonds, and this also varies highly with respect to personal friends group, friend groups, family groups, and so on. Expression consists of the gestures, signs, vocalizations, noises, and movements produced by individuals are usually involuntarily.
The content shared using WhatsApp ranges from text, pictures, audio, video to contacts and the sharing and frequency of usage also depends on the social groups. The preference for content was determined by their affinity with people within their social network. When connecting, communicating and sharing information became easier, it gives them an opportunity to break barriers.
Powerplay of Communication: Single Chat vs. Group Chat
Understanding chat behavior within these two prominent features is essential for user behavior context. All user chats consisted of both single and group chats. There are statistics from various studies to prove that there daily interactions with both the category of chats. The number of active group chats and single chats was almost equivalent in most cases. Interestingly group chats were active throughout the day while single chats were active during only a particular time of the day. The behaviors in group formation among users are directly linked to their life cycle. There would be the formation of secondary groups which are friends within social circles which are grouped on the basis of gender, common living area, assignment group, activity planning, etc. This is closely associated with the social behavior of human beings.
The Journey of a Message
The journey a message takes creates an illusion of a person being available during a conversation. The online status makes one feel that the other person is available and creates a feeling of pseudo-existence. People wait for the other person to reply when they see "typing," like one would when some person talks but people do not wait for a reply in a group, especially when it is a communication-based group. This has led to the emergence of "connected presence:" The emergence of a new repertoire for managing social relationships in a changing communication technoscape.
In conclusion, the investigation demonstrates how WhatsApp is used by millennials as a key component in their way of living and interacting with social peers. It is interesting to note how each of these dimensions can have a considerable effect making WhatsApp application for more than just a communication application. It is necessary to have a framework that allows cross-cultural design and usability as part of the development lifecycle of any application especially the one that promotes communication. WhatsApp provides to be an apt case study for the same.
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