From the old days of instant messaging services, few have stood the test of time. One of those few survivors is WhatsApp. First released in 2009, WhatsApp still holds its own as one of the most popular messaging apps worldwide, because it doesn’t try to be something it is not. Instead, it sticks to its lane of being a simple and straightforward messaging app with only the most useful features. With that being said, the app is not perfect. Based on a brief user research, the following quality of life improvements were designed, which can potentially enhance WhatsApp’s user experience:
Currently, there’s no way to compartmentalize your contacts into different spaces, so that messages from one group of people only show up in their own separate space in your app. This could be especially useful for separation of work life from social life within the app. Compartmentalization could be done by using profiles, to which certain contacts can be assigned.
2. Preview Voice Messages
Quite often we see people accidentally send voice messages from accidentally tapping the mic button. Instead of automatically sending the voice message the moment they lift their finger from the mic button, the user could be made to press send after recording the message, which could prevent accidental voice messages. They also have the option to delete the recorded voice message. However, many people prefer being able to quickly record and send voice messages, so this feature is best kept as an optional setting.
3. Message Info
In group chats, a user can check who all read/received messages they sent, in a tedious sequence of actions: press and hold on a message and tap on the message info button at the top bar. Revealing all of that information right within the chat by simply tapping on the corner of a message bubble is far more convenient.
4. Seekable Video Statuses
This one is self-explanatory. Being able to seek upto a certain part of a video status, instead of having to sit through the whole video to reach that part, is definitely useful. The user can press and hold on a status video to pause it (as it does currently), and then drag to the right or left to seek forwards or backwards through the video. Dragging further will result in faster seeking.
WhatsApp, being the almost perfect messaging app that it is, was chosen for this analysis to show that there’s no experience out there that cannot be improved further.
Although these are minor updates, they can potentially have a fair amount of positive impact on the overall experience. Also, they can be easily built into WhatsApp’s pre-existing experience, so that they seem familiar to users.
Keeping the overall experience as familiar as possible is important when updating any kind of product, as people are not always receptive to change, especially when existing features work satisfactorily.
About the author
Sachin is a UX designer who believes not in perfection, but in the pursuit of perfection. He is tech-savvy and artistically talented.