UX case study | ChatInfinite : A Messaging Application

Jugaad-a-thon | Nov’21

Hosted by : Growth school
Mentored by : ux.anudeep

It was a dream come true to solve a problem in 48 hours via a jugaad-a-thon UX-Design challenge. The work was very intense every hour, and with a team of seven, it was very challenging to identify everyone’s talents and divide the workload effectively. Although we began as strangers, we soon became good friends and most importantly, even though we had different opinions, everyone agreed on one and then stayed committed to complete the race together.

Our Team

Choosing the Problem Statement :

A private messaging app saw a massive influx of users due to the privacy concerns from WhatsApp. But they have noticed that even though many users have it installed on their phones, the engagement is very less. Design an experience to encourage users to make this app their primary messaging app.

Understanding problem statement by breaking down the Problem statement

  • Business Sees: A massive influx of user
  • Reason: because of Privacy concerns from WhatsApp
  • The current behavior of people: though they have the app they are not engaging with it
  • What the business wants: to design an engaging experience so that users use it as their primary messaging app.

Reason for choosing

  1. As almost every platform today is looking for user engagement, it would be a great problem area to work on.
  2. All of us (team members) uses WhatsApp and their changed Privacy policy has become a concern for all of us as well because of all the hype around it so we somewhat felt related to the problem statement.
  3. Messaging is a very common activity, which everybody is habitual to nowadays. We wanted to understand the problems associated to it.
  4. The major reason to choose this statement was also about the strengths each one of us has, so we roughly break down each given problems to understand what all we will be needing and figured this problem statement one to be the most suitable as per the team strength and the given time constraint.

Plan of action

After having hours of discussion we all together made a plan of action along with every ones responsibility and the time line to act upon. We maintained a notion document with all of us having access to edit. This enabled us to work continuously and efficiently . Our working notion document link :
https://www.notion.so/Jugaad-a-thon-Nov-21

  • Assumptions & Hypothesis
  • 5 W’s Exercise
  • Desk Research (Competitor Analysis, Statistical & Behavioural Analysis)
  • Primary Research (1 on 1)
  • Ideation & Brainstorming
  • Validating the data with the secondary research and primary research -Connecting the dots to stay relevant with the problem statement
  • Wireframing
  • UI & Prototypes
  • Video
Captured from notion document

My Role : I had the opportunity to help my team mates with the 5W’s Exercise, secondary research, Ideating and validating it with our primary and the secondary data, scoping down the ideas to draw solutions, wireframing, Low-fidelity wireframes, and documenting the work and finally with the video editing.

We took Signal as our base app to solve the problem statement.

Before jumping to desk research which myself, nikhil and palluck did, we exercised the 5W’s question to understand the valid reason for research

  1. Why do people start switching from WhatsApp?
  2. What were the privacy concerns?
  3. Why engage in private chats less?
  4. What is the main reason behind that?
  5. How do we encourage the target audience to use it?
  6. Who is the target audience?
  7. Who are the other competitors in the market who are facing the same issues?
  8. What makes WhatsApp more engaging than any other platform?
  9. What made the user feel that his data was not secure?
  10. What makes the user stay on the platform even though there is a privacy concern?
  11. Why it is important to solve such privacy problems?

After this exercise we came up with the research problem statement to focus our research more in terms of user centric only them we will be in position to find the right problem of an user to solve them. ( Ux slogam I≠ User )

Research problem statement:

As a UX Designer, you want to understand people’s behavior towards different messaging apps with respect to how they interact and what gap they feel exists with messaging apps. Plan a Research to find out user Requirements and enhance engagement for business .

Secondary Research

In 2021, an estimate of 3.09 billion mobile phone users accessed over-the-top messaging apps to communicate. This figure is projected to grow to 3.51 billion users in 2025. At the beginning of 2021, WhatsApp was the most popular mobile messenger app worldwide. The messaging service had accumulated over two billion monthly active users.

We analyzed Android data from 93 countries, using Similar web’s market research intelligence, to determine the most popular messaging apps across the world. We found that overall, there are five top messaging apps dominating the global market.

Users grew concerned the platform would share their messages with parent company Facebook and the amount of data which is linked to the WhatsApp is comparatively more

WhatsApp said users would have to agree to let Facebook and its subsidiaries collect WhatsApp data including users’ phone numbers, contacts’ phone numbers, locations, and more. This move prompted calls for users to delete their WhatsApp accounts and switch to smaller encrypted messaging apps such as Signal and Telegram.

Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram is cloud-based which means all your text messages, images media files & documents are synchronized across all your registered devices and with Telegram’s cloud storage. Telegram up to 1.5GB. WhatsApp, on the other hand, restricts video, images and document type files. You can communicate with anyone on telegram even if you don’t have the contact number of others.

Global backlash to the platform’s updated privacy policy, which features a ‘take or leave it’ clause — if the user refuses to share data with Facebook, they will have to quit WhatsApp Telegram observed growth of more than 2.2 million users in the last week alone due to the WhatsApp purge. WhatsApp and Messenger users are flocking to other apps, both out of fear of misuse of their data and as a virtual protest against Facebook

If you use WhatsApp for a business and have a list of clients, the business on the other side too will see the conversation and know your preferences. This could be used to show you ads on Facebook platforms. If you are the business owner, you could use some of the insights to run ads targeting your customers on Facebook and other services. The biggest advantage of WhatsApp is that it is ubiquitous and everyone on your contact list is using it. On Signal, even now, you have to go looking for users to chat with.

Facebook is midway through a program to integrate WhatsApp’s underlying platform with those of Messenger and Instagram to bring all its audiences together. WhatsApp’s option to backup your chat history to either Apple’s or Google’s cloud, then those backups are not protected by that end-to-end encryption. There are no serious claims that your content is analyzed or data mined in the cloud, but it can be accessed by Apple or Google, invalidating the purpose of WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.

Competitor Analysis

competitor analysis was done to abstract more pors and cons across the messing platforms and also to find any room for improvement on our base app signal to improve the user engagement

Competitors analysis document link : https://creative-walnut-be4.notion.site/Competitive-analysis-fef527886dc0499fa6421d8918e560e8

Primary Research Interview Questions

Meanwhile sana and ankita when a head to prepare interview question to ask during the primary research

💡 First Draft of interview questions

What all are messaging apps do you have on your phone?

Which app do you feel most comfortable with? And why?

Which app did you use the last? (Mostly WhatsApp)

For what purpose the message was?

What are the other reasons you message people? Personal/work/connection

What difficulties do you face?

What other apps than WhatsApp do you use?

Why do you use the XYZ app and not WhatsApp?

What are the things missing in XYZ that you come back to WhatsApp?

Do you ever feel your data is read through your chats on Whatsapp?

What are your concerns about your privacy in personal/work-related conversations?

How would you get confidence in any app that the data cannot be read by anybody else but you?

In a world where WhatsApp has become a daily source of conversations, What do you think can replace WhatsApp?

💡 Final iteration of interview questions

Q. User’s basic introduction their age, work profile, interest, hobbies anything else.

Could you please list down all the messaging apps you have on your phone

Could you try to recall the last app that you have used

For what purpose do you use these platforms

Why are there multiple apps that serve the same purpose

Do you ever feel annoyed while using any messaging app because of a certain feature

What are the features or offering of an app you like that makes you use it more often than other apps

How secure do you feel while using these messaging apps

Additional Points added While Interviewing:

Do you ever feel annoyed while using any messaging app because of a certain feature

what are the features or offering of an app you like that makes you use it more often than other apps

Rank in the order of how secure you feel while using these messaging apps(that you mentioned)

Do you go through the privacy & terms policy? how do decide a certain app is secure?

Do you use the web version of any messaging app? If yes why & for what features?

How do you prefer to communicate in different situations? like when you are tired, when busy on vacation. (Story feature)

user interviews was taken on 27th noon and lot of meaningful insights came in from the user interview. based on the secondary and the primary data we were able to move ahead with the ideation part

Primary Research Data:

Interview data link : https://creative-walnut-be4.notion.site/Raw-users-data-from-interviews-4fc61ff10f2a4a4fa343f0e565da477b

💡 Ideation:

The ideation process began before the primary data arrived, and we attempted to relate it to the secondary data which we already had. As soon as we received the primary data, we started validating our ideas with both the primary and secondary data.

Hypothesis

Assumption 1: Got validated with our secondary data
WhatsApp collects and shares more data when compared to other messaging platforms. Secondary Research: this assumption was validated with our secondary research which showed statistical inferences as below.

💡 Idea 1: So our idea was to promote or show a pop-up notification on the app (soon after the installation) saying “the app never collects your data” in this way we can ensure the users about the data privacy

Assumption 2: Got validated with our secondary data
U
sers find it frustrating when WhatsApp navigates a link to another browser app because he has to come back and forth.

💡 Idea 2: Adding an in-app browser feature that will allow the user to open the link inside the app itself. in this way, we will encourage the user to stay inside the app not deviate to another platform.-user engagement, user retention.

Assumption 3: Got validated with our primary data (User Shivani)The user is frustrated for saving some random contact in her contact list.
Adding unnecessary contact which a user uses for only once

💡 Idea 3a: Add a feature to search contact and directly message them if they’re on WhatsApp instead of saving their number to their contact list. this would help the user not to save the unknown contact which they might use only once.

Assumption 4
4a | Primary data 1 and Secondary:
Users aren’t able to send files more than 100 Mb in size

4b | Primary data (User Shivani): Users aren’t able to send images more than 30 at once ****just for the matter of sharing a bigger file size she uses telegram which discourages the user retention secondary research source | primary research source

💡 Idea 4: Rather than increasing the file transfer size, we can introduce an inbuilt zipping feature that zips and unzips in the background without users noticing.

Assumption 5 we haven’t found any primary nor the secondary data validating this assumption
5a:
During calls, When a user wants to share a photo or a video, they have to save and then share on WhatsApp. So User is concerned about the storage.

5b: During calls, When a user wants to share a photo from his phone, they have to follow 4 steps (click share>select WhatsApp>select chat>click send).

💡 Idea 5: may be we can give a screen share option so that the user can share his videos and photos during the calls itself

Assumption 6: we haven’t found any primary nor the secondary data validating this assumption
A receiver feels embarrassed when he encounters a deleted message from the sender.

💡 Idea 6: Simply do not notifying the users that the message has been deleted. Let the delete action not be known.

Assumption 7: we haven’t found any primary nor the secondary data validating this assumption
Users find the chats messy (not organized) to find a particular contact.-

💡 Idea 7: adding a grouping feature could save the users time and keeps the chats organized.

Validating Our hypothesis with the primary and the secondary data

Notion document link : https://creative-walnut-be4.notion.site/Jugaad-a-thon-Nov-21-d164d0a90a5044228904b8dc6eac8044

Mapping our ideas with the over all user insights

we were able to narrow down main three categories from the user insights which we got it from user interviews and started mapping all the the above idea with them.

  • Users want a simple interface for a messaging app
  • Users want a customizable interface for messaging
  • Users want an interface for messaging which is free of unwanted interactions (msg, call, etc.)
Figjam file link: https://www.figma.com/file/ufb0PWkspB6bINHc2wMohE/User-persona%2Fempathy?node-id=0%3A1

After the discussion among the teammates, we aggregated upon building out wireframes which in connected with the simple interface messaging app.

Reasons for choosing a simple interface messaging app

  1. Despite WhatsApp’s many negative aspects with regard to user privacy, people still like using it because of its user-friendly interface (simple interface) | Primary & Secondary source.
  2. Rather than learning a new interface, people simply want to use an interface that they are already familiar with | Primary source.

Solutioning the ideas — Rough Wireframe

Well it was interesting to do some pencil and paper work !! We first made wireframes for all the six ideas which we had. we actively participated and came up with solutions for the ideas we choose

Then after the discussion, We proceeded with the 2nd iteration of the low fidelity wireframe for the ideas which could also have some business elements as well like user engagement ( considering the time constraint )

Choose the following three ideas

Referring to the principles of UX we thought these top three ideas would help our targeted users and the data that was collected from them.

  1. An In-app browser feature
  2. Adding a grouping features
  3. Provide quick action feature

Since simplicity was the target insight we were working on we decided to include bottom navigation to give users a simple and easy access with 3 categories to navigate among :

Chat (as the default home page nav)
Contacts &
Call (for call history, Signal does not have a quick access option for call history)

Bottom Navigation Bar

Reason for choosing: Any messaging platform that wants to grow must retain users. We can use this idea to retain users within an app by allowing links to open within the app itself and thus avoid back and forth navigation from the app to the browser and also loading of pages in some cases can take a considerable amount of time, resulting in users closing the app. so considering Doherty threshold ( primary data )we included this solution in a familiar way as some other messaging apps also have this feature, so it will be simpler for users to understand the working of it. (Jakob’s law).

Low-fidelity wireframes

Low-fidelity prototype link: https://www.figma.com/proto/eQUppmN4N5DSKqeHAHHXmT/Untitled?page-id=0%3A1&node-id=18%3A345&viewport=241%2C48%2C0.14&scaling=min-zoom&starting-point-node-id=18%3A345&show-proto-sidebar=1

High-fidelity wireframes

High Fidelity prototype link : https://www.figma.com/proto/eQUppmN4N5DSKqeHAHHXmT/Untitled?page-id=35%3A417&node-id=78%3A522&viewport=241%2C48%2C0.32&scaling=scale-down&starting-point-node-id=78%3A522&show-proto-sidebar=1

2. Adding a grouping features

Reason for choosing: creating a list of users for quick actions could save the users time and keep the chats organized which also simplifies the sending of a single message to multiple people with a single click for them.

eg: If users would like to send “Happy Diwali”, they can get their categorized users at one go.

By this idea, we can keep things simple and help users with easy decision making by reducing the complexity (Hick’s Law)

Low-fidelity wireframes

Low-fidelity prototype link: https://www.figma.com/proto/eQUppmN4N5DSKqeHAHHXmT/Untitled?page-id=0%3A1&node-id=18%3A345&viewport=241%2C48%2C0.14&scaling=min-zoom&starting-point-node-id=18%3A345&show-proto-sidebar=1

High-fidelity wireframes

High Fidelity prototype link : https://www.figma.com/proto/eQUppmN4N5DSKqeHAHHXmT/Untitled?page-id=35%3A417&node-id=78%3A522&viewport=241%2C48%2C0.32&scaling=scale-down&starting-point-node-id=78%3A522&show-proto-sidebar=1

3. Provide quick action feature

Reason for choosing: Providing users some commands to perform quick actions like deleting a contact/chats, making a call voice/video call, etc. this could save their time, by reducing the number of clicks one has to do in order to perform these actions. as Parkinson’s law says “Limit the time it takes to complete a task to what users expect it’ll take.”

Low-fidelity wireframes

Low-fidelity prototype link: https://www.figma.com/proto/eQUppmN4N5DSKqeHAHHXmT/Untitled?page-id=0%3A1&node-id=18%3A345&viewport=241%2C48%2C0.14&scaling=min-zoom&starting-point-node-id=18%3A345&show-proto-sidebar=1

High-fidelity wireframes

High Fidelity prototype link: https://www.figma.com/proto/eQUppmN4N5DSKqeHAHHXmT/Untitled?page-id=35%3A417&node-id=78%3A522&viewport=241%2C48%2C0.32&scaling=scale-down&starting-point-node-id=78%3A522&show-proto-sidebar=1

2nd Iteration for Provide quick action feature

Once we were done with all the screens, we got a review from our mentor for the third idea, that Providing users with commands to use in-app, can confuse users, especially the ones for deleting chat.

For instance: If a user is chatting and types some text similar to the command and the delete popup appear: this will hinder the user’s experience

High Fidelity prototype link:: https://www.figma.com/proto/eQUppmN4N5DSKqeHAHHXmT/Untitled?page-id=35%3A417&node-id=78%3A522&viewport=241%2C48%2C0.32&scaling=scale-down&starting-point-node-id=78%3A522&show-proto-sidebar=1

It was not possible to test our solutions ( high fidelity app ) within the given time frame, so we are concluding with our solutions as well as with the great lessons that we learned during this 48 hour of Jugaadathon.

Key learnings

  1. As a group, identifying each other’s strengths and dividing the work according to our time schedules was a fun and challenging experience.
  2. The non-textbook way of doing things helped us unlearn and improve our skill sets — in fact, it helped us understand our own key strengths
  3. As a team when we worked we got a lot of perspectives while ideating because everyone’s view was way different from the other. This helped us to understand the stuff even better.
  4. Since we had a lot to do in a short period of time, we were managing and re-prioritizing our work in order to complete the project. This helped us in terms of how to prioritize our work even under a tight schedule.
  5. Instead of going with the hypothesis, we learned how to connect our assumptions with the relevant data and figure out how to proceed to drive a better solution

I appreciate you taking the time to read to the end, and hope you found it insightful. Feel free to mail me your comments and feedbacks @ winslet367@gmail.com .

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Christy Solomon

Christy Solomon

I am a Freelance designer based on Chennai