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WhatsApp Spaces

Overview

Role: UI/UX Designer, UX Researcher

Time Period: 3 weeks

Tools Used: Figma, Excalidraw, Figurative, Speechki, and Good notes

Problem Statement

WhatsApp stands as the world's leading messaging application, utilized by a vast audience for communicating with family, friends, engaging in work-related discussions, and participating in group messaging. However, this extensive usage often results in an overwhelming experience for many users. The aggregation of messages from various contacts and groups in a single location leads to a lack of organisation and, occasionally, the mishap of sending messages to the wrong recipients.

Project Goals

The primary objective is to significantly reduce clutter and enhance the user experience within WhatsApp by introducing an intuitive organizational system, "WhatsApp Spaces." By categorizing chats into customizable spaces or folders, users can prioritize and access their most important messages quickly, thereby improving navigation and efficiency.

Furthermore, this project aims to minimize the likelihood of misdirected messages and enhance privacy controls, ensuring users can communicate with confidence and ease.

The Process

Design Thinking Process

Empathize

The first step in our design thinking process was to understand the users and their needs. Through interviews, surveys, and observations, we discovered that users often feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of contacts and ongoing conversations in WhatsApp. They struggle to keep track of important messages and frequently interact with specific groups of contacts (e.g., family, work colleagues, friends from a hobby group). This insight led us to consider a solution that could help users organize their contacts more effectively.

 

User Research

Participants:

  • Total Participants: 50

  • Age Range: 18-65

  • Segmentation: Students, Professionals, Stay-at-home parents, Retirees

  • Frequency of WhatsApp Usage: Low (1-5 chats weekly), Medium (6-20 chats weekly), High (21+ chats weekly)

Key Findings:

Organisational Needs: 85% of participants expressed frustration with the current chat organisation. 78% reported difficulties in locating specific chats when needed.

f26485d0-3397-4908-8e55-23ea33e9f724.webp
User research graph showing 85% frustrated with hat organisation.
image.a graph showing 78% find it difficult to locate specific chats

Impact on User Experience: 58% of users indicated that an improved organization system might lead to more frequent app usage. 42% believed it could reduce the cognitive load and make the messaging experience more pleasant.

a graph showing 58% want to use the app more frequently.

User Personas

user persona
user persona

Define

Empathy Findings: Through user research, such as interviews, surveys, or observation, it was discovered that many WhatsApp users struggle with managing a large number of contacts and conversations. Common issues included difficulty in finding specific chats, feeling overwhelmed by the clutter, and missing important messages. These insights helped identify the underlying user frustrations with the current design of the app.

Core Problem Definition: The core problem identified was that WhatsApp users need a more efficient way to organize their contacts and conversations. This requirement is pivotal for reducing clutter in the app, which in turn can lead to improved message management. By addressing these issues, the aim is to enhance the overall user experience, making WhatsApp a more effective communication tool that aligns better with the needs of its diverse user base.

Solution Focus: With the core problem defined, the focus shifted towards creating a solution that integrates seamlessly with WhatsApp’s existing user interface. The goal was to design a feature that would not disrupt or complicate the current user experience but would instead feel intuitive and easy to adopt.

LAW OF COMMON REGION

law of common region

Elements tend to be perceived into groups if they are sharing an area with a clearly defined boundary.

friends hugging

Ideate

With a clear problem defined, we brainstormed various solutions. Ideas ranged from tagging systems and custom chat tabs to more complex AI-driven message sorting. After evaluating the pros and cons of each idea, "WhatsApp Spaces" emerged as a promising solution. This concept allows users to create folders or "Spaces" where they can group contacts based on personal criteria (e.g., family, work, hobbies), simplifying message management and access.

Information Architecture For Creating a WhatsApp Space

Information architecture of whatsApp Spaces

Low-Fidelity and High-Fidelity Prototypes

wireframes
Prototype of whatsapp space

Pill design to switch between spaces

colours used for whatsapp space
fonts used for whatsapp space
wireframes
prototype of whatsapp space

Creating folders by adding different people and groups together in one place.

Prototype

I developed an initial prototype of WhatsApp Spaces, focusing on a simple and intuitive interface that seamlessly integrates with the existing WhatsApp design. The prototype allowed users to create a Space, add contacts to it, and view conversations within that Space. I also included features to customize Space names, colors, and notification settings to test how personalization might enhance the user experience.

WhatsApp Spaces

Test

User Reactions and Feedback: The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive. Users expressed a sense of relief and satisfaction as they navigated through the organized Spaces, highlighting how this feature could significantly enhance their daily messaging experience by reducing clutter and making important messages more accessible. The added organization and personalization features were particularly well-received, with many users stating they felt more in control of their communications.

Emotional Impact: Emotionally, participants responded very positively to the feature, with many expressing enthusiasm about the potential to tailor their messaging environment to their personal and professional lives. The emotional relief was evident as users described their experience as "liberating" and "stress-reducing," especially those who previously struggled with managing a large number of chats.

Areas for Improvement: Despite the positive reception, some constructive feedback emerged regarding the usability of the Spaces feature. Several users suggested that while creating and organizing Spaces was intuitive, navigating between different Spaces could be streamlined further. They requested smoother transitions and a more intuitive interface to switch between Spaces quickly. Additionally, participants desired more granular control over notifications within each Space, suggesting the ability to set different notification rules for different Spaces to manage the volume of alerts more effectively.

Conclusion: This usability testing session proved invaluable in understanding the user experience and emotional impact of WhatsApp Spaces. The positive emotional reactions underscore the feature's potential to make messaging via WhatsApp not only more organized but also more enjoyable. The feedback on navigation and notifications has provided clear directives for further refinement, ensuring that the final product will meet the needs and expectations of our diverse user base more completely.

A Video With Narration On How WhatsApp Spaces Work

Get In Touch!

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