Case Study: Add a “ folder feature” to WhatsApp
Why not classfying WhatsApp messages according to their category? This is a case study to introduce you WhatsApp Folder option that allows its users to classify their messages according to their category.
WhatsApp is a free, multiplatform messaging application that allows its users to make video, voice calls and send text messages. It is a part of META .
The aim of this new feature is to allow its users to create folder and move messages to related folder according to their categories.
This new feature would allow:
# WhatsApp Business users to create new folder and track order history, client details or business conversations in a single folder.
# Users to categorize messages according to their category and find the related message easily.
# Users to keep private messages in a folder.
Initially, I was confident and comfortable about the position of the feature and was thinking I would finish the project in two days… I WAS WRONG.
When it comes to add a new feature to an existing app, there are several elements to be considered such as the location, the UI pattern , user accessibility, user needs. It is also quite important not to break existing app´s current flow with the new feature as this might decrease user engagement.
The first idea was to add “ three dots” on top of existing Archive button where users can click and move a message to any folder, therefore the feature was nestled under Archive section.
After I sketched the first lo-fi prototype, I tested the feature with 12 WhatsApp users and I received several constructive feedback that shaped the first idea to its final prototype.
As a result of interviews, users did not like the idea of nestling folder feature under the archive section; they consider folder feature is completely different than the archive and prefer this feature is pinned to initial page where they can easily access it. They also mentioned that the folder icon and the way they are listed is not “ WhatsAppy”
Here is the final prototype after users´ critiques and feedback:
The folder feature has been pinned to inital chat page, whether users have any messages in it or not, the feature will always be appear. This aims users to access new feature at any time. Folder feature is also seperated from Archive section and gains its own character such as editting , duplicating or deleting any folders with simple “ Edit” icon.
To move any message to a folder, an existing feature will help users to move a message in to any folder; sliding the message, more option and select “ move to folder”. Simple.
Folder feature also enables users to add more folders, rename the existing folder or duplicate the folder.
Here is the prototype should you consider to try it yourself.
The finaly prototype has been completed in full four days and presented to 24 users to receive feedback on it.
Next Steps to Improve
As it is seen below, when a user moves a message to any folder all the active folders appear. How can product smartly shorten the menu bar if there are 20 folders?
What if users delete the folders accidently, will all the messages be deleted? How can the product warn users to save messages?
# When it comes to add a new feature to an existing app, consider UI Pattern better and test the feature with many users you can reach. Each interviews and point of views can help to shape final design.
Thank you for your valuable time to read the article. I´d love to hear any feedback you might have to make this feature even better.
Let´s keep in touch.
Until next time ♡