O2 World Chat International Calling app

Client: O2 Telefónica

Duration: 2-week sprint

Deliverables: mobile app and stakeholder presentation

The Problem

World chat offers an incentive of free credit (to both the users and their friends) when the user shares the app with a friend and they both top up. Currently however, the process and benefits are unclear and the feature is not easy to find on the app.

The Solution

To improve the communication and visibility of the Member-Get-Member scheme by helping users find the feature that allows them to easily share the app with friends and get the extra credit


A reexamined site map structure, function hierarchy, consistency of category labels and content copy within the app. A style guide was produced including colour palette, typeface and button hierarchy to increase brand identity and provide consistency of functions within the app.

Product/service and Company Overview

World Chat provides cheap and reliable international calls to mobiles and landlines across the world, without using data from as little as 1p/minute. World Chat is the digital version of the international calling card, customers can save money by using the app to call instead of calling normally, without the reliability and the call-quality issues of Skype etc. World Chat only works for international calls (from the UK to another country). The service is free to download and comes with free credit for 1st time users to sample the experience. World Chat is open to O2 and non-O2 customers.

O2 is the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Ltd and is a leading digital communications company with the highest customer satisfaction for any mobile provider according to Ofcom. With over 25 million customers, O2 runs 2G, 3G and 4G networks across the UK, as well as operating O2 Wifi and owning half of Tesco Mobile. O2 has over 450 retail stores and sponsors The O2, O2 Academy venues and England Rugby.

Competitive Analysis

We conducted a competitive analysis of services that are currently available to see the level of services available and identify the USP (unique selling point) that World Chat has over its competitors.

The services fell into two distinct categories for international calling services, paid and free. Skype is the most popular in terms of paid services, as the service is global and the user can call from anywhere in the world with a Wifi connection. Free apps are the most popular (users still pay for the data) there is a wide variety of apps available.

A screener survey was sent out to gather users that made international calls on a regular basis that could be interviewed and invited to take part in usability testing.

Survey results

· 83% call Europe

· 80% call friends and family

· 54% make calls weekly

· 71% use app services to make calls

· 41% use a network provider

· 87% use Skype

Afterwards ten 1:1 in depth user interviews to gain further insight into calling habits and identify any pain points with current service providers.

Key Findings from User Research

From the surveys and user interviews we collected data to construct a concept map in order to analyse the findings. The main frustrations with services such as Skype were the quality of calls weren’t always good and sometimes calls would drop. Apps such as FaceTime, Slack and Whatsapp are free and convenient allowing users to be spontaneous but are only available if both people used the app or used the same mobile device such as an iPhone for FaceTime. It became clear that with so many products and apps available people weren’t loyal to a particular product, instead they would switch depending on the quality of call, whether they both used the platform or if Wifi was available.

Usability Testing

Next we conducted a series of usability testing of the current World Chat app to identify the problems that users were facing when sharing the app with friends. The key pain points identified during testing were users weren’t able to find the feature or button for sharing the app with friends and how to share the app. Firstly there was a likelihood that users were unaware of this feature and furthermore the task risked being abandoned before completion due to user frustration. One user said she couldn’t find it so may have to go to the App Store to find the link.

“I can’t see anything that tells me to share.”

The current option for users is to share by email before text was not relevant as users commented it was a calling app it should be shared by text first. The second option for sharing by social media didn’t look like a button compared to the first two options.

“I would text to share or see the share icon, I wouldn’t email.”

“It’s wrong that email comes up first for sharing.”

Users were not aware of the incentive and rewards of the 5 minutes free credit when they first download the app. Some users commented that it is confusing that the first incentive is given in minutes then the share incentive is given in pounds and gives inconsistency within the app.

Also users found that the word ‘earn’ and ‘get’ free credit confusing as it doesn’t imply share, many thought that they needed to complete a task to get the free credit.

“Earn free credit is confusing. Am I expected to do a task?”

“Earn free credit is about sharing, it’s different to get free credit, not sure why it’s not the same.”

The Primary Persona Pawel

Along with the information and the data supplied by O2 and user research we created the primary persona to represent the target market or group of users of World Chat. Pawel’s main goals are to keep in touch with friends and family back home in Poland. He likes to save money, isn’t a fan of complicated systems especially since English isn’t his native language.

We created the scenario:

Pawel has heard that there is an incentive to share the app with friends. He opens the World Chat app and finds the share function and sends to his friend.

This lead to the creation of the user journey and experience map which helped to identify any potential pain points or drop off points. The points identified were if Pawel is unable to find the share with friend feature on the app he may abandon the task or recommend another method of calling to his friend. A potential drop off point at the end of the journey is if he doesn’t receive a notification that his friend has downloaded and used the app he won’t complete the action therefore not receive his reward for sharing.

Information Architecture

From the initial usability testing of the original app users found it difficult to locate the share feature in the current navigation. We conducted a series of open card sorts to see how users would group or regroup the categories.

We found that it didn’t change a lot as they were sorted similarly to the current navigation. During card sorting users commented on the labeling of categories, not all were universal or inconsistent within the app e.g. dialer, get and earn credit when they meant the same thing. Users thought a couple of categories were repetitive such as calling rates per country/ list of country call rates. A profile section was included to increase personalisation but users didn’t want it.

The open and closed card sorts helped structure the new site map, main changes were new labels — dialer to keypad, get and earn free credit became share with friends for free credit. Furthermore we combined categories that were the same — country call rates/list of country call rates. A dashboard was created but this was developed at a later stage during paper prototyping.

The Design Phase

After identifying the pain and drop off points we took the problem statement — Pawel wants to share the World Chat app with his friend to the design studio with the intention to make the share with friend incentive more visible to users. The design studio was a great opportunity to generate lots of ideas in a short space of time which would later help to inform the first paper prototype. We sketched out a paper prototype testing on users and using the feedback to iterate and inform each new design from low-fidelity through to the high-fidelity prototype.

Testing and Iteration — development of key screens


In the current app the share button was hidden in the balance.

We considered redesigning the navigation bar but the card sort proved that it wasn’t the main problem, instead created a dashboard with shortcuts to the important functions of the app. The World Chat logo was added to help branding identity to show users that they were using the app and not using their normal phone. Users said, “make the calling options more prominent as it’s the important function.” This lead to button hierarchy — ordering functions by importance through the use of size and colour.

Share Screen — Text to Visuals

We looked at the current share screen the instructions were just text, not quick to understand or engaging. Considering that many of World Chat users have English as an additional language this needed to be simplified which in turn would help with understanding for all. Visuals were added– phone icons to demonstrate phone to phone sharing, simplified the copy into short instructions and organised it into 3 steps. In the final iteration we added yellow and green colours to the phones to differentiate the two and emphasise the user sharing with a friend. Then the font-size was increased for readability and each step was numbered to create a clear flow.

Share Icons and Ways to Share

Following standards and conventions the share function of the original app was changed to follow iOS sharing patterns, therefore users can share the app in method that is familiar to them without having to learn a new system.

Next we changed the share option hierarchy; text first, email then social media as users questioned why email share was first when it was a calling app.

Share Message and Confirmation

Finally looked at share text screen that was sent to the receiver and added a confirmation message. The original was just copy, we added the World Chat logo — users can be shown brand, be able identify it at the app store to download it. Many users commented that it would be nice to have confirmation that the share was sent to their friend and that they will get a notification when friend has topped up. The notification message provided reassurance to the user and encourages completion of the member get member share scheme therefore closing the loop.

Before going on to the high-fidelity wireframes, we had a think about the colours and typeface we would use. We had a look at the logo and the current World Chat website and from this picked our colour palette. For the typeface we have used the Comfortaa typeface that is used on the website, in order to keep the branding consistent, we felt that this typeface added a bit more personality to the app rather than the relatively plain interface that is currently live.

Link to clickable prototype

Next Steps

To explore the journey Pawel’s friend would take once he has received the message — currently, the link in the message takes the user to the O2 website and you can’t find how to download World Chat.

To look at other ways of sharing, looking at other apps with sharing functionality, many of them are code and from some user feedback, this was sometimes a preferred method.

Finally, we would like to see how this can be incorporated into the on boarding so that users know from the start, how they benefit from sharing the app.