Wechat App Redesign: an interview with Vlad Tyzun

The story behind the redesign.

Wechat

Wechat, the most widely used social communication app in China, is not just about messaging. It also allows users to transfer money to each other, make purchases online and at local stores, manage wealth, order a taxi, buy train&flight tickets, etc.

As a jewel in the crown of Chinese tech giant Tencent, Wechat has become integral to the daily life of many city residents in China. However, when it comes to international market, Wechat is far from being a “hot” name.

The “Chat” page and “Moments” page of real Wechat

So it’s kinda surprising to see several amazing “Wechat redesign” shots in Dribbble are created by a UI/UX designer from Ukraine: Vlad Tyzun. 👇

Vlad’s Wechat redesign work:

The “Chat” Page and “Discover” Page
New “Moments”
WeChat Moments Carousel Animation Design

As a team using Wechat often and working on the UX design field likewise, MockingBot is super glad to invite Vlad to have this interview.

Interview

MockingBot: Vlad, so glad to have this interview with you! Please introduce you and your team to us.

Vlad: Hi everyone, My name is Vlad Tyzun and I am the UI/UX designer at Mind Studios company.

We design and create websites and mobile applications with the main goal to make them really work. It is our passion to craft really beautiful things and even more, we like to watch how these products are used in real life bringing value to their users.

MockingBot: Do you use WeChat often? How did you come up this idea of redesigning it?

Vlad: Not really to be honest, as not so much of my friends using WeChat currently. However, I believe that soon this situation will change :-)

Our CEO returned from Shanghai and he was amazed by how powerful and innovative WeChat is. So I got interested and decided to check it out.

Now I understand why it is so popular. However, I find it’s designed too simple and not eye-catching enough, so I decided to share my vision. Hope you liked it!

MockingBot: What do you think of WeChat? Its strengths and weaknesses?

Vlad: As I said, WeChat is definitely innovative and a very powerful application that has a lot of features inside. This is its strength and weakness at the same time.

From my point of view, a lot of functionality is hidden deeply in the application, so new users may not even know about all of the functionality that WeChat offers.

That’s why I decided to slightly change it’s look in order to highlight some of its features.

MockingBot: Your first shot about WeChat is a new “Chats” and “Discover” interface. It looks very direct, clear and fresh to me. Can you further explain why you redesign it this way?

Vlad: These screens are a part of the overall visual update. As you may notice, I tried to keep color palette, however, make it more modern and attractive.

“Chats” interface is pretty straightforward, I didn’t change the UX significantly here. Just moved some of the features like “make a group chat” and “invite friends” to the front. “Discover” also keeps the existing UX and I just updated the UI according to the new visual concept. I’ve also added hints on blocks separations in order to better explain how features are grouped.

MockingBot: In your second shot “WeChat Moments& Discover Screen Design Concept”, I find the new interface similar to Instagram, right? Can you share your design ideas about this?

Vlad: It definitely may seem like the Instagram-style concept, however, I would rather call it “social feed concept”. The majority of all of the social apps (and WeChat definitely has a social part in it) have a more or less similar way of displaying such kind of content. People now expect similar behavior and UX from other apps, so it is wise to not to surprise them too much.

MockingBot: The “Moments Carousel Animation Design” looks stunning. I’ve never seen a wheel-style carousel before. Can you further explain how it works?

Vlad: Thanks! Remember I’ve told you that it is better not to surprise users too much? It is true, however, there is also should be some visual special “thing” that makes the app memorable. This carousel may be one of these. I wanted to demonstrate that sharing “stories” from friends may not necessarily look like circles on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and so on.

MockingBot: Can you share some working experience with us? like, what do you think makes a good design? How to improve design efficiency?

Vlad: I believe that design is about a combination of science and inspiration. When I work on a design for a specific product, I constantly try to analyze and predict how users will interact with it, and on the other hand, I let myself be creative and offer something new. It is also a good way of getting extra inspiration to visit popular design portals like Dribbble, Behance or Awwwards.

MockingBot: Thanks for having this interview. Do you have any words for Chinese readers?

Vlad: Sure! First of all, thank you for reading this interview. China has unreal potential and a lot of creative people. Don’t be afraid of something new, do not forget to constantly learn and bring innovations to our life.

Unfortunately, there is some kind of a barrier between western and eastern designers and I sincerely hope that this situation will change soon and we will be able to know Chinese culture much better.


Thanks to Vlad for this interview!

You can check more of Vlad’s design at his Dribbble and Behance.

Or his design team:

Mind Studios Dribbble and Behance.