I chose to review Skype app because it was surprising to see that there are so few UX reviews of it, at least on this platform, even though millions of people use it. Before I begin, I’d like to clarify that my review is limited to the Android app, as of August 2019.
I’ve had this app on every single smartphone I owned but used it sparingly because I couldn’t find the will to get past the login stage. I finally managed to get past the login screen this time and nearly half of this review is just about the login and setup process. Based on this UX app critique framework, I reviewed the app’s navigation, interactions, and visual design, while occasionally offering my suggestions for improvement.
What does Skype offer?
It helps people with an internet connection communicate with each other through video, audio, and chat for free. The first quality that comes to mind when I think of Skype is personal connectedness.
How is the value being communicated to a user?
There is a difference in the way it is being communicated on the website’s landing page compared to the app’s first screen. The website communicates the value of ‘personal connections’ while the app focusses on the cost and quality — ‘ free HD video and voice calls’.
When Skype was launched, it was one of the first few services to offer free video calling through internet and it made sense to communicate the cost to the users. But now, there are several other similar services (Whatsapp, Hangouts, Discord) and it makes more sense to highlight the value of collaboration and human connections on the app’s first screen rather than the cost.
Structure and App Navigation
After tapping on ‘Let’s Go’, the next step in the setup ‘Let’s get started’ adds very little value to the user. This is followed by a 2 step sign-in process in which the UI elements (button colours, background, and font) are different (Microsoft design) from what we saw in the first two screens.