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Add a feature

WhatsApp Project

In this particular project I was designated for an ambicious, interesting and meaninful task: choose an existing mobile app and improve it by adding a new feature on it. This time the project was individual.
At the first moment I took a deep breath and tried to visualize something that people use every day…something that they are attached to and really need. I wrote down a list that contained all the most used mobile apps and started ranking them by thinking about their porpouse, objective and which features they had.

Case Study WhatsApp: Texto

After a reflection moment I decided that “WhatsApp” would be my challenge ! It took some minutes to analyse all the features and functions that were on it and the most important: something that people would really benefit from and that wasn’t there yet. It came to my mind that this missing feature could be an integrated translator. Since people all over the world use this app for so many things: working, talking to friends and relatives and so many other tasks that it offers.
 
Ok, now that I had this glimpse I could start working on in, right ? Wrong!
My second task now was making a research on people that use WhatsApp and extract from them their routine and validate the reasons that they use it, for how long they use, their own porpouse and needs and which experiences and feelings they were going through. With these data I could acctually be sure if that new tool would be applied or not. It was throught qualitative interviews that I found all the answers I needed. I somehow had to know if they were related to people from other countries and languages. And if they had any difficulty in that process. But I could not ask them directly this questions. I needed to uncover those informations by making questions without mentioning the feature's idea. I needed facts.

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TThe research results

They reported WhatsApp as being part of their lives. It’s used constantly, daily, they exchange all kind of contents. Several have been using to communicate with friends, relatives and work related outside country and face certain issues on communcating by text messages on WhatsApp. They don’t understand completely their foreign contacts messages which make them feel shy and intimidated. In that case they use Google Translator in order to accomplish their tasks by sending and interpreting text messages on WhatsApp, which required them alternating between the app and Google, to copy and paste and then answering with the translated messages.

The research results:

                                                            The Persona
 
Based on those info I was able to create my proto persona which represents all those matters and the users feelings that were found on my research:

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Marketing Supervisor

Michele, 32yo

"When I have to answer my boss real quick, I always use a Google copy and paste"

After all those considerations I had the confirmation on my feature utility. I did validate that if integrated in WhatsApp, this tool could acctually help people in general and make it easier to communicate inside the app, making it much more effective and easier.
But then it would be necessary to think on how it could be integrated, respecting and keeping the app’s visual identity without any critical change or making it harder and messing for the users understanding the feature’s funcionality. It needed to be intuitive, easy and fast.

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Creating a Prototype

In sequence I present the Hi Fi prototype's images and short video with the new tranlator feature:


In order to visualize this integrated feature I had to go throught some draws and mid fi Wireframes to follow and understand how the users would navigate the app and how this new feature could be reachable. It was no easy task but I believe I made it. The symbol icon was created and represents the messages exchange that come and go.

 

USE CASE

contextualizing the use of the feature

The user (Michele) starts the WhatsApp and sees the app notification about it’s New Feature! She also notices a new message in English. It’s her Boss

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She enters the message after knowing there’s the new translator feature to translate it

She presses and holds the message selecting it then the app’s options are displayed and she can see the Translator’s icon among the other existing options

On tap the translator drops down a window that contains all the languages available to translate that message. She selects “Portuguese

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The message is translated and displayed under the original message






 

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Conclusion

I believe I created a very easy and useful feature that helps people communicating in any possible language inside the app. The idea is to fill the users with all the tools they would possible need without alternating the app with other solutions.

Usability test:

I tested my prototype with several friends and relatives and they all found it easy, intuitive, simple and very enjoyable. They enjoyed it’s proposal above all.

Next improvements:

To make this app even better I have some improvements ideas:

  • Voice translator: working in translating the audio messages

  • Translator for creating new text messages

  • Add profile: making available having more than one profile (eg:personal profile, professional profile)

  • Self notes: a private user’s space where is possible creating notes, saving links and writtings

I now come to the end of this project’s overview. Thank you all !

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