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    WeChat is one of the most popular apps in China, with over 685 million active monthly users. It offers a wide range of functions, including mess… Read More
    WeChat is one of the most popular apps in China, with over 685 million active monthly users. It offers a wide range of functions, including messaging, online shopping, and banking. This project tackles and resolves several usability problems within the app. Since many users spend 1 to 2 hours on the app per day, a new interface to provide a more comfortable viewing experience was inspired by colors in nature. Read Less
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WeChat Redesign

WeChat is one of the most popular apps in China, with over 685 million active monthly users. It offers a wide range of functions, including messaging, online shopping, and banking. It also provides its own online payment service, and is used for business communications. This project tackles and resolves several usability problems within the app. User interviews were conducted to identify confusing aspects of the app. This research identified four aspects of WeChat that could be improved: the messaging interface, the official accounts interface, the wallet tab, and the “me” tab. Since many users spend 1 to 2 hours on the app per day, a new interface to provide a more comfortable viewing experience was inspired by colors in nature. 

Copyright 2017, Janet Wright
Wireframes, Fonts and Colors

Wireframes were created to reflect the changes in the layout and function of the app. The color scheme was inspired by forest greens. Sans serif fonts were selected for the main displays of the app to enhance readability. 
Messaging 

Problem: The messaging interface is used for many channels of communication, for example, with family members, business clients, and classmates. Two major frustrations of users were: (1) there was no obvious way to group and access contacts, and (2) there was no convenient way to save important files to a central folder.

Solution: A new system allows users to organize contacts and save files. Each user can create a category tag (e.g., “work contacts”), and save it with a specific color (e.g., light green). Users can tap the tag in the primary messaging interface, and immediately access the contacts in that category. Tags are also used to save files. When a contact sends a file, the user can save it to a folder within WeChat by selecting a tag.
Official Accounts 

Problem: Official accounts are accounts that businesses use to communicate with WeChat users. Users can subscribe to an account and receive updates. Official accounts are also used for reading news articles and blog posts, as well as shopping. A problem with these accounts is that they are very information heavy. It is hard to discern which updates are worth reading. Many users reported that they felt “bombarded” by the constant updates and notifications. 

Solution: The official accounts page was redesigned so that a color-coded system shows which accounts recently updated. The notification system was changed to a format where the number of updates is shown in the description. The individual pages were also reformatted: the imagery and text were enlarged, so the user is able to read the articles more easily.

Wallet

Problem: The Wallet tab is one of the most used features on WeChat. However, its current location in the app is hidden (it is only accessible in the “me” tab). Users reported that because of this, the wallet was hard to access on the go. Additionally, the WeChat Pay feature is used for purchasing items in many different online shops. There is currently no central location to access receipts from all the shops and track shipments of orders. 

Solution: The wallet tab was given its own primary location on the bottom menu. A new button for “orders and receipts” was created, and a new interface provides quick access to track shipments and past orders, as well as view receipts. 
A New "Files" Button within the "Me" Tab

Problem: There is currently no easy way to access saved files or save them into different categories. This presented a problem for many users, especially those who want to access work documents quickly. 

Solution: A “files” tab was created under the personal profile of the user. Users can access the files, photos, and links that were saved from every interface in WeChat, including the messaging interface. The files can be re-categorized or added to more folders according to the user’s preferences. There is also an option to view the files by the date they were saved. 
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January 2017