The Biggest UX Design Lessons Learnt from Snapchat Redesign Fiasco
The multimedia messaging app, Snapchat rose to popularity in a short span of time. With its peculiar AR-powered camera filters, it has become the most sought after messaging app among youth. Despite being valued at $28 billion dollars when it went public in 2017, the company lost both money and user base because of its recent Snapchat redesign fiasco.
The company altered the design which changed the UX of the entire app. This irked users; More than 1.2 million users signed a petition on Change.org requesting the company to rollback the design changes. The petition’s main complaint is that the new update is ‘confusing,’ ‘it has made many features difficult to use,’ In fact many features are ‘useless.’ Many users even took to social media to express their frustration by posting comments like ‘leaving the app for good.’
In fact, celebrity Kylie Jenner took it to Twitter to share her disappointment with the UX update calling it “sad,” which wiped $1.3 billion off Snapchat’s share price as her 24 million followers agreed with her. But why such adverse reaction? What went wrong?
Why Are Users Against Snapchat Redesign?
The newer version has separated social from media, meaning Snapchat integrated it’s stories and chat features on single screen, naming it FRIENDS page, and changed the original stories page to push branded content. Here are the changes:
- Stories and incoming chats on the same page – The latest redesign compressed Stories and Incoming Chats on one page called FRIENDS. Incoming snapchats are on the top, but the stories and conversations look almost similar and are no longer in serial order. The messaging app uses an algorithm to show Stories from friends it thinks you care most about.
- Sending a message is complex – The new layout is too clumsy and confusing, which makes it tough for the users to find their friends and connect with them. Earlier, it had a simple list of friends.
- Hard to replay the same stories – Rewatching is made difficult with the new redesign. Earlier, if you want to rewatch a story it was available on the Stories page, until its expiry. But now they vanish after one watch. In order to see the stories again, users have to swipe up and search a specific friend’s name to rewatch their Story.
- Featured and sponsored content in place of the Discover page – Earlier, users used to swipe left to find Stories. Now the entire page is dedicated for featured celebrity stories and sponsored content. This move was to make Snapchat more advertiser-friendly and generate more revenue. However, it seems this move has an opposite effect – users can ignore the entire page altogether.
Learnings from the Whole Snapchat Redesign Episode
- User-centric approach: Taking into account user’s need and then merging business needs is what makes any redesign appealing to the users. In other words, balancing user and business goals is essential for a design/redesign successful. However, Snapchat ignored this basic principle of UX design while implementing its redesign that caused a massive damage to its brand image.
- Beta Testing – People don’t like change. That’s known. But for a business to grow change is essential. However, any big change should be a gradual process. Beta testing the revamped work to get target user reactions help businesses gain insights into the functionality of the product. However, Snapchat neglected this too.
The Bottom Line
After all the social media bombardment, if Snapchat wants to grow and regain its lost user base, they need to adopt a makeover, whether it is done by its own team or by a professional UI/UX design company.
Being one of the leading providers of UI/UX design services in New York and Maryland, Infojini adopts user-centric approach to meet the specific needs of every client. We emphasize on making mobile and web UI designs intuitive and representative of the customer’s vision.
William B. Young
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