The communication technology I chose is WeChat, which is a mobile messaging app developed by the Chinese company Tencent. It was first released in 2011, and now it had over 1.25 billion monthly active users from a wide range of age groups. WeChat gradually shift to a multipurpose app, and it can be described as instant messaging app, social media, and mobile payment app.
For me, I use this app to communicate as well as gain convenience and fun. I used the video call with my families twice a week and texted to my friends whenever I want. During the pandemic, a lot of stores applied electronic menus, and it is easy to access the menu and even order whatever you want on WeChat. Finally, since WeChat is a payment app as well, it has a function named red packet. During Chinese New Year or other festivals such as Valentine’s Day, people can put money in the red packet and sent it to these signifiant others with wishes. The lucky money function even brought happiness and laughter between families.
I applied interview as my method of the user experience test. I have interviewed twelve WeChat heavy users whose age from 18 to 80. I began with the question “How long do you use WeChat? What’s your attitude towards that?” Then, I move on exploring the positive and negative experiences, asked “Which part of WeChat do you like? What aspects that you do not like? Why?” At last, I asked their own suggestion for WeChat. Personally, I felt connection with these answers.
For the results, people used WeChat for at least five years, and it gradually becomes a habit of using the app. To conclude the positive experiences with WeChat, two thirds of interviewees mentioned that they appreciated all kinds of updates. Three people also mentioned that they like the function of splitting the bill in groups, since it would automatically calculate how much money each person need to pay in a specific situation. Moving to negative experiences, some complained about the occasional advertising in the Moments section and its unnecessary notification.
For other improvements, people mentioned about increasing the maximum photos in each post from 9 to 18, and some wanted the post pictures to be live photos. For voice messages, some mentioned to add a progress bar, and some wanted to have a function of twice the speed. Two people mentioned that they want WeChat to increase the maximum capacity of transferring files.
In all, WeChat always upgrades and tries to provide better services and user experiences.