- Pen and Paper wireframe sketches of "Poll" feature in the WhatsApp mobile application.
- Brief overview of the process followed to come up with these wireframes.
I have split my process into two parts -
- The first is to research the product, its users, their needs and to analyze competitor products.
- The second is to focus on a design process to come up with the ideas, information architecture, wireframes and metrics to test the designs.
🔎 Research Process (Primary + Secondary)
- Understand the product's vision
- Figure out the need to build "Poll" option
- Find the target customer segment
- Identify their unmet needs & underlying motivation
- Analyze existing products solving those problems
✍️ Design Process
- Ideas for "Poll" option & Prioritization
- User Flow & Information Architecture
- Metrics & Testing to validate design
Research Process 🔎
1️⃣ WhatsApp's Product Vision
One thing to note here is that WhatsApp wants people to communicate without any barriers.
2️⃣ The need to build "Poll" option
- Since an online poll is also a form of communication, it aligns well with WhatsApp's mission. However, we need to figure out if there is a real need for its users to create polls.
- So, I ran a poll on Instagram to test this hypothesis. 96 people voted, out of which 61% said they had felt the need to take "Polls" through their groups.
- Going through Reddit, I found a few posts that suggested a need for "Polls" in WhatsApp.
For the purpose of this task, I'm assuming that there are a few user segments that might require the "Poll" option.
3️⃣ Target customer segment
For this task, I'm considering a user segment that closely matches the 96 people who voted on my Instagram poll.
IndiaTier 1 CitiesTier 2 Cities
18 - 24 Years
College StudentEmployee with 1-3 Years of Work Experience
Uses WhatsApp Primarily for all communications2-3 Hours of Daily Usage
Groups they are part of
College TeamsFriendsFamilyOfficeOnline Communities
4️⃣ Identify their unmet needs & underlying motivation
- The following are the screenshots where people expressed a clear need to take polls through their groups.
- Academic needs - Deadlines, Marks Split up, Exam Dates etc
- Personal needs - Meetup dates & time, restaurants & food preferences, trip destinations etc
Screenshots from one of the team groups that I headed in college where we used to get food preferences by counting the emojis 👇
- There were also a few responses where people mentioned not needing to create polls, mainly because they didn't have instances to ask for opinions or their group was small enough to DM and ask people individually.
🙋♂️ User Persona
I decided to focus on the first user persona - Dharanya, as it has a clear need to take polls in their groups.
🧠 Underlying Motivation
- Choice Overloading - When faced with too many options, the person responsible for making a choice might feel decision fatigue. When in doubt, they often let others decide.
- Inclusive Decision Making - In a close group/community, people tend to make decisions collectively by including everyone. It gives a sense of belonging to everyone.
- Group Think Effect - People strive for consensus within a group. In many cases, people will set aside their own personal beliefs or adopt the opinion of the rest of the group.
🚶♂️ User Story
There could be multiple other user stories as well, but I'm going ahead with these two for the purpose of the task.
5️⃣ Existing products with Poll Option
4️⃣ Facebook Messenger
5️⃣ Slack & Discord
Design Process ✍️
1️⃣ Ideas for "Poll" option & Prioritization
- Multiple Choices (One or more than one options to choose)
- Quiz Mode (Shows right or wrong answers after the vote)
- Open-Ended Questions (Respondents can submit any text as answer)
- Visible Votes (Reveal the percentage of votes after the user chooses an option)
- Invisible & Anonymous Votes (Not reveal the vote percentage & name of voters)
- Slider Ratings (To get an average number within a range)
- Up-vote or Down-vote responses (Suitable for yes/no questions)
- Nested Questions (Questions change based on responses like Typeform)
From the user persona and their respective user stories, I deduced that multiple choices, visible & invisible voting and up-down voting are relevant to the target user segment.
- Visible & invisible voting option can be toggled in the settings while creating a poll.
- Up-down voting can be simulated in the multiple-choice questions by having the answer options as Yes/No or Up/Down. The user creating the poll can change the setting to show the number of votes instead of the percentage mimicking the Up-Down voting.
WhatsApp Design Principles
So, instead of giving many types of poll options to the user, I decided to go with only multiple-choice polls with different setting variations.
2️⃣ User Flow & Information Architecture
For the user flow, I have gone with a poll where users can't change their options once voted. However, the poll creator can enable/disable the option to change votes in the poll configuration while creating one.
WhatsApp's Design Principles ✍️
- The interface should feel native to the device the person is using
- The app should be lightweight and require as little storage as possible
- The interface should be simple
- User actions and animations should be quick to respond
- Features should provide obvious utility so they require little introduction
4️⃣ Metrics & Testing to validate the designs
Using the prototype, what are the :
- Task completion rate for creating a poll
- Task completion time for creating a poll
- Task completion rate for answering a poll
- Task completion time for answering a poll
Once the feature is shipped live, what are the :
- Number of active WhatsApp groups using the poll feature
- Number of Polls created in a day/week/month
- Number of people who have voted in a poll in the last 24hrs/week/month
Reference Links 🔗
WhatsApp Messenger: More than 2 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family, anytime and anywhere. WhatsApp is free and offers simple, secure, reliable messaging and calling, available on phones all over the world.
Open-access poll - Wikipedia
An open-access poll is a type of opinion poll in which a nonprobability sample of participants self-select into participation. The term includes call-in, mail-in, and some online polls. The most common examples of open-access polls ask people to phone a number, click a voting option on a website, or return a coupon cut from a newspaper.
One Year Designing at WhatsApp
Thoughts on how WhatsApp and Facebook design at scale I've been a product designer at Facebook close to four years. I've worked on a variety of teams such as Groups, Sharing, and Privacy. At this time last year, I got an exciting opportunity to begin work on WhatsApp.
The Psychology Behind Why We Strive for Consensus
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon in which people strive for consensus within a group. In many cases, people will set aside their own personal beliefs or adopt the opinion of the rest of the group. The term was first used in 1972 by social psychologist Irving L. Janis.
Telegram introduces a new feature that WhatsApp doesn't have: Poll 2.0
Telegram has announced a new feature to enhance the chat experience on the platform. This new feature called Polls 2.0 is something that even WhatsApp does not have and it allows users conduct various types of polls within chat groups and channels.
SPEAKING - DAN OLSEN
Dan Olsen is an entrepreneur, consultant, author, speaker, and expert in product management and Lean Startup. At Olsen Solutions, he works with CEOs and product leaders to help them build great products and strong product teams, often as interim VP of Product.
Things that I could have done better 🙋♂️
- Could have taken a few user interviews and asked a few more questions.
- Could have sketched user flows for a few more edge cases like editing a poll etc.,
- Could have made a more detailed user persona and more user stories.
- Could have made the Notion doc short and concise.
- Wanted to add a short loom video giving a quick walkthrough of the whole process.