The most phenomenal product in my life is definitely Whatsapp. It changes, I believe, millions of lives even when they do not realize it. Whatsapp is a well-thought design because of its ultimate function, simple and easy interface, high affordability. It creates revolutionary changes about communication as well as it has thought well about different kind of users. Whatsapp makes itself a versatile product for different types of users.
Whatsapp allows real-time chats, eases the already existing online communication by multiple folds. Chat was initally texting through phone before the existence of smart phone. Chat was also done widely using computers during the MSN era. Whatsapp combine both texting and MSN/messenger, where such online chat can be done in phone. Just like MSN, Whatsapp allows the users to see whether the one they talk to is currently online, has read the message or whether the message is not delivered. These features are not available in texting.
The interface is definitely easy to understand, even my grandma can chat with me through Whatsapp. It is simple and without too much bar tabs, unlike other chatting apps such as LINE or Kakao. What’s best about Whatsapp, it is purely for chatting and direct communication, so there is no ads nor ‘feeds’. It is hassle-free and allows us to focus simply on talking to others online. The fact that Whatsapp’s income is only from the annual fee of $0.99 and without the selling of stickers, theme nor ads, shows that Whatsapp has thought well about the user’s experience: pay only once a year, less distractions, everything is to-the-point. This is highly loved by practical users.
And indeed, it is highly affordable with such low annual price. What’s better is, the Whatsapp usage of Internet quota (if you do not download videos and lots of pictures) is low as well. It can be a mean of communication for a lot of people from different backgrounds as well.
It is revolutionary because it does not only allow chats. You can send pictures, videos, contacts, websites, files through whatsapp. Each contact has his own “Media File”, allows user to easily check on their sharing digital tracks. It automatically comprises the size of the files too, there is no need to email things to other people, we can simply whatsapp them. For some people, the size-reduction in whatsapp is a bad thing, but for me, it is a well-thought feature because such low size would allow faster sharing, and important images would not be easily given to others (it will be low resolution, so people cannot ‘steal’ and use shared digital artworks etc). The availability of web.whatsapp is even more wonderful too because it allows real-time chat/online discussion/long conversation to take place wonderfully easy. There is no need to download additional software to do computer-based whatsapp too. Such features are signs of well-thought design because it totally “order the chaotic” situation, make things simpler for all of the users.
What i’m amazed too about Whatsapp is the fact that it thinks of different types of users. There is a feature which allows the users to turn off their ‘blue tick’, so people they chat with would not know whether they have read the received messages or not. This is well-thought for people who do not want to feel pressurized to reply immediately after reading the chats. This is really suitable for busy people. There are options for automatic or non-automatic downloads of pictures and videos as well. It would save Internet quota and memory space because we may not want to see everything that is shared by everyone on Whatsapp. Creating group is possible as well in Whatsapp, allowing mass communication and easy group discussion. Chats on Whatsapp is also transferrable from one phone to another, and everything is encrypted, making sure of privacy and security. The latest features from Whatsapp is their ‘enlargement’ of emoticons, Whatsapp call and ability to make bold and italic fonts, for easy emphasizing on whatsapp messages. Whatsapp call really make regular phone call obsolete because it is cheap and in good quality as long as the internet connection is strong.
The price and details of Whatsapp make it a versatile product for everyone, and the simplicity gives easy usage. Without it, my life would not be the way it is right now. And because of its simplicity, i have not found any other apps that can replace Whatsapp.
Instagram is the next big thing (already a big thing) that Facebook bought it. It is revolutionary, and it has interfered with many lives without many realizing it. It is a well-thought design in terms of improving communication, experience as well as business marketing. A little bit different from Whatsapp, Instagram is not a pure mean of communication. However it interferes personal lives, behaviours and careers.
Interface wise, Instagram has the all-white theme, it feels like a digital version of the all-white museum interior. It is really simple, the positioning of the icons and buttons are easy to see and used. Swipe left and right to change the ‘tab’ without having any tangible tab makes the app to be image-concentrate, our eyes simply pay attention to the running images on our feeds. This makes Instagram the best image-sharing app, because it serves the purpose of ‘feeding our eyes’ with images really well. The easiness of sharing pictures on it, and the $0 price creates community of those who like to see and/or share pictures/videos. The interface design is well-thought for its simplicity.
What makes Instagram an excellent well-thought product is its ability to be “one product for all, all in one product”. Probably, it is because the users are able to follow anyone in the world they want to follow, and everyone is able to create their own gallery.
Personal: an account is definitely a personal product if the gallery is full of personal photos. people who follow it would be the people who know him/her personally. it can be kept as private account as well.
Photography: if it is full of well-taken photographs, be it travel, people, macro, or fashion, the account can turn into a gallery special for a specific type of product. people who follow the account are those who have similar interest. this aspect of Instagram creates different kinds of community.
Art: you can post pictures of your artwork, and it becomes an instant online portfolio. it happens to me. For consistently posting my work on one of my account (yes, I did separate my personal and art account), i did get some freelance jobs as well as a lot of followers. those who follow this art account are those who loves art and of the same field. art can be doodles, anime, fanarts, fashion illustration (this is my type), graphic design, etc.
Influence: Those with significant number of followers (because of their talents, beauty, etc) can be influencer, a very hype term these days. it can be an account where money is earned really well, because brands want to hire you or pay you to post their products on your account.
Business: businesses can create an account to let possible consumers know what the food, place, shoes, uniform and other company-related matters look like. it may attract users to go to their place if it is a restaurant. Or it may attract users to buy their bags. it is a marketing platform for businesses.
I think, all of these ability are ‘designed’ from the beginning. #hashtag is a feature that is originally Instagram too, allow users to search for a specific theme of images, and this #hashtag is somehow used widely for marketing/account-promoting purposes. Even personal accounts may use #hashtags too.
What’s even cooler about Instagram is the fact that it has Instastory, a Snapchat-like feature: post a temporary video, and a ‘live’ feature. This increases excitement level of the users, we can share things that we usually are lazy to share about easily. it is also beneficial for ‘education’ or gaining knowledge purposes because behind-the-scene happenings can be easily shared and seen by the followers. I know how runway looks like thanks to the live video of Dolce&Gabanna. Some brands share their instastory on how they took their editorial photographs. All those are things I would not know without Instagram. It adds colors, knowledge, experience (virtual) to those who know how wide the Instagram community is. One can easily earn money too if their accounts are followed by many. it creates new jobs and opportunities.
I believe what makes Instagram so popular compared to other image-sharing platform is their very simple and easy-to-use design. It also protects the copyright of the images too, we can sue those who steal our images if it is posted originally by us. Instagram is a safe, exciting image-sharing platform that changes life.
Honestly, I can talk so much about Instagram. partially because i’m passionate about it, and partially is because it really has so many features. I just realized how detailed Instagram is despite its simple look.