How might we make the experience of exchanging stickers for Whatsapp users so they can find the best sticker they want to use in the shortest amount of time?
WhatsApp's mission is to help users "stay in touch with friends and family, anytime and anywhere". Since 2018, when the stickers feature was first introduced, users can send pre-made stickers or even create their own on external apps. It's estimated that 4 in 5 users send stickers on WhatsApp, that amounts to a whooping 1,6 billion users that explore this feature.
Since most of WhatsApp is used on smartphones, communication is expected to be faster and more practical, but users still want it to be fun/cool so stickers have become a big part of WhatsApp culture. Adobe for World Emoji Day claims that “83% of young adults that own smartphones feel more comfortable to share emotions through pictures rathen than words." Research done by the University of São Paulo also found that the context of the pandemic increased the usage of stickers.
However, the problem is there's no way to search for specific stickers with the rare exception you create your own stickers. Apps like Sticker.ly have over 1 million downloads but while conduction our own research, 60% of users surveyed simply save stickers they receive from others. All those are saved under a favorites file, making it almost impossible to find one as there is no form of tagging, filtering or labeling for stickers that are not made by WhatsApp itself.
User Pain Points
A survey and two one-on-one user interviews were conducted to determine how user find stickers, and categorize their stickers on WhatsApp.
2 out of 3 users complained about losing the timing to send a relevant sticker over not being able to find it, and how that impacted negatively in the conversation;
66,% of users find difficult or very difficult to find specific stickers on the platform;
45% stated always or frequently struggling to find relevant stickers;
Only 23% responded to never sending a wrong sticker by misclicking;
Our preliminary user research also revealed two users find the area in wich stickers are displayed on screen to be quite limited, and demonstrated interest in having it expanded.
Landing on the Solution
Based on our target users’ pain points, we knew we wanted to work on the following features:
- Keyword search to diminish the time it takes to find a relevant sticker;
- Folders for categorization
- Window expansion for the help users have a better view of their sticker library;
- Select-before-send feature (as are emojis) to avoid misclicking and sending incorrect stickers
Explanation of Solution
Stacker's goal is to help users find relevant, and specific stickers in the shortest amount of time. By introducing features that can categorize, filter, and search, we can minimize user frustration, and facilitate communication between users.
What we learned from speaking to users is simple solutions would already massively improve UX such as expanding the search area for stickers. A highly popular feature like stickers will continue to see users interacting with it but there is desire, and room, for improvement. As WhatsApp moves to allow users to create their own stickers within the app, with the assistance of AI, categorizing and an efficient search engine will continue to improve UX along with the innovations launched for the app.
Product Manager Learnings:
Co.lab was exactly the type of experience I was looking for, the opportunity to act as a PM taught me to focus on the problem space before tackling the solution to ensure it'll actually solve the user's problem, and conducting a proper user research will lead you to the most accurate solution. Most importantly it also showed me how crucial it is to know how to communicate my product and my ideas to certify the team I'm collaborating with comprehends my decision making process and we can build something that will impact users' experiences with our product.