- To Perform the research part of the design process to understand how my family and users of 30+ age use WhatsApp.
- The purpose is to understand their behavior, usage patterns, and gather insights.
- There is no product being designed but the goal is to form a complete picture of how they use it.
- Accumulated data through secondary research and discovered insights.
- Led a user survey to approve some theory by some quantitative research and statistics.
- Conducted a contextual inquiry with my family members.
Secondary Research 💡
I chose to begin my research with some Secondary Research to gather the necessary understanding of the topic and find statistics around the usage of WhatsApp in India.
- Before the Jio effect almost every Indian user considered internet and online applications as leisure
- After the year 2017, internet data became super affordable, which unknowingly increased the Indian users’ social media applications.
- According to BBC, WhatsApp users in India will reach 450 million by the year 2020.
- The increasing popularity of WhatsApp among every user group has changed the way people used to communicate.
How Reliance Jio made internet data affordable for every Indian citizen.
BBC report mentions the immense growth of Indian users on WhatsApp.
India is skyrocketing in terms of internet usage and the number of users. With many sources backing up to the JIO Effect 🚀
WhatsApp has become a breeding ground for fake videos, distorted messages and disinformation, thanks to its complex system of anonymity.
Social media rumours in India: counting the dead - BBC News
Fake news spread on WhatsApp to Indian Americans plays stealth role in U.S. election
Coronavirus: Viral WhatsApp messages ‘drop 70%’
Inside India’s WhatsApp Boom: Why its Disinformation Crisis is Only Going To Get Worse
During the coronavirus fight, WhatsApp is a liability
Beware of WhatsApp Forwards Suggesting Miracle Treatments For Coronavirus; They Are ALL Fake
Although WhatsApp also had a positive impact in India.
4 innovative ways India is using WhatsApp
WhatsApp service and helpline number launched for women
WhatsApp becomes medium of education for students amid lockdown
How WhatsApp Is Becoming a Medium for Public Grievances Redressal in India
Some funny and interesting findings.
‘Good morning’ messages in India are clogging up the internet
I want to file a case against a WhatsApp admin for removing me and my spouse from a group without a valid reason. Can it be done as it ha…
Whatsapp Freezes Because Indians Send Over 100 Crore Good Morning Messages It Just Can’t Handle
After researching a ton of resources and user behavior and pattern of WhatsApp usage. I was able to form some questions for my further explanation.
User Survey 📃
I created a user survey form based on my secondary research and told My friends and family members to share it on their family or other relevant groups.
Key takeaways covered in the survey form.
- The user survey mainly target user audience of 30+ age groups.
- To understand how familiar are Indian users with various WhatsApp features.
- What type of content they consume.
- How do they approach misinformation and forward spam in a group.
- Types of groups they actively participating in.
- Which type of internet carrier they rely on for WhatsApp.
Key insights from the user survey.
Majority of the user (85%) were working professionals and 15% were housekeepers.
Users in the targeted age group joined WhatsApp mostly via friends or family invites. While the remaining others joined for work related purposes.
Users were mostly familiar with all the new major features on WhatsApp. While WhatsApp Web being the least recognized and WhatsApp status being the most recognized.
Most time daily spent on WhatsApp was majorly 2+ hours making the app really an important of their daily life’s.
While most of the users used the app for casual chats and communication there was a rise in work related group as well as shopping groups
Surprisingly, most users encountered message spamming and misinformation, and almost 22% chose to do nothing. While the other 27% left the group, and 22% muted the group.
All of responsers choose WhatsApp as their primary social media platform.
Friends really are useful sometimes 🙃
Contextual Inquiry 🏢
Contextual inquiry involves observing people in their natural context and asking them questions to fill in your observation gaps. If I’m looking to create a more efficient application, I would observe someone using an existing application (in this case, WhatsApp), taking notes on what works and what doesn’t work.
Key things I’ll be covering in my contextual inquiry are
The rationale behind the choice of users
I sought users who are representative of the target market for our application. In particular, I sought out people who were busy and had lots of activities to plan for.
Insights and Outcome from the inquiry
WhatsApp has a significant influence on overall communication types, from casual chats to formal work conversation.
While most of the users used the app for casual chats and communication, there was a rise in the work-related group as well as shopping groups
The user was also seen using WhatsApp as a note keeping and content storing app.
WhatsApp web offered user an ease of cross-platform usability which made transferring of files and data very efficient between multiple type of devices.
Personal experience and Statistics ✒
After closely observing my family group and taking notes of common user habits I was able to export the group chats and visualize the data in to precise statistics according to my personal experiences
Final thoughts and Insights 💹
WhatsApp has a significant influence on every Indian citizen. It has officially broken the age barrier, as seen from the research. The senior users have found their behavioral patterns by using it daily, not just for casual chats but also for critical work-related conversations.
Whatsapp is trying to evaporate the distance between the users and their loved ones. It shows that despite being away in the lock-down, the people they care about are near them, and they can have a conversation anytime, just like they are with them. And they should not worry about their privacy because Whatsapp is taking care of that.
By my observation, WhatsApp has tried to get around its limitations around misinformation. It has launched a public-education campaign, limited message forwarding, and added a label that shows when a message has been passed on from others, which could be an indicator of misinformation. However, users are still reporting forward, misinformation spams, and having no choice but to leave certain groups.
WhatsApp has many underrated features that only some portion of users recognized or knew about it. Whatsapp web being one of the underrated parts, was very highly used, and people were found using it even while working due to its cross-platform nature.