WeChat, the most popular social application in China, had 1 billion monthly active users as of March 2018.微信的综合服务涵盖中国日常生活的各个方面,包括社交沟通,购物,账单付款,新闻和预订服务。2017年底的产品更新在应用程序中推出了一个新的主要功能:微信迷你计划(包括迷你游戏)。迷你计划are similar to apps, but they are built within WeChat: they feel like apps within a larger app. Thus, a Chinese company can interact with users of mobile devices on four distinct channels:

  1. mobile website
  2. native app
  3. WeChat official account for that company
  4. 微信迷你程序(本研究的主要焦点]

我们想知道人们如何在这些不同渠道之间的差异以及某些任务是否更适合一个通道而不是另一个渠道。要了解出来,我们在北京与10个微信用户进行了可用性测试研究。

即使你不会设计一个微信小程序,这种可扩展用户界面的用户体验也很有趣。传统上,网站和软件应用程序是封闭的软件包,用户或第三方提供商无法扩展。相比之下,微信小程序是一种不同的体验架构,与以下产品相关:

  • Add-ins for broad software packages, such as browser toolbars and spreadsheet toolpacks (e.g., statistical analysis features that can be added into Excel for those few users who perform ANOVAs, without confusing the vast masses)
  • Facebook Messenger应用程序,支持第三方游戏,新闻和购物服务游戏and Discover sections of the app.
  • SaaS(软件作为服务)公司提供的集成应用程序(例如,Slack用户可以安装允许它们链接到Google日历事件的集成或直接从Slack应用程序内链接到Google Calendar活动或Trello卡。)
WO在U.S中的“应用程序内的应用程序”示例
在U.S.: Facebook Messenger(剩余)中的两个“应用程序中的应用程序”示例在应用程序中有游戏,并且Slack(右)支持直接链接其应用程序或网站的第三方服务。

微信迷你计划简介

对于那些不熟悉迷你程序的人来说,下面是一些它们是什么以及如何工作的例子。

  • 迷你计划are mobile apps built for and within the WeChat platform。There are mini programs for games, food delivery, shopping, ticket sales, home services, image editing, and more.
Two WeChat mini programs: The food-delivery mini program Are You Hungry (left) and the travel-booking program C trip (right). (We’ve superimposed some English translations on the screenshots for clarity.)
Two WeChat mini programs: The food-delivery mini program Are You Hungry (left) and the travel-booking program C trip (right). (We’ve superimposed some English translations on the screenshots for clarity.)
  • Users don’t need to install (or uninstall) a mini program。In our research, many users mentioned this feature and believed that it would help save storage space on their phone.
  • Discovery happens primarily from online social sharing and offline QR-code scanning。许多迷你游戏鼓励用户与其他用户分享游戏,以便在游戏中获得奖励(例如,额外的生命或奖励积分)。离线,广告QR码推广迷你计划。例如,购物中心宣传了一个用于预付停车费的迷你计划。
An advertisement for a mini program by Wanda Plaza (shopping mall) to help users prepay their parking fee
An advertisement for a mini program by Wanda Plaza (shopping mall) to help users prepay their parking fee.
  • 迷你计划can be accessed from the WeChat home screen, but they’re hidden by default.因为微信的主要功能正在聊天,所以主屏幕专用于最近的对话。要查看迷你程序,用户需要从顶部向下滑动;此操作显示最近使用的迷你程序列表。虽然刷摆很容易方便,但对于常规迷你计划用户而言,新的或不常见的用户不太可能自己发现课程,除非他们意外地刷新或与他们分享计划。
From the WeChat home screen (left), users swipe down to see a list of recently used mini programs (right).
From the WeChat home screen (left), users swipe down to see a list of recently used 迷你计划 (right).

Our study revealed insights that designers can apply when developing apps within apps, or in other limited-platform scenarios similar to WeChat’s integrated model.

5 UX Lessons from WeChat Mini Programs

1. Maintain the core functionality and content that users expect.

人们who have already used your company’s (full-sized) app have mental models and expectations about the content or services you provide. If a mini version of an application makes it hard for users to find the core content that they want, people will use the app they’re familiar with instead.

During our testing, a 36-year-old female user complained that the homepage of the JD shopping mini program was not as informative as the JD mobile app: “On the [mobile app’s] homepage, I can browse for discount information [she swipes through the carousel of images at the top]. It also displays whatever I have viewed and bought, and recommends more similar items. All that info will不是be shown in the mini program.” She felt that the mini program had less content, and therefore she didn’t want to shop on it.

comparison of the JD shopping mini program (left) and JD’s mobile app (right) showed that the mobile app had more content to browse through, including a carousel, promotions, and sections.
A comparison of the JD shopping mini program (left) and JD’s mobile app (right) showed that the mobile app had more content to browse through, including a carousel, promotions, and sections.

另一个用户是一名24岁的女性,与呼叫的食品送货服务的迷你程序版本有类似的问题Meituan。“我打开送货应用程序的第一件事就是获得一些优惠券。该应用程序每次登录时都会自动显示一些优惠券,我不知道迷你程序是否会这样做。“她打开了迷你计划,很失望:“不,没有任何[优惠券]。这一切都很昂贵。此外,在公司应用程序中,并不像在Carousel中显示的那样许多促销活动。“

如果迷你程序无法完成移动应用程序可以的所有内容,它应该支持一个切换解决方案—an easy way for users to move between the mini program and the mobile app or website to view the full content.

2. Always consider the context of use. On mobile, support quick activities and design for interruption.

在我们的研究期间,许多人抱怨说,如果在他们处于迷你计划的时候到达了,他们无法轻易检查消息,然后在程序中恢复任务。相反,他们不得不退出程序来查看邮件。不幸的是,一些迷你程序没有保存用户的进步,强迫他们重新开始。由于其核心,微信是一个社交通信工具,迷你程序应设计为容纳多任务处理。为了最大限度地减少中断的可能性,流动应高效并具有最低限度interaction cost。Here are some suggestions for implementing these principles:

  • 保存用户的进步,以便他们稍后可以返回任务。A racing mini game called快乐的球允许用户省去他们的进度并以后回到它。一个20岁的男性用户称赞这个功能:“当我无聊时,我主要在公共交通工具和课堂上播放。这一切都是碎片时间。这让我可以停下来,不要失去我的地方,这很好。“
  • Send reminders for users to continue where they left off。Knowing that users may be interrupted during checkout, JD will send a WeChat notification in about half a day if a user left the payment page of the JD mini program without completing the task. This type of reminder can help users who forgot that they’d left something in their shopping cart.
如果用户离开了JD Shopping Mini程序的付款页面,JD.com的微信帐户将发送一个提醒消息,即购物车中仍有一个项目。
如果用户离开了JD Shopping Mini程序的付款页面,JD.com的微信帐户将发送一个提醒消息,即购物车中仍有一个项目。
  • 通过基于微信账户数据具有良好的默认值,最大限度地减少用户努力。例如,JD MINI程序可以在付款页面上自动填写用户的信息(地址和电话号码),因为JD帐户已连接到用户的微信帐户。因此,即使是第一次开放JD Mini程序的用户也可以享受“一键付款”,而且不必输入其详细信息。

3. Take advantage of the platform’s core functionality.

Many users mentioned that they learned about most mini programs and mini games from group chats or from friends. Good mini programs take advantage of the WeChat’s core functionality, which is communication. For example, JD’s mini program promoted group purchases on the homepage even more than the mobile app did. (Group purchases work by offering a discount on a product if enough people agree to purchase the item. If an item doesn’t get enough orders, no one gets the product.) The emphasis on group purchases makes sense in the WeChat context, because the platform makes it easy for users to share a link to their WeChat friends and invite them to participate in a group purchase.

Encouraging users to share is good for your business. However, don’t overdo it! During our testing, many users complained that mini programs, especially mini games, forced them to share content with others. Participants explained, “If I need to share a game to get rewards and keep playing, I’d rather not even get the rewards,” and “Compulsory sharing is the worst.” A 20-year-old male user said, “People will share on their own if you have really good content — Don’t force me to do it like a pyramid scheme.”

4.设计具有不常见的用户的迷你程序。

我们的许多研究参与者表示,他们更喜欢迷你计划,以便他们偶尔使用的服务在手机上保存空间。例如,用户解释说,“如果我只需要每月使用一次函数,我会使用迷你程序。例如,干洗。我不需要下载一个用于干洗的应用程序。我可以使用迷你计划。“设计师应该figure out the needs of occasional users and address them in the mini program directly

一个很好的例子是SF Express Mini计划,用于邮政货物。与更全面的移动应用程序相比,这个迷你计划通过围绕最常见的用户任务居中居中挑选了偶尔使用,安排拾音器

The SF Express’s mini program (left) featured Schedule pickup, which was the main need for users who occasionally used the service; in contrast, the corresponding mobile app (right) had many more features.
The SF Express’s mini program (左)特色计划拾音器,主要是偶尔使用该服务的用户的主要需求;相比之下,相应的移动应用程序(右)具有更多功能。

Infrequent use requires extreme usability and an emphasis on quick learning, because you can’t assume that users will accumulate knowledge about the design with extended use. Traditional usability guidelines also apply to mini programs. Here’s an example from our study:

  • Design simple navigation for learnability。For example, Carrefour’s mini program used icons and texts in the navigation bar, which was friendly for older adults. A 55-year-old male user who didn’t even know how to search for a mini program could easily browse different categories and items in this program, because it was simple and intuitive enough.
家乐福的迷你计划使用了清晰的导航,图标和大图片;这些功能支持新手和高级用户。
家乐福 mini program 使用清晰的导航,图标和大图片;这些功能支持新手和高级用户。

5支持无缝跨渠道过渡。

客户可以与许多不同渠道的组织进行互动:移动应用程序,移动网站,桌面网站,微信迷你程序,微信官方账户等。设计师应考虑整个客户旅程,提供一个seamless user experienceacross channels.

  • 简化信道切换。A good example is how JD shopping notified users when the item they wanted was back in stock. Since, unlike WeChat official accounts, mini programs are not able to send notifications, the JD mini program offered a QR-code of the corresponding JD WeChat official account; following this account allowed users to receive messages from JD and find out when their item became available. During our testing, a user followed this process and got a notification for the VR glasses he wanted to order. He commented, “It is very considerate of this company.”
JD购物迷你计划LED用户在不同的频道(JD的微信官方账户)中,如果他们对不可用的功能感兴趣mini program (getting notifications when a product was back in stock).
JD购物迷你计划LED用户在不同的频道(JD的微信官方账户)中,如果他们对不可用的功能感兴趣 mini program (当产品恢复库存时收到通知)。
  • 在要求用户切换到另一个频道之前提供一些内容。频道之间的切换具有高的感知成本:用户需要相信转型值得努力以使其成为努力。在我们的测试期间,一个迷你计划需要用户遵循公司的微信帐户以获取有关其产品的更多信息。因为这要求太快了(she’d barely opened the mini program and clicked a button), she left the program immediately.
迷你计划要求用户在打开程序后尽快订阅公司的微信账户,并单击主页上的按钮。一名学习参与者立即离开了迷你计划。
A mini program 问用户订阅公司的微信ccount soon after they opened the program and clicked a button on the homepage. One study participant left the mini program 立即地。
  • 为切换通道提供简单的路径。在我们的研究期间,一位37岁的女性用户真的很喜欢一个迷你计划,Heika相机,可以美化Hercat的照片。她想下载移动应用程序,但她浏览,无法找到从迷你程序访问移动应用程序的方法。

Conclusion

微信迷你计划是一个新的互动渠道;任何时候都可以预期这样的新渠道在任何地方出现。设计师必须灵活,并使他们的产品适应这种新的互动方式。

为了利用这些新的机会,了解自己的优势和局限性是很重要的。如果您发现自己在应用程序中设计应用程序或设计有限功能频道(例如,a智能手表, 一种语音助理), keep these points in mind:

  • Add value to the product based on the context and frequency of use.
  • 考虑切换频道的成本以及如何使转换无缝化。
  • 为该平台用户提供内容和视觉效果。