8/19/2012

Lessons learned from Tencent’s Wechat by Xiaolong Zhang

The presentation is divided into 5 parts:
- Wechat History
- On User
- On Requirement
- On Design
- On Interaction

Highlight points on User
- People is lazy, let them do/click less in order to reach some goal
- People likes fashion, do something really cool to attract them
- People lacks of patience, do not let them read manual or tip
- People’s time is fragmented, do not give them some task that needs lots of continues time
- People gets stupid when they are in mass, treat them somewhat stupid without too much judge
- People is emotional, they seeks for inner satisfaction, for the feeling of being
- People likes uncertainty, the has  lots of curiosity to unknown stuff
- People is social animal, they want to know more people
- Know your user from psychological perspective

Highlight points on Requirement
- Product is designed to satisfy some desire that lives in people’s heart and daily life
- Satisfy user, don’t put too much moral judge in your product design
- Purify and abstract all the feedback got from end user, don’t just do what user tells you literally
- Try to get to know your target user from weibo/forum etc.
- Revolutionary product comes out when the society changed
- Different people usually has some common requirement, that’s the most important thing you need to work on
- Associate feature requirement with psychological desire, people is emotional
- Think in large scale and massive group for social product/feature
- Focus on few but vital scenarios, ignore other trivial stuff
- Polling/survey can only help you improving existing feature, can’t help you  on new product/feature
- Feature requirement comes from solving problems form you and your friends

Highlight points on Design
- Evolve your product gradually, you can’t design a perfect product at the first hit, every product has it’s own life cycle
- Products that has clear DNA will survive longer time
- Design the product structure first, and then focus on detail
- Categorizing, make things clean and clear
- Loving abstraction, make things simple and easy
- Design from scenario, not feature list
- Be careful about over design
- Drop feature that won’t makes you and user exciting
- Responsiveness is the king of user experience
- Ship feature gradually, don’t move too fast, change too much in one step
- Give user the rights to choose, core + plugin
- Respect your user: protect their privacy,  save their temporary input, broadcast message signed by real name, not “system administrator”
- One thing for all, not one version for one zone
- Design for user, user is the major role, not design itself
- Makes things as nature as possible, don’t makes people think
- Hide technology from common user
- Focus, less is more

Highlight points on Interaction
- UI serves for feature
- Makes it simple and clean
- Each screen has its own topic
- Hide numbers

Some Comments- Emphasized too much on the importance of product manager. Most of the time, whether a product will succeed (especially in China) depends on what product you are going to do and what’s the platform you can leverage. For social product, existing user data and connection is the most important thing.
- Product manager is not god. God determines everything, but product manager should design product as desired (explicitly or implicitly) by user.
- Too many critics on competitor’s product design, but those features are what I (as a normal user) think Wechat should add.
- Wechat is the most successful product in the market, but what’s the real reason? Because it’s different feature design? The only reason I think is that it’s backed by Tencent, which has large mount of QQ user and its binding to QQ friends.
- He said a lot about avoiding “over design”, but also talks about too much on active design.
- The presentation lacks of something called “无为而治”, whether a product will success or not, what the final running system will look like is not only determined by how product manager design it, but also by how people interact with it.
- He should also thanks to QQ user data, to the competitors, to the creator of kik, to the great mobile Internate  time.

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