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Study And Analysis Of User Experience Of Various Social Media Platforms

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There are a lot of social media platforms in today’s world but only those few become successful those who take care of all the seven facets of user experience. All these facets plays important role in deciding the fate of the product. To become successful they need to add special features other than basic functionalities that help them stand out from the crowd. These special features that help in attracting users is known as desirability. Desirability is one of the key features that help in gaining the popularity of the social media platforms. Keywords- User Experience, Social Media Platforms, Desirability. I. IntroductionSuccess or failure of a product in market is determined by the UX of that product. UX is mostly concerned with the usability of the product. But usability is not solely related to the UX. Although usability is the main part of the ux. But we need to pay attention to all the facets of the UX to make product successful in market. In today’s world there are lots of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Googleplus, linkedin, Pinterest and many more. They offer a variety of features. But to become successful in the market they need to take care of all facets of the UX. They should ensure that their user is getting the best experience. They need to earn the trust of their users.

According to Peter Morville[1], there are 7 factors that completely describes the user experience. Sources: Peter MourvilleFig 1 Facets of User ExperienceII. Methodology A survey was conducted online as well as offline in which 100 people participated. In which there were 47 people from age group 16-26, 42 people from age group 26-38 and 11 people from age group 38-50. They were asked some questions about their views on various platforms and how they use them for which a questionnaire was prepared. All the seven factors of user experience i. e. useful, usable, findable, credible, desirable, accessible and valuable were rated out of 5. They were asked about that one particular feature of their favorite social media that makes that platform desirable. III. literature reviewSocial Media Social media platform give people the opportunity to interact and share their views with their friends, relatives and the public. Social media platforms have given young people a new way of communication which depends upon the user created content. They have a new way of interaction. It has become ubiquitous in the past ten years. [2] Social Networking can be considered as “the act of engagement”, whereas Social Media is the tool which is used for communication with the mass audience [3].

It provides you a lot of features. Different social media platforms provide you different features. There are lots of things that we can do in social media. We can post our pictures, videos. We can even ask people about their opinions. We can share where we are flying or where we have checked in. We can post some crazy picture in some interactive filters. We can post our views in just 280 words and still can be best in expressing yourself. We can even look for jobs of our interests and can endorse people for their skills. We can connect with people of different regions or our country to express on one common interest. We can form groups and interact with people. UsabilityUsability means that the product should be easy to use. Users should be able to use the product easily and achieve their goal in short time. Functionality of the product should be kept as simple as possible. It should not be made complex. For example, the basic function of air conditioner is to control the temperature of room in which it is placed. So the control of function should only compromise of basic functions like temperature increase/decrease, power on/off and timer. Hundred of control options are not required.

As it only leads to complexity and user can’t even use the product properly. The basic function of social media is to see what our friends’ activity. What if we need to follow a complex step to see their activity? This will lead to frustration and people will move to other platforms. FindableFindable means that the product must be easy to find whenever we want to use that. In case of digital products it refers that we should be able to find the features and content of product easily. If you are not able to find a product you are definitely not going to buy that product. In a dictionary, in which there are hundreds of pages or even thousands, all the words are organized in alphabetical order, whenever we need to search for meaning of any word we’ll just look for its starting character in dictionary and we can easily find the meaning of product in a very short time. What if the words in the dictionary are not arranged in sequence, then for searching even single word we need to search the whole book and it will waste our lot of time. Definitely, nobody will like to buy or use that product. In case of social media platforms, all the necessary features should be easily findable. Nobody will like to waste time on searching for the necessary features and they will move to other platforms. CredibleCredible refers to the ability of user to trust in the product that the company had provided. Product should do the work that it is supposed to do correctly. Also it should work for a considerable amount of time. Privacy of data is also important in case of social media. Randall Terry [4] said,” Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. ” Customers are not going to give you a second chance if you are going to break their trust. Company need to earn the trust of their customers, only them they are going to buy or use their products. In social media users many times users share sensitive information with their known person. It’s the responsibility of platform to provide the privacy to such kind of data. The day it fails to do so, it’ll lost its present as well as future customers. DesirabilityDesirability can be considered as an extra attribute which goes beyond usability. Usability is defined as the minimum of the design which can fulfill all the basic needs of the product. Whereas desirability is an attribute extra than usability which makes the customer to keep using the product for longer time. It acts as driving force to keep customer using the product. Desirability can be achieved by branding, aesthetics and emotional design.

There are more chances that the customer will brag and create buzz about the product that has more desirability rather than the normal product. Let us take two watch brands Rolex and XYZ. Both make designer watches. Watches of both the brands are useful, usable, findable and credible. They fulfil the basic functionality of watch that is telling the time. Still the watches of Rolex are more desirable than XYZ or other brands. That does not mean that the watches of other brands tell wrong time. Almost all the social media platforms fulfill the basic usability. But to make one stand out from the crowd it needs to be desirable. Only then it will attract more customers and retain the earlier one for a longer period of time.

Accessibility

Accessibility means that all types of users should be able to access or use the product. Be it a healthy person or a person with disability. Accessibility is mostly neglected in the process of designing. Accessibility basically means that people with disabilities can use a product. Accessibility basically means to make interface more perceivable, operable, and understandable for people having wide range of abilities [5]. It also makes products more usable by user under huge range of circumstances, environments, and conditions. For example, with accessible newspaper people with different type of disabilities should be able to get the news.

A blind person should be able to listen to the news, a deaf person should be able to read the news, a handicapped persons should be able to get the news easily without doing much movements. With accessibility more and more users can take benefit of the product. Similarly in case of social media platforms, a blind person should be able to share and receive the information in the form of audio, a deaf person should be able to share and receive the information in the form of text, a dumb person should be able to get the information using audio or text, a handicapped person should be able to get all the information by doing least physical movements. ValuableValue means that the product should deliver the value to the persons who creates it as well as to those also who creates or uses it. [6] A product should deliver more value as compared to its price. It should be kept in mind that the value is one of the key influence in purchasing decision. It decides the initial success of the product. Without value neither the user will buy or use the product nor the product will be created. For example, if there are two pens of 1$ and 100$ respectively. Both can write 50 pages. Both the pens deliver the same value to the user. So, definitely 1$ product is going to succeed as its price is low and it delivers the same value as the 100$ pen. In case of social media platforms, they must deliver the value to the business owners as well as the users. Users will not use a platform that doesn’t deliver the value to them. They will succeed only if they deliver more value to the customer or user than the value they paid for it. IV. analysisThere are a lot of social media platforms. We have analyzed the UX of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin. A survey was also conducted in which people of different age group participated and shared their views about these platforms and and what are the factors that make their favorite social media desirable. FacebookFacebook is a popular social media platform.

Firstly, facebook was released only as a website. After sometime, its android and ios apps were launched. It can be considered as the pioneer of social media era. Its UI is blue in colour which is very soothing to the eyes. First thing that we see when we enter the website is the news feed. Here, we can see all the posts of our friends. All the features are easily findable. Facebook fulfils almost all the facets of user experience. It is useful as it fulfils all the features of social media. We can easily connect with our friends. We can add friends to friend list by clicking on add friend button but the other person also needs to accept your friend request to be able to get updates from your profile. Facebook messenger is a very popular feature as we can easily send messages to our friends from our mobile phone. If someone sends us a message it pops up a bubble having the profile picture of the sender so, we don’t need to open the app separately. We just need to click the bubble and can instantly chat with friends. Thus, making it easier to use. Facebook tracks the activity of the users and uses the data to target advertisements. There are too much advertisements on it that make it annoying. So, It can’t be considered as credible. Sometimes you feel like lost in it as there are lots of features and you can’t find the particular feature you were searching for. Most of the people said that facebook is desirable because there is too much liberty on facebook. We can share multiple types of posts on it. We can even share links on it, which makes it beneficial for those people who want to promote their websites or blogs. We can even share youtube videos. It also creates personalized messages for us on various occasions which makes people feel connected with it. This connection makes it valueable.

It makes videos on our birthday and other several occasions. Still desirability of Facebook has eventually decreased in the last few years due to release of several other social media platforms. From the survey following results were obtained:Instagram was launched in October, 2010 exclusively on ios. But then after a year later its android versions was released which helped in gaining more and more popularity. Its web version was also released after sometime. It has limited features. It is mostly used as photo and video sharing platform. There are many cool feature for editing user photos and videos. We can add various filters and tags to our posts. Its UI is very impressive. Its look is clean. On home screen you can see the posts of people followed by you and their stories. There are 5 icons at the bottom representing different features. We can easily access them from there. It is useful, usable and findable. Instagram has more privacy as we can control who can see our posts or who can message us. IT records very less user activities and use that to show posts according to our interests. There are less advertisements on it. It’s also great platform to showcase our talent. Most of the people said that the photo and video editing features makes the instagram desirable. There is a new feature called boomerang which is very interesting and people like it a lot. Its stickers are pretty amazing. Its photo filter are very good. Hashtag is the other feature which makes it desirable. Double tap to like feature is loved by most of the people. We just need to double tap on the post we liked and a heart will popup and post will be liked. It enhances the experience. From the survey following results were obtained:[image: ]Fig. 3 Result of UX of InstagramTwitterTwitter is another social media platform. It is available in website, android and ios. Users posts and interact with small messages known as tweets. The limit for these messages was earlier 140 characters but then its limit was increased to 280 characters.

Almost all the celebrities, politicians and world leaders are registered on it. As it is one of the best way to share news with masses. We can information about what’s happening in the world using twitter. We can send message to masses with the help of just one tweet. It is very simple to use. It is easily usable and useful. Twitter is the one who started the trend of hashtag. We can tag various topics. We can also see trending topics. It’s very much credible. We can also share links. We can reply to the tweets of people. Twitter is the best way for breaking news. Just one tweet and the whole world will know. It has large number of active users. Despite of having limit of only 280 characters still people love to use it. Most of the people said that they love the simple look of the twitter. They love 280 words character limits as everyone need to share the message in shortest way possible. It’s the best way to express your view in just few words. There are not too much functions in it. We can see the trending hashtags, which makes us know what’s trending in the world. All the above features makes it desirable. From the survey following results were obtained:Linkedin is very popular social media platform for working professionals. It’s a business and employement-oriented service. It’s a great platform for those who are looking a job or want to grow their business network. It is too designed in blue color. There many feature that makes it desirable among working professionals. It is both usable and useful. We can search on the basis of their job profile. It also tells which is our first connection, second connection or third connection. We can search people based on the company they are working. We can create a profile like a resume in it. Where we can write our skills, our education, our work experience. It’s like our virtual resume. There are lots of features. And to keep each feature findable is not possible. Its interface is not that much impressive. It is credible and keeps our private data secure. Message suggestion is also a good feature.

When we receive message, it automatically gives us message suggestions. So, we don’t need to write the message. Just click on the message and message will be send. People post professional stuff on the Linkedin. They post for their job requirements, business network needs etc. Most of the people said that Linkedin is desirable due to its capability to search people on the basis of their job profile. We can endorse people for their skills. Which helps recruiter identify that the person is really good in the skill that he/she has mentioned. It gives us the opportunity to grow our business our business network and grow our business. From the survey, following results were obtained:[image: ]Fig 5 Result of UX of LinkedinAnalysisFrom the result of the survey, it is clear that user experience is the important part of the social media platform. Despite of having basic features of social media there needs to be some unique features that make it stand out from the competitors. It should be credible and valuable to the customer or user. Desirability is really very important these days due to large number of social media platforms. As long as product is not desirable, users will not use it.

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