When phones started looking physically good, their software had to look good too. For Android, Google relies on its material design visual principle, and that dictates how apps must look and feel to the user. However, not all follow that principle.
Take Snapchat for example. Sure, it's a useful app, but navigating it can be quite hard for some, especially Android users unaccustomed to the nuances and complexities of a modern user interface. Snapchat is losing users, and there's reason to think that its design is one element that's turning people away. So it's now going to take steps and remove that barrier.
Snapchat Promises Major Redesign
Snap Inc. wants everyone to be comfortable using the app moving forward. The company has now announced in an earnings report that it's planning a "disruptive" design overhaul to make the app more usable for all ages. It's doing this because "one thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use."
Snap Inc.'s Q3 earnings missed Wall Street's expectations. Since going public, the company hasn't had any lucky breaks. Only 4.5 million new users joined Snapchat during the quarter, quite below Wall Street's prediction of 8 million. Snap Inc.'s ad rates also took a beating, down 60 percent year-over-year.
It's hard to ascertain whether Snapchat's slow growth is due to its app being too hard to understand, but making it easier to use could surely help rein in those who aren't too tech-savvy.
Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel admitted the redesign could be disruptive to its business in the short-term because it can't predict how users will react to the new design. He noted, however, that the company is willing to take the risk, as it believes the change will reap "substantial" long-term benefits.
The New Snapchat Design Will Make Discovering Content Easier
What design changes are being planned remain unclear at this point, but the CEO noted that the overhauled app will focus on improving the way users discover content. At the same time, it'll maintain the "exploratory nature" of Snapchat.
"We think that there is a big opportunity to surface some of this content in a personalized and more relevant way, while still maintaining the exploratory nature of our service," Spiegel said.
In addition to design changes, Snap also promised it will improve its streaming architecture for Stories, which it says will drive growth in developing markets with poor internet speeds.
Snap Inc.'s full earnings report for Q3 is available online.
What do you make of Snapchat's design overhaul plans? Do you think it'll drive user growth? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!