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UX Use Case: Creative Communications for Personalized Learning


In an earlier post I shared three questions every startup member should be mindful of. The questions discussed in that post reviewed the essentials of knowing how you best communicate and learn as well as what you value. If you are not familiar with the concept, I encourage you to read the post from last week titled “3 Questions Every Startup Member Should be Mindful of” for reference. In the post, I shamelessly mention that the startup I co-founded with Simone La Torre (Wafer Messenger) was focused on ensuring that our latest User Experience (UX) design change would help users to better communicate and learn.

Our detail-oriented UX design allows us to get down to the core of communication and learning principles discussed in Peter Ducker’s book Managing Oneself. As an illustration of the level of detail we have gone into, I wanted to share with you the ways that the Wafer Messenger app is addressing all the learning and communication principles associated with expressing oneself in a way that brings out your unique learning and communication style.

The idea behind this post was to really dig into how Communication/Learning (C/L) can be emphasized in your everyday life by choosing your tools purposely. I use Wafer Messenger as a use case in how our team addresses all the C/Ls, because the Wafer multi-media communication platform lends itself, as a creative messaging platform, to address all the unique styles people use to learn and interact with each other.

It’s been a great journey working on Wafer’s Messenger application. As you will probably notice in this post, we really geek out on every detail associated with how humans communicate and how we can help our users bring out their best self.

In the list below, you will find each C/L personality type and the associated Wafer features that allow users within each type to express themselves:

  • Talking: Within Wafer we have two ways for talkers to emphasize their C/L. First is by calling a phone contact using a free VoIP service. Second, Wafer also allows users to record voice messages and send those as messages within a chat stream.

  • Listening: The Wafer team has a bunch of audio freaks amongst its ranks, which means they love music and appreciate the beauty of listening to high quality sound (mostly because their C/L is “Listening”). To ensure Wafer users get the highest quality sound for VoIP and Voice Messaging, we raised the bar on audio quality within the application. Wafer users can enjoy an audio quality that is up to 11x that of a landline. The quality of audio allows you to hear all the nuances of a voice conversation that may have otherwise been missed with a lesser quality mode of audio message or call connection.

  • Reading: The Wafer team has put a lot of thought into how the UI presents a text conversation. The Wafer chat stream is minimalistic and differs from most other chats in that is does not use chat bubbles. The chat stream layout is optimized for reading quickly and with minimal effort. The layout also helps with efficient reading comprehension and aids those who may have mild reading disabilities. One of our Wafer teammates has mild dyslexia, so part of our UI design process was to ensure it was optimized for his adapted reading style. With the user data we collected through arduously watching different users (some with mild reading disabilities) we thoughtfully created/evolved our chat layout at the pixel level for maximum legibility.

  • Writing: In Wafer, the user can write free-hand with the finger or use the phone’s keyboard. We found that those who write for their C/L many times favor one version of writing (freehand vs keyboard) to maximize their talents. Wafer allows users to get very creative on how they lay out the text and drawing by allowing users to increase/decrease size, change orientation/color of text/freehand and text background color. The changes in size and color help this style of C/L by introducing variability of presentation, which keeps the user entertained and engaged.

  • Drawing: As mentioned above, Wafer has a very good freehand drawing editor for users to get creative by drawing in different colors and marker sizes. This drawing editor helps this C/L personality to get clever in expressing themselves.

  • Pictures: This, I think, goes along with visual C/L such as the previously mentioned "Drawing" category. It allows someone to see something, take a photo, and then send it as a message.

  • Video: Video mixes many of the C/Ls mentioned above such as “Talking,” “Listening,” “Pictures,” etc. It’s a great way to get a wide variety of C/Ls for most people.

  • Mixed Media: This is where Wafer truly differentiates itself. Wafer allows users to really mix any media into a single message which, I believe, puts an exclamation point on C/L diversity. You could even go so far as mixing all the previously mentioned C/Ls into a single message. You probably want to choose your medias wisely to ensure nothing gets lost in the overlapping of media; however, the idea of overlapping multiple media into a single message really helps to emphasize the platform’s versatility.

I hope this post can help you to select the tools that will allow your C/L super powers to shine. As you can see from the list above, the Wafer team is passionate about how humans communicate and how Wafer can be of service as far as messaging. We know the choice of the user needs to be earned, so it’s a good thing that the entire Wafer team is obsessed with every detail of the app UX. Furthermore, we are not just builders, we are also avid users of the Wafer Messenger application ourselves.

It’s a privilege (thanks to our investors) to build a communication platform that has an international user base with more than 600,000 downloads spread across the globe. This further motivates the Wafer team to further evolve into the best and most trusted messaging service available.

If you are a new or existing user of Wafer Messenger, please send your thoughts in Direct Message or Post Comments. I enjoy hearing feedback so I can work with the team on growing Wafer into your preferred mobile messaging application.

About me: I’m mostly focused on internet growth, culture, and startups and am the COO at Wafer Inc. When I can find time between being a co-founder and life I enjoy writing, mostly here and occasionally on Linkedin. If you enjoy my writing, subscribe or follow me on LinkedIn to see more in the future.

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