A lot of users share important information on Skype, especially when using Skype in professional context. Sometimes it’s difficult to find that info in Skype due to search limitations or because simply you cannot recall exact terms to look for that info with. Ability to bookmarks or save the message for later use should help with this issue and will make life of our users easier.
Choosing Bookmark Icon
There was an opened question about which icon we should use for bookmarks. So, I prepared quick user testing for the following question: Which of these icons BEST represents bookmark?
We recruited 30 test participants via UserTesting.com to review two different icons, star and label icon. Test participants were people of all ages and genders from all over the world. We used rating question with 5 point scale: Strongly disagree (1) – Strongly agree (5). We presented participants these icons in the context of a chat conversation, see tested variants below.
Summary of results
Average rating for star icon is 3.5 of 5 and only 50% of people agree that star icon best represents bookmarks. On the other, label icon achieved average rating 4.2 and 74% of all participants agree that label icon best represents bookmarks. Moreover, 60% strongly agree that the label icon best represents bookmark. Winner was Variant 2 – Label icon.
User experience and interface process
Skype has right click and long press behaviours in desktop and mobile. Users can bookmark messages by right click on chat bubbles in desktop and by long press for mobile. After discussions in grooming meetings, Program Managers wanted to show bookmarked messages inside of gallery. I was thinking it will be hidden and unexpected for our users. So I came up another entry point for bookmarked messages under profiles. I strongly believed finding bookmarked messages per person under profile will be more clear. Next step was usertesting how to find bookmarked messages in 2 different variants. I created clickable prototypes in Invision and tested in UserTesting.com.
In two variants, way of bookmarking message and finding global bookmarked messages are same. We tested finding bookmarked messages per person. After bookmarking messages, we asked users to find them. You can check 2 prototypes from these links:
Variant 1 – Finding bookmarks per person under profile page:
Variant 2 – Finding bookmarks per person inside of gallery:
We wanted to measure user experience across three areas in the flow – Bookmark message, Find all bookmarks and Find Suzi’s bookmarks (finding local bookmarks per contact).We recruited 20 participants who are familiar with the concept of bookmarking and actively using it. We split these participants into two groups (10 in each group) and presented them one task for each experience area. Both groups have two identical control tasks for Bookmark message and Find all bookmarks, so we can compare results. Then we gave them one more task for Find Suzi’s bookmarks area which had different variants of prototypes.
Winner was Variant 1, but still finding bookmarks rates were not good enough.
- Experience for bookmarking a message is really smooth without problems. Participants only asked and where can I find my bookmarks now?
- The gallery is associated with media content instead of possibility to access also bookmarks, so participants did not expect them there. On the other hand, users wanted to search for bookmarks in regular search or in the list of all bookmarks.
- Participants expected to access local bookmarks under contact’s profile. Unfortunately, contact’s header in chat does not look clickable, so people tried to click on contact’s image in chat or recent list. We should make contact’s header look more clickable, for example display contact’s image there.
To make clear where are bookmarked messages, I came up with using couchmark after message is bookmarked. Couchmark will appear on top-left profile picture right after bookmarking message. We tested this variant quickly and <Finding bookmarks> step was completely clear for users and we got 4.8 rate out of 5. See couchmark version below.
We decided to perform also usability testing for a mobile variant of bookmarking flow. We wanted to get some comparable results for mobile versus desktop variants. So, we tried to keep a test as much similar to the previous tests as possible but still incorporate some tweaks. We recruited 10 participants via UserTesting.com who are familiar with the concept of bookmarking and actively using it.
- Participants tried to bookmark message directly by tapping on message.
- Participants usually noticed icon indicator for a newly bookmarked message like on a desktop.
- Often, participants also tried to click on message or label (bookmark) icon to access the bookmarks like on a desktop. So, allowing to access bookmarks via label icon or with context menu can be a good shortcut.
- Users again asked for the possibility to search among bookmarks in a list of them. – After this feedback, we added search for bookmark lists.
According to usertesting results, we got really high rates and decided to go for this approach. See below.