How Updates Have Harmed Snapchat’s UX Design

Since first launching in September 2011, Snapchat has undergone a number of changes and redesigns. For the most part, these have been relatively minor changes, introducing features such as filters, location sharing, and other interactive elements. Snapchat has proven to be one of the most fun and most popular apps ever created, however, some of the recent changes have irked a small section of the fanbase. Over the last couple of months, users have noticed an avalanche of updates that have introduced changes of questionable value.

Sharing Stories

The most recent of these changes, as detailed in this article by DesignRush, is the change which allows users to share Snapchat stories on social media, or elsewhere online. This is a feature that many users have been asking for, but its implementation left a great deal to be desired. The biggest issue was that only users who were part of Snapchat’s Discover program, and were, therefore, representing an established publication or brand, were able to generate the shareable link to their video. This has meant that the average user hasn’t been able to benefit from the change.

A New Interface

The other big change which hasn’t gone over too well is the new user interface, which many people feel has been rushed. The company announced back in November that it was going to be giving the app a major redesign, but when it finally landed it was a disappointment. Users found it to be needlessly difficult to navigate with a jumble of options and features that many found confusing.

One of the changes the new interface bought with it was moving the position of Snapchat Stories so that, instead of swiping left on the camera screen to access friends stories, users now had to swipe right. The goal was to make a users’ snaps, stories, and messages available on one screen and streamline the experience for the user. Unfortunately, the change instead resulted in a messier and less intuitive interface.

Snap Stories

Another deeply unpopular design choice in the new interface was the change to the way that snap stories are organized. Rather than have them ordered by the time that they were last updated, they are now ordered in the same way that Facebook and Instagram order their content, by prioritizing content from the friends that the user interacts with the most.

As a result of this change, if you want to find the story of someone who isn’t one of your friends in amongst all the others, then you will have to search for it specifically. This is another change that ultimately slows things down for the user and takes away from the apps streamlined interface.

Will it Matter?

Despite the fairly negative reaction to the update, it hasn’t done much to seriously damage Snapchat’s user numbers. The app is still one of the most popular out there, and the design choices haven’t proven so serious that users abandon the app entirely. The article from DesignRush mentioned above details the previous user interface changes that Snapchat has undergone.