Tracking forwarded message feature for WhatsApp
4 Days

Onur Senbas

A high-fi prototype, Presentation deck
I had the chance to work on a project by myself at Ironhack Bootcamp for this project. The brief was; Take an already widely adopted app and add a new feature to it.
I am excited about this topic. I’m going to add a new feature to an app I use every day.
What was given to me is; A way to retrace forwarded content.

User Research, Competitor analysis, User persona, User journey,  Design system, UX/UI Design, Prototyping.
The Brief
For this project, I will be working alone. The brief stated;
Analyze an already existing and highly adopted app and incorporate a new feature into the existing product.
Getting to know the user
I made 12 question survey for the beginning. I wanted to know about people’s messaging habits, how many group conversations they are involved in, and how often they receive forwarded messages.
Friend Groups
...have the most people on average actively participating,
followed by family\hobby groups

16 people
...would use the find the source of forwarded messages feature
Quantitative research
As you can see above friend groups have the most people participating in them, but the participants have more different group chats related to family and hobby groups. 38% of the participants say they would use the find the source of forwarded messages feature
Qualitative research
With the one-on-one interviews, I choose to focus on people with more than 1 group chat involved and get forwarded content frequently. From there it resulted in a couple of interesting pains and gains.

The common point that I noticed from my survey and interview was that; when people get forwarded content they want to learn about the source of information and the creator of the content. Even if they can ask for information about who forwarded them, people couldn’t get any useful information.
Getting information about forwarded content might help prevent misleading information and the spreading of fake news.
How might we?
With the information from the research, I created three ‘How Might We’ statements to get a better picture of how this app can prevent to spread of false information.

How might we track forwarded content sources?
How might we prevent forwarded content from spreading?
How might we tackle privacy?
The Client
According to
More than 2 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family, anytime and anywhere. WhatsApp is free2 and offers simple, secure, reliable messaging and calling, available on phones all over the world.
1 And yes, the name WhatsApp is a pun on the phrase
What's Up.
2 Data charges may apply.
Our Mission
WhatsApp started as an alternative to SMS. Our product now supports sending and receiving a variety of media: text, photos, videos, documents, and location, as well as voice calls. Some of your most personal moments are shared with WhatsApp, which is why we built end-to-end encryption into our app. Behind every product, and decision is our desire to let people communicate anywhere in the world without barriers.
Our Team
WhatsApp was founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton who had previously spent 20 years combined at Yahoo. WhatsApp joined Facebook in 2014 but continues to operate as a separate app with a laser focus on building a messaging service that works fast and reliably anywhere in the world.

Competitor Analysis
What's in the market
For a better understanding of the feature that I will create, I made a competitor analysis and listed their capabilities.
Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis

And for those companies, I couldn’t find a similar solution for this specific problem.
Identifying user's problems
After conducting the research, I used the affinity map and empathy map to get a better understanding of how a tracking forwarded content feature could help the user. Starting with creating a user persona, named Maria
User Persona
Maria is doing a Ph.D. in history and lives in Vienna. She Enjoys following newly published history articles. She texts her friends frequently. Reads a lot. Spends free time with friends. Enjoys connecting people with group chat. She wants to track forwarded content.
User journey
First, she gets a notification from WhatsApp.Sees her friend sending her a forwarded long message. She feels a bit frustrated because doesn’t like this kind of spreading messages. And tries to track the message but in WhatsApp, there is no such feature for it.
WhatsApp's Design Principles
• The interface should feel native to the device the person is using
• The app should be lightweight and require as little storage as possible
• The interface should be simple
• User actions and animations should be quick to respond
• Features should provide an obvious utility so they require little introduction

The Challenge
Problem Statement
I defined that WhatsApp users cannot track forwarded messages. That creates frustration considering that these forwarded messages are mostly containing fake news or phishing items or they are simply misleading.
Hypothesis Statement
I assume that WhatsApp users are willing to track the source of the forwarded messages. I will make sure that my statement is reliable after quantitative feedback through my survey.
Information Architecture
Happy Path
By creating a happy path, I created the path where the user gets information about the redirected content by chatting by opening WhatsApp. Starting with placing the feature, which I tested later in the process.
Maria opens the WhatsApp > Opens the conversation > Taps the Forwarded content> Keeps track of who sent it and when.
I quickly draw a path starting from the main screen and ending on the information page.
Mid-fi Testing
In the prototype, I used Useberry to test whether people can get information about the forwarded message.
About the info button, I realize people having trouble finding exactly where it is. In WhatsApp to get information about a message, you need to select the message first then you need to go to the 3 dots menu. There it’s heading you to the ‘info’ or ‘copy’ feature. After the mid-fi prototype, I add an Info pop-up just on top of the message that is selected. Then from there, people can easily find the ‘info’ button.
After making changes I tested the new prototype with a few people and the success rate increased by 4 times.
Finally, I created a small design system on Figma before jumping into the high-fi. In this way, my design process will be consistent and accurate between components across the pages.
Key Takeaways
Testing the mid-fi Prototype really important step. You can update your design and can make a more efficient user flow.

• Working by yourself it's a lot of responsibility.

• When working for a large company, you have to follow their design principles. It was instructed to try to apply these design principles to the pages you are going to design.

• While you create solutions you also need the think about your company's competitors.

Thank you for reading!
Back to Top