Messaging Best Practices Guide

From WhatsApp to Airbnb, messaging has become the dominant paradigm for online social interactions. Users know and love their messaging apps—and won’t settle for anything that doesn’t measure up. Now that messaging is driving commercial interactions, as we’ve seen in the rise of bots and conversational commerce, the bar for user experience is higher than ever.

The difference between an ok-ish and a great messaging experience is in the details. Users are accustomed to instant gratification and expect fast performance and rich media. Done well, in-app messaging can drive transactions, raise conversion rates and build loyalty. Conversely, things like slow load times, a lack of delivery and typing indicators, and an overly basic user experience (such as limiting messages to text-only) defeat the purpose of having a branded messaging app in the first place.

How do you get from bare-bones chat to an experience that fully capitalizes on the benefits of the messaging revolution? It’s about more than just integrating photos and emojis. You’ll get there by thinking strategically about every piece of the messaging interaction so that each message embodies the nuances of a personal connection. Now let’s look at the foundation, frame and bricks of what defines the world-class messaging experience.