A website with good design usually has a good navigation structure, an appearance consistent with the brand Visual Identity, optimised for SEO (search engine optimisation), and is building trust in your brand. All of the above rules apply to WeChat design.
But is that all you need to make your WeChat website standout from the millions of other competitors’ accounts?
Let’s look at a few well designed WeChat accounts.
1. Chumenwenwen (出门问问)
Chumenwenwen decided to take the minimalist approach of completely integrating the company’s core technology, Chinese voice recognition system, with the WeChat backend so that users can simply speak with the account.
You can for example send a voice message to the account asking: “what are the movies showing around me?” The account will automatically reply with a list of movie showing around your current location. You can browse the schedule, and purchase discounted movie tickets within a few clicks.
Users can also find restaurants, search for a specific location, book hotels, and even find information about pieces of music. The integrated design makes user experience so intuitive that it works like magic.
JoySeed sells breakfast subscriptions. As you get onto their website, the first thing you see is 5 large pictures of the ingredients used in their breakfast menus. The visual design puts emphasis on company’s value of fresh, healthy and nutritious breakfasts.
Click on any picture and you will get into a sliding website that display every item included in the breakfast box. And as you get down to the last slide, you are only provided with one possible action: order now.
By limiting the options, Joyseed guided users toward a well designed unique path. Visitors are thus able to make quick decisions without hours of browsing.
(WeChat id: joy_seed)
3. Didi Dache (滴滴打车)
Didi Dache’s WeChat page has the same function as their native APP. Users use Didi Dache to book taxis, and that is exactly what you can do on their WeChat account. Simply by entering a destination, you can book a taxi just like in the native APP.
Didi also leverages the social aspect of WeChat design. You can customize a shareable message and receive credit when your friends click on it. The best WeChat design integrates their service with the social aspect of WeChat so that every user can be turned into a marketing agent.
(WeChat id: dididachegf)
4. Secret (秘密）
Secret is a social APP enabling users to send anonymous messages within their friend circle. Besides complaints, confessions, and gossips, Secret can be used for dating. On its WeChat account, users can play a game called “Love at first sight”. The account displays a deck of card that shows other user’s WeChat name, profile picture and location information, which you can “like” in a very “Tinderish” way. If both of the user like each other, they can enter into a chat room.
The idea isn’t anything new, but it’s a good example of attracting WeChat users to play a game without having to register, thus building the habit of visiting the account and eventually converting the users to download the native APP.
(WeChat id: Secret-China)
5. Nike + Run Club
Nike + Run Club provides training program through it’s WeChat account. Users can choose a goal, for example to train for marathon in 6 weeks, and the account will provide a training schedule with specific tasks for each week.
You can also start running and ask your friends to join you at the finishing location. Like most of the best WeChat designs, it uses the location based services which are specific to the mobile WeChat experience, while making it social and interactive.
(WeChat id: NikeRunClub)
Linfan is one of my favorite WeChat accounts when it comes to WeChat design and creative viral campaigns. One of its most successful campaign is a project called “Drawing 100,000 Cats”. Users can draw a cat and share the drawing on their WeChat moments, friends can comment and rate the drawing, and of course, draw their own cats to share.
When you first visit their website, you immediately see the number of cats people have drawn in real time. The design attracts users to learn more about the campaign, see the cats other people drew, and draw one by themself. The use of touch-screen for drawing is also leveraging the mobile nature of WeChat.By making most functions available directly on WeChat, Fanlin attracted millions of users to draw on their drawing board. Users are also encouraged to download a native APP to use more extensive functions.
This is a great example of how companies can use WeChat as a conversion channel to incentivize users to later download native APPs.
(WeChat id: LIFE-FUN-SHOP)
Aligned with Evernote’s website and APP design, the WeChat website of Evernote is simple and useful. On Evernote’s WeChat, users have only two options: login to your Evernote, or create an account. Once you logged in, you can view all your shared documents. This design is very close to the native APP design.
(WeChat id: myyxbj)
8. Movie (电影票)
This is an account operated by Tencent providing services to buy movie tickets.
The first page enables you to browse through a list of movies currently showing. Once you selected a movie, you can watch the trailer, read basic information and related news, and of course purchase movie tickets.
After your purchase, you can see a seat map of the cinema and select your seat. The intuitive design leads users via a smooth path to purchase their movie tickets without leaving WeChat.
(WeChat id: movie)
9. Qiechihe (企鹅吃喝指南）
Not all great WeChat designs have to link to a HTML page, Qiechihe is a good example of account that brings good design within basic WeChat posts. This is an account helping Chinese users with no previous knowledge of wine and French food to pick the right products through analogies and infographics.
For example, this diagram helps people pick the right type of steak based on which part of chicken they prefer.
The above infographic explains the weather impact on Bordeaux wine in the year 2011.
Well designed infographics are very effective at telling a story and fitting complex information into a mobile screen. By using this approach, Qiechihe draws thousands of foodie followers to its WeChat account.
(WeChat id: qiechihe)
Finally, we love Elle Magazine’s mobile website design. It is built according to the concept of Google’s material design. Every piece of the website is a layer that takes users to a sub layer of content. The transition from a layer to another layer is connected with appropriate animation effects that enable to focus attention, maintain continuity and carry semantic meaning.
Although it’s not a WeChat website, it could easily be linked with a WeChat account and its design principles apply perfectly to WeChat HTML5 websites.
One little drawback is that the navigation can be confusing for first time users. However who would complain about getting a little lost in the world of fashion?
Conclusion: WeChat design is more than web design.
WeChat design is different from a desktop website design as people browse content with a shorter attention span (in the subway or during lunch break), small screen size, and quick search for answer or distraction. WeChat also provides you with the opportunity to leverage more functions than traditional mobile websites: geo-location, voice recognition, WeChat login and easier interface with multiple services (e-commerce, payments, sharing, etc…). By putting attention on both the design of your WeChat account and by ensuring that you leverage these unique functions, you will make sure that your account stands out from the estimated 8 millions public accounts currently operating.