||The fast development of mobile devices as well as Wi-Fi have hugely changed our ways of communications. Meeting face-to-face is no longer necessary to start a conversation, with the two gadgets at hand, we can click into our Instant Messaging, making contacts with others in anytime, anywhere we want. Instant Messaging has given us more than just a space to meet our basic needs in communication, but to encourage more exchange of our feelings and emotions.
This study, in the first part, analyzes the relevant research of instant messaging, interaction design and experience design, figuring out how instant messaging, mainly its instant messaging features, help its users in their communication. With the instant messaging applications on mobile phones as the main focus, the author of this study conducted a market research, which, as well as the analysis above, has become the basis of the second part of the research. Furthermore, a questionnaire is made to understand the users’ satisfaction in the experience of instant messaging on mobile phones. The second part of the study contains a two-phase experiment: (1) first phase: research on the interfaces of current instant messaging features: to find out the deficiency of current emoticons and photo-transferring functions, including the function and the process of operating the interaction design, the users’ subjective satisfaction. Several interviews have been made to deeper understand the needs and suggestions of the users. (2) second phase: the experiment and the demonstration of instant messaging interaction design. Using the study result in the first phase, the experiment and the demonstration are conducted to improve the current design of the interfaces. The experiment in the second phase uses related samples in order to compare with the result found in the first phase.
The results of this study are as follows: (1) Users of emoticons are used to choosing emoticons according to his/her emotions in the moment. An emotion-oriented category for emoticons would largely improve the efficiency of choosing the appropriate emotions for users, helping them find out the proper icons in a faster way. (2) In regard of photo-transferring function, it is recommended that the photos displayed on the menu to be enlarged, with serial numbers added, which would clearly help users choose photos more efficiently. Also, adding a preview page before the users upload to photos would help them realize the way their images would be presented when transferred. (3) In transferring multiple photos, a dynamic demonstration on the interface would enhance the pleasure among users, create the ambiance of more intimate interaction, and help users understand what they want to share.