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Homework 5

By Alex Yao

The Problem

Why do we have to switch between multiple applications to schedule a meeting between friends at a restaurant? How can Facebook Messenger be used to make ourselves more productive?

It is 2015: I message my friend on Facebook Messenger asking when he is free. To agree on a time to eat, we message each other a couple of times to figure out when our schedules both coincide. Once we agree on a time, we figure out which restaurant we would both like to go to. We both don’t know what we want and this leads to a 5-10 minute long back and forth about what restaurants are good since we have to switch between the Yelp app and Facebook Messenger to look up the restaurants. After we finally decide on a restaurant to go to, I call the restaurant and make a reservation. Then, I go to my Calendar application to send an invite to my friend.

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Too many applications!!!
With so much information at our fingertips, we have more choices than ever. As a result, making decisions can become difficult and the added complexity of communicating through messages as well as switching between multiple apps can become overwhelming.

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The Hypothesis

Users want to have access to information that will help them make better decisions and become more productive.

Facebook has changed the way users interact with its platform by introducing new ways messages can be utilized. Messages on Facebook are mainly text and pictures, and more recently, gifs and emojis. We can convey emotions that cannot be explained by words through gifs and emojis. However, when we want to schedule a meeting, we are unable to make a reservation to a restaurant or convey important information in a concise format like our schedule and restaurant recommendations directly within the messaging platform.

I will use Twitter as an example of a platform that is changing the way its messages, or “Tweets”, are being utilized and providing a way for users to collect data from a public forum. With Polls, users can interact with a question by pressing a button to give answer.Users do not have to clog the comments section with their answers and can discuss more important insights related to the question.
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Facebook can go further with this feature by expanding its messaging platform to allow users to convey important information from other apps they use on a daily basis and collect data/insights that they can implement in their daily lives

The Action

Solution: Expand Facebook Messenger platform to include polls/questionnaires that integrate with third-party applications like Yelp and Google Calendar.

Many of our messages are in a back and forth, question and answer format where we have to clarify questions and answers. By expanding Facebook Messenger to include polling/questionnaires that could integrate third-party apps like calendars and Yelp, the experience of setting up a meeting at a restaurant will be more productive and will provide an extra dimension of information for Facebook users. Instead of the initial situation/problem described in the beginning of this wiki, users can have a simplified experience that allows them to make decisions quickly.

By integrating Google Calendar into Facebook, users can make decisions based on their schedule and share the times they are free with their friends. When composing their messages/questionnaire, users could view their calendar without leaving the app and they can select a few times that they would be free. Then, their friends could respond by selecting a time that works for them from the questionnaire.

By integrating Yelp into Facebook, the users could specify a location and scroll through a list of nearby restaurants and select a few choices. Then, their friends could respond by selecting a restaurant that they prefer. After selecting the restaurant, the users will be prompted with a request confirming if they would like to reserve the restaurant and send a calendar invite to their friends.

Further uses of calendar data could be used for connecting third-party applications that book flights, hotels, appointments, and other service based applications.

Overall, the user experience will improve because they can communicate more information concisely and improve their productivity by reducing the amount of back-and-forth messaging in daily conversation. Especially in a group chat, this feature will reduce the amount of clutter that is involved with multiple people messaging at the same time.

The Measurement/Metric

The metrics for measuring the success of the questionnaire/polling feature will be percentage engagement (amount of users interacting with the feature/total users) and frequency of usage from users in the Facebook Messenger app.

The Actual Evaluation

If there is continued engagement with the feature, then it will be successful. The success of this feature will demonstrate one possible solution to integrating third-party apps on the Facebook Messenger platform.