Tencent QQ UX design – Chinese user experience products is picking up…are we ready for the combat?

Posted on April 27, 2010


This article is about an reflection on a user experience design of a popular Chinese chatting software – QQ. I think UX experts can learn from about International digital products business development and culture barrier issues by studying their case. QQ has proven to be the best chatting software among all existing ones(it has the richest user experience and the most users) – it’s business models deserve to be studied by western cultures.  Chinese has a unique way of thinking user experience design in terms of life-enhancing patterns – we’ve seen this country is moving from imitation to innovation. For me this process is thrilling – Western investors and entrepreneurs, is it too late to enter China?

– Wei Zhou

I’ve recently seen an article from Tencent QQ official site: http://cdc.tencent.com/?p=2464


Background: Tecent QQ is the dominating instant messaging software in China. I personally believe it will be the dominating reasons for Facebook and Twitter to fail in China. This software has existed for over 20 years and it’s influence is encompassing. Chinese’ three generations are using it and it togethers with Baidu(A chinese Google), Taobao(a Chinese eBay) and Xiaonei/Kaixin(Chinese facebook) to form Chinese digital UX patterns. Recently Tencent officially announced their new prototype. It’s claim for practicing “natural interface design” reflects some Zen thoughts. It’s fresh and original interface is worth to see.

Development process(translated from their official site):

This prototype is Tencent QQ’s first NUI(Natural User Interface)product. In addition to the basic instant messaging feature, it also includes dynamic profile pictures, dynamic backgrounds, Multi-tab windows, 3D Interaction, Vector Interact and Desktop friends short-cut…

The original interface lights up the users: It triggers a lot more emotions. The interface is life-enhancing. It delivers an imaginary space beyond time and space dimensions. The expressions of interface is bold and colorful…It supports better mouse interaction and touchscreen interaction integration.

There’s two trends involved in the design process: Personified and materialized processes. Keywords are: Life force, time and space. This means the product design concerns day-to-day life stories. The interaction model should have a “breathing” effect.Design changes in different time settings, etc.,

Brain storming process:

Wireframes and prototyping:

Interesting pane emotion selector:

Visual Languages:

Profile Manager:

Friends management:

Dynamic backgrounds:

Pie panel enhances touchscreen interaction:

I will add QQ’s business models tomorrow. They did a great job on integrating online Ads into this product smoothly and seamlessly.

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