It’s when I realized that I personally needed a tool to help me manage my relationships that I started to look. My problem was that because I’m generally quite busy, I simply forget to keep up and reach out to all the people I want to stay in touch with. So I started to look for an app that would solve my issue.
From all the apps I’ve found, I’ll present the 3 that where to closest to actually solving my problem (even if none of them actually did). For each, I’ll explain exactly why they failed to solve this issue and why no one is really using them.
Ntwrk — Simplistic but Annoyingly complicated
At first, it seemed great: simple and effective, but it isn’t.
I need to think too much!
When I import contacts, I’m asked to choose a contact interval: “how often do you want us to remind you about this contact?”. I’ve no clue?! How often should I message a high school friend? What about a family member or my grandparents? The default option is 2 months, guess I’ll stick to that.
My friends are on Messenger/Whatsapp
The app is built in such a way that in order for the app to acknowledge that I’ve been in contact with someone, I actually need to click on the SMS/call/email button which opens the selected app. It’s a pain if I’ve already reached out to the person and just want to record it in the app or if I want to reach out to the contact through another social channel.
What’s great though
- Through the colors given to each contact on the main page, I can easily browse through all my contacts and get a sense of my network health (if it’s all green or red)
- The app only has basic features which makes it easy to understand
Ryze — Useless but well designed
I would have loved this app to do the job. It looks great, has some well though features but it’s useless as it’s core.
Where are the reminders?
No notifications. It’s that silly. You don’t get any reminders and the only way to remember to keep in touch with people is to remember to go back to the app and check the “Reminders” list…
Why would I need a calendar?
There is a feature that allows you to see when you’ll have to reach out to your contacts and doesn’t add any value to the user. You want to know with who you need to get in touch again, not when.
What’s great though
The app has a feature called “Build” where you get 10 tasks to execute daily (to add tags to contacts, to add notes or to add reminders). This creates a nice routine and gives the user a sense of accomplishment (Yay, I’ve completed my 10 “Build” tasks). The Group feature that allows you to put your contacts in different buckets is also very handy!
UpHabit — The badly designed Swiss knife
This app clearly has a lot more features. It syncs your emails & all your contacts to build one big address book. The app gives you a lot of options, which is a feature and, as every UX Designer knows, a flaw too.
Too much to do!
The app asks you to go through all your 1’431 contacts and choose a contact interval for each and every one! Which… is obviously not possible. Then you also need to go through a long list of contacts that might need to be merged. Finally, when you want to complete a relationship reminder, you get a big page with a lot of things to potentially fill in, which makes the app very scary to use.
Others do it better..
Like Ryze, you have no way to go through your contacts to get a general idea of your network’s health and like the others, you need to set up a timely reminder: every two weeks, every month, …
What’s great though
The ability to sync your email saves you a lot of time when trying to import all your contacts. The app also sends regular emails with reminders which is very handy!
Key Takeaway for every UX Designer
Don’t do too much
Both Ryze and UpHabit have too many features which in the end are not that much needed and just make it more difficult to learn how to use the app.
Make it easy
All these apps are trying to make sure users actually reach out to the contact and therefore ask you to really go on the sms or phone call app which is none sense since the user has no reason to cheat. A better approach would have been to make the user’s life easier and let him cheat easily if he wants.
Users want to know if they are doing well and if they do, they want to feel good about it! The green color in the Ntwrk app is the closest to a reward that I’ve seen so far.