UI design pattern tips: direct messaging

In the latest in a series looking at website design patterns, Chris Bank of UXPin looks at direct messaging.

Although many people are designing mobile products that are social in nature, few understand what that really means, how it works, or why it's important.

In this series for Creative Bloq, Chris Bank of UXPin, the UX design app, discusses the importance of social design patterns and details examples from some of the hottest websites and web apps today.

You can see previous posts from UXPin here. Meanwhile, for more examples of web design patterns, download UXPin's free e-book, Web UI Design Patterns 2014 and their free Web UI kit.

The problem

The user wants to send private messages to their friends from within the system.

The solution

Allow users to interact with each other in private messages alongside their other interactions.

Many web apps, including Instagram and Spotify, now offer chat or direct messaging as an integral part of their experience.

Spotify lets users chat to each other about their musical likes

We predict that private chat UI design patterns will continue to blossom across many web apps, not just traditional 'social networks'. That's because users becoming more and more comfortable sharing more private things online and they have substantial breadth in the content they're generating online.

Words: Chris Bank

Chris Bank is the growth lead at UXPin, a UX design app that creates responsive interactive wireframes and prototypes.