As a true information developer, I adore researching and analyzing stuff. And, as a true millennial kid, I can’t imagine myself without social media. So, I decided to bring my two passions together and review mobile help systems of my favorite apps on iPhone 6s (iOS 10.3.2). Meet Instagram v.10.22 and Snapchat v.10.9.1.
Instagram help looks old-fashioned and nothing like the app itself. To those who have been with Instagram for a long time, it will remind about good old 2014 when Instagram had this dirty blue theme at the top and bottom of the screen. It might not be such a big deal but somehow it gives rise to suspicion – is this help up-to-date?
To reach the Instagram help, you need to go to your profile page and tap the Settings icon, Help Center. You can open it in the app itself, or you can choose to be redirected to the browser. Besides, you can open it directly in a browser at the following address help.instagram.com, which is very useful in case you do not want to leave the app while using the help.
This is a top-navigation help with the search field at the top, which is indeed pretty accurate and helpful. Below the search field, there is a list of the most useful topics, as considered by the help creators.
However, at the bottom of the help, there is the same list of items but in different order, which does not make much sense to me. And what about this little suitcase following the Instagram for business section? It’s just not right.
There are also such sections as What’s new, Known Issues, and FAQs on the main page. I find it extremely useful as usually users have questions and troubles with an app after an update. However, recently there has been an update introducing facemasks to the stories and, unfortunately, I could not find any information about them in the What’s new section. Seems like Instagram is forgetting about updating its help on time. Oops.
Let’s see what else we’ve got. Every topic is followed by the question Was this information helpful? You can either select Yes and suggest an improvement if you have any, or you can answer No and submit your review or concern with this topic. I would say it is a great way to improve the help based on reviews and let’s hope Instagram is actually using it.
Navigation is not the best. Well, it is the worst. Even though you can easily find topics you are interested in and go back and forth between them, you can’t just return to the main page or main menu in one tap – there is no home button. This makes the navigation pretty uncomfortable and annoying. The feature that helps in navigation a little bit is the Related Articles section after every topic.
Pros: accurate search, What’s new, Known Issues, and FAQs sections, possibility to leave feedback.
Cons: very poor navigation, old-fashioned design, outdated content, unnecessary details.
I must say, Snapchat did a great job to make their help look cute and fun, just like the app itself, and, more importantly, extremely convenient and comfortable to use. It is done with style and logic, and I am loving it.
However cute and stylish Snapchat help looks, in order to find it, you would need some basic knowledge of the app. Seems like a vicious cycle, doesn’t it? In order to open help, in the app, you should go to your profile first. You might think this should be easy and obvious, right? But it’s not. Who would have known that you just need to tap the little ghost icon next to search or swipe down on the main page in order to open your profile?
Once you have found your profile, you can tap the Settings icon, and then Support. Believe me or not, but while searching for your profile, you might actually figure out on your own how to deal with something you have been having troubles with. Fortunately, you can open Snapchat help directly in a browser by following support.snapchat.com.
Anyway, here we are. Top navigation help with search field at the top of the screen with nice, very personal question What can I help you with? and a bunch of FAQs embedded in the field. Popular topics are presented in the form of cute little ghost icons, which would definitely work for the majority of the Snapchat users (as stats say, 60% of Snapchat’s users are 13 to 24 years old. Similarly, 63% of its audience are 18- to 34-year-olds).
There is the main menu, which is amazing, as well as the secondary menu. You can find main menu located right after Popular topics on the main page, and you can open it anytime and anywhere with the help of this little hamburger icon. The same with the secondary menu – you can reach it anytime and anywhere, as it is located at the bottom of the screen on every page you visit. Another useful feature is that you can change the language of the help. The range is not that big but it still exists and we are thankful for that.
It is perfect. First, there are several ways of finding necessary information: search field, choosing form popular topics, finding it through a menu, or choosing the I need help option, which provides you with, I believe, the most popular concerns. Also, you can easily go back and forth between different topics, you have a home button, and two menus on every page.
Second, every topic is followed by a question Still need help?, to which you can answer either Yes or No. If you choose No you will be redirected to the I need help page where you could try your luck again to find what you have been looking for. Moreover, some topics are followed by a list of related links, which is very convenient.
Pros: easy navigation, very personal and fun approach to users, cool design, logical structure.
Cons: too difficult to find the help.
It was not meant to be a competition between the two help systems but the winner is obvious even without comparing. Maybe the help system of Snapchat is so well-designed and well-structured only because their app is not? I do believe that any beginner with Snapchat did use their support because the app is way too unintuitive and illogical (at the beginning). However, I definitely expected fancier design and overall better help from Instagram (as for the app with 500 million active monthly users).
I hope you liked this review, and if you happen to have any experience with these two helps or any other ones, I would love to hear your feedback. Perhaps, you have a winner of your own.