• Whatsapp: Adapting Product for Digital Wellbeing

Challenge Details

Case Study brief: In this challenge you need to make changes to a popular product to ensure digital wellbeing amongst a specific user segment
Difficulty: Hard
Skills Evaluated: Analytical Ability, Communication Skills, Ideation, User Research

While social networks like FB, Insta, Twitter rely on their algorithms to ensure that we stay hooked and engaged, WhatsApp doesn’t need to do that; it has the most addictive of social currency: interactions with real people.

What this means is that, WhatsApp is the most used digital product: both in terms of reach as well as frequency.

But what it also means is that, without intervention, WhatsApp use can be harmful to one’s mental health, just as anything that is addictive. 

And unlike the other ‘social networks’, there is no algorithm that can be simply ‘tweaked’, to ensure more responsible use.

The other aspect, that has become even more pronounced during the pandemic, is that for certain segments of users, this problem of uncontrolled use of WhatsApp, is far more acute: parents in the age groups of 50-60 plus.

What’s interesting here is that, while normally kids could help point this out to them, presently though, thanks to how much everyone is using screens (be it for work or personal use), it becomes extremely difficult to have such conversations.

Safe to say, unless there are changes made within the product, using WhatsApp could end up being harmful for the digital well being of these users.

So, in this challenge, you need to come up with 1 key idea or feature that can ensure WhatsApp is used more responsibly by mid to older aged users.

Please note:

  • Please make sure the idea you suggest is novel, keeping in mind the subtleties of WhatsApp. So kindly DO NOT suggest ideas that are already used in other ‘addictive’ social networks and OS’s
  • We understand that WhatsApp has positive use cases too, for the chosen segment: staying in touch with loved ones for eg. And that is what makes this more difficult. Essentially, your suggestion should focus on cutting down the ‘bad’ use while moderating/limiting the ‘good’ use
  • Goes without saying, user research is of paramount importance in this challenge. However, we urge you to conduct the same in a sensitive manner, ensuring that you do not make the users feel ‘guilty’ about the use of the product, as you interact with them
  • This challenge is NOT hosted by Whatsapp and is only a learning exercise


  • This is a unique challenge on UXHack, one that is actually focussed on using UX to limit product use: quite the opposite of every other challenge we have done. Hence, we welcome unique and refreshing ideas to solve it

Weekly Leaderboard:

  • The points you score will be added to the Weekly Leaderboard, making you eligible for the final prizes at the end of the season. So, even if half done, make sure you atleast submit your solution, to gain some points. View Leaderboard and Prizes

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