10 Critiquing UI Design of Weibo and Rollingstone

Reading List
• Usability.gov. 2016. User Interface Design Basics
• Treehouse. 2012. 10 User Interface Fundamentals

1.  Application
System: IOS
App: Weibo

Although Weibo is the most famous social media app in China just as Twitter in UK, I still deleted it from my phone because of its really really horrible user experience.

Simple Login and Sign up.


At first user has to login in via your cellphone number, E-mail address, Wechat, QQ or even Facebook. As we’ve all known, Facebook is forbidden in Mainland of China, this login method might be useful for people from other country 🙂

I use my UK phone number to create a new account.
It allows users to type 6 numbers with using number board, not whole keyboard. Good job.


Bad Feedback.


IMG_8655.PNGAfter creating an account users are required to choose gender (limited choice though) and type nickname. It’s nice that Weibo didn’t ask users to fill all the information to introduce themselves. However, from my experience it doesn’t give a good feedback to tell me what’s wrong with my nickname. Is my nickname has been occupied by someone else or not? It just said invalid without telling me what kind of symbols or number and letter are acceptable after tapping confirm button.



Don’t Understand User




User needs to choose his interests after login at first time(Although lack of language consistency). No bad. At least this app want to provide user with what they are interested in, but I don’t think any user wants to follow 56 people or celebrities after choosing interest areas and couldn’t make multiple choice to unmark these people.

Another thing really frustrates me is that the out-of-order timeline makes user feel confused.
I notice Twitter shows some posts that user might miss which just few posts, while Weibo just disrupts all the time order and shows you some posts few days ago.

Poor Visual Hierarchy and Consistency.




Well,  saying in advance that my system language is English. How can it show me that headline is English and content is Chinese. What if I can’t understand Chinese?




There are different white tabs in the setting page on which user can tap and head to another page with the same typeface as the setting page has except Privacy.




There are so many colours in home page and me page that users might take a while to find what they really need . And users can’t event customize these useless functions.


The good thing is:





Users can see what they could do from the icons in the bottom bar. Weibo is the home page that allows them to see following people’s post and hot post. After tapping Following, Hot gets gray; after tapping Hot, Following gets gray. This is suitable for Notices and Chat in message page. In this case users know exactly what they are doing.

Strategically use colour:




The logo is in warn tone. The symbolic Weibo-Orange goes though the whole user experience.


Always do harm to user. Always make mistake.

I agree with

“It is often said when developing interfaces that you need to fail fast, and iterate often. When creating a UI, you will make mistakes. Just keep moving forward, and remember to keep your UI out of the way.” in 10 User Interface Design Fundamentals, 2016, Kyle Sollenberger.

However, in my 5-year use experience Weibo often changes its notification system and makes the operation more complex.


2.  Website
System: IOS
Website: Rollingstone

Simple interaction

Very common and regular interaction. User just need to scroll down and up to read.
Noticeable and cognizable menu and trend button on the top.

Clear Visual Hierarchy and Keep Consistent Well.



Black bold headline with in ten words so that users will know what the main top of this article in seconds. If have interests, they might read the abstract and tap into new pages.

And all most the same layout style and colour in this website.



When hang over or tap gently the black bold words or the tab in menu, the option is underline. Current one is in black square.

And colour match is based “Rollingstone” logo which is very representative.


Poor Feedback



I was initially tried to comment so that the website would give me some feedback…
However, with Safari I can’t even type; with Chrome I submit luckily but feedback seems have technical error that I have to log in again.


Achieve Users’ Goal



Relative reading and news about a topic.


Where is search lab?

It’s unbelievable that Rollingstone has so many contexts without a search field. This is not my first time to visit Rollingstone via mobile phone, I still can’t manage to find it.






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