During the internship process of Razorpay, our task was to research and work on a new feature of polling in WhatsApp groups, enabling the user to ask questions and get responses from other members of the group.


WhatsApp is a global application with around 1 billion users; I just wanted to confirm the user types, significant audience it supports, and significant use cases.

Studied data on the web and a few articles for a better understanding of the product. (Reference 1, Reference 2 and a few points from various other websites)

Data found on Web
Insights from Web
  1. WhatsApp’s social network is unique in several ways relative to other social networks. This application was developed to allow users to privately and freely send messages to each other through their smartphones.
  2. Majority of user lie between age 18-25 years and the other major age group is 26-35 years.
  3. WhatsApp has provided a free alternative to SMS (Short Message Services), which is often three still a metered (pay per use) service. Not only is WhatsApp often more cost-effective than SMS, but it facilitates extensive group conversations, something that is difficult through SMS, if not impossible.
User Interviews

As most of our users are from 18-25 years and 26-35 years, I decided to interview a few people to understand the scenarios better.

Before taking Interview I noted down the things I need to know and things I need to verify.

  • What do people prefer on whatsapp professional or personal work on WhatsApp?
  • What are the user’s incentives to create a poll on WhatsApp?
  • Are users familiar with the polls feature on any other medium?
  • What kind of questions might people ask on the survey?

I interviewed 6 students from IIT Roorkee, 2 of my school friends ( age group 18-26 year ) and 4 relatives ( age group 26-35 years) and my dad ( 46 age, Service sector, uses WhatsApp extensively)

Interviews varied for each and every person, there were some basic questions same for everyone

Interview Questions:

  1. Which app did they use the most for messaging daily?
  2. For what purpose you use WhatsApp?
  3. What are the top active groups in your WhatsApp?
  4. Have you ever used the poll feature in messenger or facebook?
  5. What question did you ask or answer?

Most of my friends are from IIT's and gave almost the same answer, maybe as they all are from nearly the same background and live in the same environment. So I took telephonic interviews of 2 of my school friends of a similar age group to add some diversity.

Insights Gained
  • People prefer WhatsApp for personal use rather than professional. It was assumed that users who shifted from SMS to WhatsApp might be using WhatsApp for professional purposes. However, interviews suggest that they prefer WhatsApp mostly for personal usage and check office work only when required. Startups prefer specialized applications like slack and flock for professional work.
  • People generally use polls for day to day activities and organizing events or meetups or to get a personal opinion of others on any matter. ( people who have already used this feature on Facebook and Messenger)
  • Users working in the government service sector might prefer delivering any command rather than spreading a poll and ask for everyone's opinion (In startups, polls might be used but scoped out for this assignment).
  • Whatsapp cannot conduct surveys due to group limit; moreover, people don't prefer professional work on WhatsApp.
  • Other platforms providing polls
    • Facebook
    • Slack
    • Messenger
    • Hike
    User Persona
    • 21 -40 yrs age
    • Uses Whatsapp for personal work
    Name Karan Bedi
    Goals and Tasks Uses WhatsApp for general messaging with friends, family and also uses for communication in several groups. I want to spread a small poll in groups pan some event or to get a quick opinion of friends or family on any topic.

    Top Groups
    • Family
    • Friends
    User Stories
    User Flow


    WhatsApp already has many attachment options available, Poll is also a kind of attachment and an addition to the attachment feature, so we grouped it with the rest of the attachments.

    In the 1st iteration, I decided to keep a horizontal full-width banner on top, which shows that some Poll is live. Later, I realized that the chat area is already bare minimum after opening the keyboard ( which is open most of the time while chatting ), and adding a banner to it will leave no space for messages. I iterated the idea and took inspiration from Slack. Decided to keep the banner only when the Poll is unresponded.

    Create Poll in Modal V/S New View

    Modals lead to disturbance while creating a poll; moreover, creating a Poll requires 2-3 minimum inputs by the user. The new page is a better option here, knowing that WhatsApp does not use modals and overlays anywhere in attachments, so using a new page will also remain consistent with the rest of the application.

    Voting in chat V/S New Page

    After going through all the pros and cons of both the method, I decided to go forward with new page voting as

    • The new view provides much more flexibility in terms of options and data entry.
    • Large data sets can also be included in the new view.
    • Consistent with WhatsApp’s UI.
    • Prevents faulty touch or any mistaken vote.
    High Fidelity Wireframes

    Users can access the Poll directly from the group detail page, and if there is no response, they can access it directly from the chat. The user can also view previous polls and their results. Which will also help get the effects quicker and make sure that everyone is aware of the Poll.

    Key Product Decisions
    • Polls feature is accessible from attachements icon, where all other attachments are present.
    • Users can also select the end Poll duration ( not exact time ). Knowing that most polls are not going to be professional or surveys, the duration is selected rather than the exact date.
    • The floating button is used for the forward action as per WhatsApp UI.

    • The poll is created and sent as a message on the group ( similar to any other attachment uploaded by the user )
    • After the user choose an option, the opted option will be sent as a reply to the poll, letting others know their opinion (Such multiple messages can be grouped to avoid spamming)
    • The user can view the top two options, time left, the total number of options, and vote from the next screen.
    • The user can also view the poll's status in real-time and check who opted for the option, and the person who created the poll can declare results and close the poll anytime
    • The result will be declared after every person in the group has voted or the time has expired.
    Voting Page

    • Three Iterations
      1. Inconsistent UI with rest of the application.
      2. In case of heavy text polls this UI might not function properly moreover the number of votes doesn't feels to be clickable as turned out from usability testing.
      3. Used line instead of a card to support huge data.
    • The user can do multiple voting and can even view people who have participated.
    Real Time Results and Close poll

    As by our assumption, most users use WhatsApp for personal use, where Our users will mainly use the poll for day-to-day activities, so hiding results here is not a good option. Users might want to know what others are comfortable with and then decide.

    So real-time results will be shown and the results will also be declared once the time expires or the person who posted the poll declares the result.

    Further Scope

    Due to the time constraint, I worked on the main flow; here are a few more things that can be implemented.

    1. All the assumptions made can be tested and iterated accordingly.
    2. To increase the poll response rate and to get the result properly on time, nudges or notifications can be used.
    3. Edit option available after holding the card (only for the user who created a poll ) or edit option while viewing stats of the poll. The user may also edit the expiry time. ( more research is required for this)
    Thank you

    Next Blog
    Experience at Curefit
    See more of my works

    Say Hello
    I am available for freelance projects, remote work or just discussing design, feel free to ping me at kunalsatpal1@gmail.com