User experience (UX) is hugely important and can mean the difference in billions of dollars of valuation difference, and success and only modest success or failure as a business.
TikTok vs. Vine, Tinder vs. Match
Why did TikTok take over the world, while Vine, a similar app that launched years before, failed?
Similarly, why did Tinder spread like wildfire… but Match didn’t?
According to David King and Mishti Sharma, it’s because of the “Boneyard Principle”: The small improvements to failed or imperfect ideas.
Or, in the cases of TikTok and Tinder, the small tweaks to user experience (UX) details made the winning apps easier and more pleasant to use.
Take a look at the subtle differences between the UXs of TikTok and Vine:
- When you opened Vine for the first time, you had to go through five steps before you could watch your first video.
- With TikTok, you just open the app and start consuming videos – even if you don’t have an account.
Using the app
- Vine divided its interface into Home and Exploring. In the Exploring section, though, they asked users what type of content they wanted to see: “Editor’s Picks,” “Popular Now,” or “All Posts.” When you’re a new user, how do you know what those things mean?
- By contrast, TikTok serves you relevant videos based on what you watch and engage with. No decision-making. Just entertainment.
Vine was acquired by Twitter in October 2012. On October 27, 2016, Vine announced that Twitter would be discontinuing the Vine mobile app due to the inability to effectively monetize it.
Many of Vine’s influencers, such as Jake Paul, Logan Paul, Shawn Mendes, Liza Koshy, Danny Gonzalez, David Dobrik, and Lele Pons had moved on to other video-sharing and social media platforms.
Long story short, making the lives of your users easier can literally make you millions, billions, or even trillions of dollars.
Sometimes, instead of coming up with a new and fresh idea, you find the most lucrative opportunities by improving the bad ones.