BBM Instant Messenger
2016 - 2017
Web Development, iOS & Android Development

Challenge: How to introduce a lot of BBM features without overwhelming the visitors

BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) is a proprietary Internet-based instant messenger. The BBM software itself isn’t exclusive to BlackBerry handsets and can run on Android to iOS. Consumers use the app as one of their main forms of communication.

With Emtek (PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk.) taking over BBM, the company wants to expand their consumer base. One of their strategies is to optimize its online presence by creating a website and enriching its app with important and entertaining features. Hence, the company tapped Suitmedia to make it happen.

We saw that BBM has a lot of interesting features, which means the website will have a huge content with different unique messages. Creating a good UI and UX for a large data is quite problematic and we need a little trick to accommodate the load of content and manage to not to lose a pleasant and organized appearance.

Solution: Strong information hierarchy and the magic of good design

An attractive platform is far more likely to generate a positive impression and keep visitors on your site or app once they arrive. For BBM, our designer choose a very neat and modern flat style design. They properly built visual and information hierarchy and establishes it on a clean white background to create a clean and clear look. This style helps users to focus on the content and help the users to read it without any unnecessary distraction.

We also played with bright colors to carefully highlight every item, puts everything in its place, and create a sense of playfulness. We chose a color palette that naturally keeps an optimum balance between content and background. We putted icons to form a visual language that helps visitors to make an action or decision in an intuitive way.

Moreover, we established a consistent design language using content types, such as blurbs and call-to-actions. With a well-structured menu and content classification, we let users jump straight to the info they need without any hassle. Good visual, functionality and usability of BBM platform has been giving people a delightful experience and maximizing BBM brand identity.

BBM Polls - A new feature that bridging the gap between digital and television

If you are a user of Blackberry Messenger (BBM) you must be familiar with BBM discover, a single source for all content and services that are entertaining and important. Through this menu, users will easily find rich and exciting experiences on-the-go. Users are able to explore a world of great services and content, such as news, video, music, games, shopping, and services. To enhance the experience of BBM discover, BBM needed a feature that could entice more engagement. For that reason, BBM wanted to bring the first ever app ever made in Indonesia that integrating digital with TV to offer an enriched experience. Hence, BBM placed its confidence in Suitmedia to make it happen.

Voting for TV shows itself is not a new thing, but voting for TV shows or competitions on TV through a mobile app is a cutting edge. In the development process, we kept in mind that we have to make the vote process as simple as possible.

We made it easier for user to choose the list of polls by categorizing it into three polls categories, including popular polls, featured polls, and history. We utilized white space to make a clean user interface. In a time when we’re sounded by information, it is extremely important for designers to think about being clear with design layouts. The design must be readable, easy to understand, and easy to like.

We need to remember that going for a simple layout instead of a complex one is the key to keeping readers interested. A lot of elements, images, colors and different shapes in a page can make an interface look more like an infomercial and causes your readers to leave because they’re uncomfortable.

So, through this feature, users will now be able to vote for their favorite show, artist, movie, singer, and more, and then see in real time how the rest of the audience around the country is voting. They’re also able to give comments about the polls and share it with their friends. These BBM Polls get translated into the final results and are unveiled on the live broadcast, such as on the SCTV music award and Puteri Indonesia beauty pageant.

You can access this feature through simple steps, including:

  1. Open BBM application, click the ‘Discover’ menu that is placed at the right side of the app
  2. Open ‘Polls’ and choose the polling category you want
  3. Vote your choice and see the polling list you have done in the history category

This feature has become a new innovation that makes a richer experience for BBM Discover users. It succeeded to become a platform that gives direct interaction with television content and simplifies the process of events that are required voting.

BBM News – Delivering a more personalized reading experience 

Along with texting, calling, and email, reading news is one of the most popular things people do on their mobiles. Therefore, BBM wanted to develop a new feature that can bring compelling and updated news experience for BBM users. Together with Suitmedia, BBM added BBM news feature that is available in the BBM Discover menu.

This feature is available to users worldwide, bringing them local and international news and entertainment stories from major news outlets across the globe. Suitmedia was responsible for launching BBM News feature for users outside of Indonesia, such as users in Canada, South Africa, USA, UK, Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong, Ireland, and will continue to grow.

We created a more personalized reading experience through news tracks to know which news are important to users and personalizes the experience by tailoring future appearing news stories accordingly. BBM news also categorized in some channels, such as business, sport, entertainment, health, techno, and more. Through here, news can also be shared with BBM contacts.

BBM News has given Suitmedia the opportunity to provide personalized content recommendations, increase loyalty and engagement that BBM has fostered with millions of loyal and active users. This feature also successfully provides a best-in-class reading experience that works seamlessly on the application and help BBM to go above and beyond what competitors offer.

Utilizing cloud computing services to increase efficiency and operational agility

With more than 100 million monthly active users, BBM becomes one of the most popular messengers in the world. No wonder if the application needs the ability to simply and securely collect, store, and analyze their data at a massive scale. For that reason, Suitmedia utilizing Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is a premium cloud computing service that is powerful and has been used by market leaders in every industry. AWS itself offers a broad of highly scalable and fully managed services so we can include logic, storage, databases, monitoring, streaming, content delivery, data warehousing, and machine learning in BBM application without having to manage any infrastructure. AWS makes it easy to add cloud services to the BBM application, create a server-less mobile backend, manage user identity and sign-in.

We are utilizing several AWS services, such as Amazon EC2 to provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud; Amazon CloudFront to speed up distribution of BBM static and dynamic web content; Amazon S3 as the object storage built to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere; and other AWS services that is needed to meet the current industry requirement in a more effective way. These cloud computing services have succeeded to make the application move faster, operate more securely, and perhaps the most important is it can save the substantial costs.

BBM group war – a game that brings people together

Together with Suitmedia, BBM launched a feature called BBM Group War, the first interactive quiz in Indonesia that combines chatbot and digital wallet in one group chat platform. We managed to create the microsite for BBM Group War as an information center about the game.

To enjoy the game, BBM users only need to invite the Group War bot to the group. Every day at 12.30 AM and 6.30 PM, the bot will give questions once the game starts. The players only have 30 seconds to answer each given question, so they have to hurry. Players will gain points for every correct answer. The more points the user and their group get, the bigger the prize they will win. After the game finished, the bot will tell the number of points the group has collected. It will also notify the group’s rank among the other group. The users can claim the reward once the bot sends them an individual message. All they have to do is check their balance in DANA digital wallet and voila! The prize is already there!

Just within 3 months, we recorded 250.000 groups and 1.500.000 players playing BBM Group War. We are glad that this new feature can help to initiate a positive interaction between users in the same group. Also, by collaborating with DANA as a digital wallet, BBM Group War helps in promoting digital financial inclusion in Indonesia. Finally, with this feature, we managed to achieve the most important purpose of a messenger app – to bring people closer and more connected with their friends and family.