TikTok has rapidly become one of the most popular apps in the app store, it is also trending towards becoming the most popular social media apps. I am sure there are a million reasons why TikTok has become so popular in the last years, but the reason I like to think that TikTok is so popular is because of its user interface. TikTok is a prime example of how a good visual design can be used to hook users and increase their engagement with the app. “Tiktok uses a simple UX design with a good layout, positioning, interaction, and elimination of unneeded steps in order to build an engaging experience for its users” (Kazais, 2021). One of those ‘unneeded steps’ being the user’s ability to make a choice when the app is first opened, instead the app presents the user with one video and one video only. This is also known as Hick’s Law, the more choices a user has, the harder it is for them to make one. In addition to arranging the app to view in that specific pattern, TikTok also does not display videos in a grid format, which also eliminates the difficulty of making a choice. “Being able to see one video at a time is useful for the algorithm to understand what type of content the watcher likes, but it also means that the good content isn’t missed, and that time isn’t being wasted scrolling between posts” (Kazais, 2021). In addition to understanding what type of content a user is drawn to, only showing one video at a time becomes a cycle and allows more content to be pushed at the user or viewer and is a classic way for the app to hook a user in a long-term engagement cycle.
From my experience with TikTok, I really believe that it is here to stay. Its UX design makes the simple app super easy to use, almost foolproof at that, which definitely adds to its popularity. It definitely is setting the tone for other social media apps, I mean Instagram is basically copying TikTok with the reels. TikTok is definitely making a voice for itself in the simple, user-friendly app category.