I use iMessage every day, and there are functionalities I always use that end up annoying me. The user experience in the Messages App needs more attention and improvement, especially when certain features are available in easier ways in other apps.
I will point out 5 UX issues I have faced in the Messages App and their impact or how they can be fixed.
Better Way to Reply to Specific Message
Every app that has messaging in them (except Twitter for some reason) have the reply feature. If you've used Instagram or Whatsapp, you'll know that you can easily reply to a message just by swiping it.
In Messages, you have to either double tap or long press on the message you want to reply to, then choose "Reply" and then you can reply to the message. But why? It's so annoying when you use this a lot as it takes a lot of presses here and there to do what can be done in a very simple manner.
The UX Issue
Users need 2 or 3 clicks to be able to use the feature. When you can save the user even one click, then you shouldn't overlook it.
Voice Messages Without The Hassle
Voice messages in Messages (that sounds weird) is plain annoying to be completely honest. If you had to leave the app for some reason or wanted to listen again to just one small part a few seconds earlier in the message, you have to re-listen to the entire thing all over again to get to where you were. And if you are inside the app, you need to leave it and then open it again to be able to replay from the beginning.
This problem, as far as I am aware, is not found in any other messaging app. I'm not sure what's next on their list for this app but I hope fixing this is one of their priorities.
The UX issue(s)
The users have to figure out on their own how to get something done. It should be easy and accessible for the user to do something so trivial. The more you can make things easier for the user, the better.
Sending A Photo After Typing
This is probably a bug rather than a UX issue, but I'm placing it here anyway. When you want to send a photo, you just click on the Photos App then choose the photo you want to send.
However, if you type out the message then you want to pick the photo you want to send, it's not possible to get to the Photos app again. The arrow button next to the text box does not work, so you have to remove your message to be able to add the Photo, then paste or type out your message again.
The UX Issue
As I stated, this is probably a bug. However, for the sake of this post, the issue here is that we're providing hassles for the user to get to what they need to do. Users can be forgetful and they need a way to go back when they mess up or forget.
Force Scrolling When A Message Is Received
If you are scrolling back in a chat to go back to a certain previous message, and the person in the chat sends a new message, the app scrolls back to the new message. This is so simple yet annoying as I have had to clearly tell the other person "STOP SENDING MESSAGES" to be able to go back to a previous message.
I'm not sure why scrolling to the new message is necessary. A better UX would be showing you an arrow that when you press it takes you to the new message, like Whatsapp and Instagram.
The UX Issue
This issue implies that the team working on the Messages app probably doesn't understand users well, to be honest. Forcing users to go from one place to another is just plain annoying.
This one is not actually available in the app, which is the problem itself. We all tend to make mistakes, like sending a message to the wrong person (be careful with those screenshots) or sending the wrong photo. An undo or delete from end to end is very needed to make the app better.
The UX Issue
Again, it's very important as part of your UX to actually understand users. Users make tons of mistakes on the go, and we should make it easier for them to correct or revert their mistakes.
To realize the importance of fixing UX issues and improving the UX in your apps/websites, just look back at how I kept comparing Messages to other apps like Whatsapp or Instagram. When users find a better alternative for them that understands them and their patterns, they will just ditch your app for the alternative. That is why we need to make sure to understand our users and provide the best solutions for them.
Are there other issues you found as well that are not mentioned here? Let me know!