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Getting pro writers to take Wattpad seriously.

Company: Wattpad
Role: UI/UX Design + Discovery 
Tools: Invision, Sketch, Zeplin
Platforms: Web
Timeframe: July-August 2018

Problem

We have observed that some writers are not willing to share their best work because it is unclear how one can progress from a novice writer to becoming a professional.

How might we improve Wattpad's perception so that the path to success is clear for writers?

Overview

The Wattpad landing page had not gotten a face-lift in many many years. Through many user interviews and competitive research, we validated that this page was key in anchoring writers’ perception of Wattpad being a place for them to pursue a career. It was important for us to acquire or attract writers with higher quality work so that we could start to diversify our userbase beyond just teen girls who read werewolf fanfic. 

I used this knowledge to inform a new design of the landing page that highlighted writer-specific values, opportunities, affiliates and showcased what else Wattpad has to offer beyond just free stories.

Hypothesis

Improving the first impression of our landing page will attract more professional writers to share their work on Wattpad. By having higher "quality" content (better grammar, writing, etc.) we could attract a more diverse audience, and more importantly an audience willing to pay for better content.

Testing Methodology

  • User interviews
  • Surveys
  • A/B experiment

Survey says...

One of our greatest learnings, which we’ve validated in a few studies, came in two parts…

The first was that among external writers who are working on a novel, they saw Wattpad as a place for amateur writers. And at first, we were concerned by this, but Brand Tracking research (results below) run by the marketing team revealed that this was actually one of our strengths and helped us to appear more approachable.

The second was that relative to our competitors, we weren’t seen as a place where writers can build their career. This is where we decided to place our focus on the landing page to try and get pro writers to take Wattpad seriously.

Where we started

Where we iterated

Initial wireframes tried to strike the balance between readers and writers with more transparency around what Wattpad is.

Where we landed

  • Learned that most readers convert from public story pages vs the landing page, so it was a safe risk to focus on writers specifically
  • Highlighted Wattpad Studios opportunities at the top so writers see what success could look like
  • Added affiliations and stats to demonstrate legitimacy 
  • Testimonials to for social proof and to showcase diverse content writers can associate themselves with
  • Two CTAs for readers and writers as a hacky way to track how people identify themselves from the landing page

Results

  • Improved writer perception of Wattpad as a writing platform overall - 60% of interviewees (compared to 20% previously) felt Wattpad was the best place to pursue a career as a professional writer in comparison to our competitors Inkitt + Swoon Reads.
  • ~10% drop in conversion, but based on the # of users who typically sign up from the Desktop Web landing page, we would lose 60K global signups / month. This would amount to a 0.29% drop in MEU (up for further exploration).

User Quotes

  • “Already I take this more seriously as a professional writer because I can see maybe that this is a publishing platform but also that there is a community that could get my book in the eye line of someone who is a bit older”
  • “This gets me. Get adapted. Like I would sign up at this point”
  • “I see this as a chance to post your work and get seen by a publisher. This one is the one I would go with. ”
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