Laughly Mobile App
Sole UX designer, visual designer, and researcher for the "Spotify of Stand-up Comedy."
Using lean UX practices, I drove feature definition and design from beta through launch, from 0 to over 250,000 users.
Research Methodology: New features often needed to be designed and implemented within a month, so we employed lean research practices including A/B testing, phone and in-person interviews, quantitative email and in-app surveys.
Key features designed (UX and UI)
Deep dive into Laughly mobile designs
Past onboarding versions
"So how is it different from Spotify or Pandora?"- Quing, in-person research participant
"Does it play both comedy recordings and videos?"- Anna, new user remote testing
Goals of onboarding:
Through research we realized that users were looking for value props that we were not clearly showing. The app needed to educate users on value to build trust in our new brand.
Apart from knowing the top 10 most popular comedians, users were unlikely to have strong preferences like they would with music. We were pairing users with comedians they didn't know they would enjoy.
A move to a subscription-only model required a complete re-design of onboarding. With fierce competition from larger players from the market, I settled on highlighting the value props that differentiate Laughly (albums, originals, podcasts, livestreams). I stayed away from short video clips since that led users to infer incorrectly that Laughly offered video content.
We relied heavily on A/B tests to see how effective onboarding designs were:
A strategy to let users into the app to play a few tracks prior to registration. Unfortunately, this didn't convert as well as the existing flow
Ease users into the app by asking them to select from a short list of comedians and launching them into a radio station, which bumped up playtime by 20% for new users
Iterated placement and and copy of call to action (CTA) buttons and tour screens
Increased push notification acceptance by 14%, through personalization and re-ordering of screens
"Nice to see familiar faces on here. Looks like it has some interesting features I haven't seen elsewhere."- Anna, new user, remote testing
Onboarding iterations improved free trial starts from 40% to 65%.
We continued to A/B test if users should be let into the app earlier, since a subscription-only app is a much bigger financial commitment and having a peek at our content may get users over the threshold. Through an exit survey, we’re capturing reasons why users cancel.
Past navigation versions
"I had no idea there's a full menu, is it not just Home?"- Quing, in-person research participant
Data showed that only 25% of users ever click on three-dot menu, which meant that new features were not utilized. Interviewed users often walked away thinking that Home was the ONLY screen.
In the 1st phase of clean up, I started relying on the pages, instead of navigation, to separate and nest information.
The 2nd phase was to move toward a simplified and persistent bottom navigation, increasing visibility of our main offerings, while de-emphasizing features users did not engage with often. I determined design priorities through discussions with stakeholders.
"I like having all my saved and subscribed content live in one place."- MM, phone interview user
I led a complete re-org of navigation to accommodate new types of content and features:
Home: Where we feature our best performing content, as well as our breadth of content.
Library: One place for all content that the user has saved or subscribed to
Search: Users default here if they have a specific piece of content in mind
Social: To provide a sense of community and freshness to trending content
Me: Social Profile and Notifications to keep the user updated on community movement and new content
This navigation boosted engagement with podcasts and live events, and maintained engagement with albums and top 50 comedians.
Figure out how to direct users toward the extensive library of emerging comedians, which is one of our differentiating value props as a company.
Design and exploration of personalized suggestions
Past comedian page versions
Each comedian on Laughly gets a dedicated page, a hub for an ever-increasing amount of information. Since Laughly is an entertainment app, my objective was to increase play-time, which often conflicted with new feature discovery.
Comedian page blocking
Progression from left to right: As we added more content and the page got longer, clutter became a bigger issue. To make room, the actions to take content (share, save, and bio) took a backseat.
"I find that I often run out of content from my favorite comedians, and I'm not sure what to play next."- Hao, user feedback shared through the app
In response to user requests, I came up with a "Similar To" section which suggests related comedians. This increased play-time by 15% on big-name comedian pages.
Current comedian page
Recently, I pushed to simplify the middle page navigation behind a menu icon, which cleaned up the look of the app as we look toward expanding functionality into playlist and queue building. It also saves us room for smaller screen sizes. We chose to prioritize the main CTA Play button above all else, even if it means pages like Comedian Bios are visited less often.
I pushed to simplify the middle page navigation behind a menu, which streamlined the app to accommodate new features like playlist and queue building. We chose to prioritize the main CTA play button, even it means pages like Comedian Bios are visited less often.
Next testing steps:
Users requested quick laugh hits, so I'd like to test a version with the best performing content at the top of the page. This is tricky because comedy doesn't perform like music, and there are often no "chart-topper singles" for comedians.
Evaluate how the comments feature is building community amongst Laughly users, and how to increase engagement here.
Comedy is an entertainment category that users are just starting to make room in their life for. We need to conduct more research about how and why people consume comedy, and how to build more a behavior around consumption.
Because of the recent switch to a subscription-only model, retention is more important than ever. Laughly must learn and recommend based on user listening history. We have enough data captured from existing users that we should be able to make recommendations even for very new users.
Paid users expect a polished experience, even on older devices. We also know that Android is popular with our dedicated users in middle America, so as soon as engineering resources can be dedicated to this, we’ll start working on this.