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BRAND

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PROJECT

9 million - 20 million in ARR in 2022

ROLE

UX Designer

SUMMARY

During the past two years at Chatbooks, I have played a pivotal role in designing innovative features for the flagship app. These enhancements have significantly improved the overall user experience, boosted business metrics, and helped achieve our team goals of increasing subscription rates, reducing churn, and encouraging customers to print more books. Additionally, I have also contributed to various other software products under the Chatbooks umbrella, including an iOS app, a tvOS app, and a collaborative project with HP.

Notable wins

While all of my contributions have made a positive impact on the Chatbooks app and the company as a whole, there are a few noteworthy achievements that deserve special recognition
  1. ​Impressive Revenue Growth: In 2022, I played a key role in driving the company's annual recurring revenue (ARR) from 9 million to an impressive 20 million. This remarkable achievement was accompanied by surpassing the 20 million mark in Gross Customer Revenue (GCR) by the close of Q4.

  2. Enhanced First Book Print Rate: Through my efforts, I successfully increased the first book print rate for our subscription products by an impressive 6%. This improvement signifies an enhanced user engagement and a greater conversion of digital memories into tangible keepsakes.

  3. Reduced Churn: I implemented effective strategies that resulted in a notable 3% reduction in churn across our subscription products. By optimizing the user experience and addressing pain points, I contributed to retaining a higher number of loyal customers, which is essential for sustained business growth.

  4. Consistently Exceeded Goals for Classic Books: Throughout my tenure, I consistently maintained the Classic book's performance above the set goals. This accomplishment reflects my commitment to delivering high-quality products and meeting or surpassing the expectations of our customers and stakeholders.

Overall, my contributions at Chatbooks have resulted in substantial improvements to the flagship app, as well as other software products within the company's portfolio. These achievements have positively impacted both customer satisfaction and the company's bottom line, positioning Chatbooks for continued success in the future.

The Problem(s)

At Chatbooks, growth is a fundamental pillar, and our ambitious goal was to double the Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) for our subscription products. When I joined the Print team, our subscription products, Monthbooks and Minis, were just over a year old. As the UX Design lead for the team, I took charge of driving initiatives to enhance the user experience. While the products were functioning and converting, we noticed a slight plateau in their performance.

During the first and second quarters of 2022, our primary focus was on deconstructing the user journey. We aimed to identify areas where improvements could be made without impacting any other part of the process. In this case study, when I refer to "we," I primarily mean myself and my Product Manager. However, there were instances when our Product Marketing Manager, User Researcher, and Data Analyst were also involved in the process. Our primary objectives for this adjusted user experience were as follows:

  1. Increasing Subscription Rate without Churn: We sought to find strategies to boost the subscription rate while minimizing churn. It was essential to strike a balance that encouraged more users to subscribe without negatively affecting their retention.

  2. Streamlining the User Journey: We aimed to determine the user journey that resonated most with our audience and simplify the process accordingly. Our goals were to enable users to create books quickly and effortlessly, remove any perceived barriers related to the paywall, ensure that users printed their first book within 24 hours, and foster such satisfaction with the product that they would continue subscribing on a monthly or yearly basis.

  3. Implementing Subscription Standards: To increase buy-in from our users, we explored the inclusion of standard subscription features, such as offering a free trial and introducing the option to gift a subscription. These additions aimed to enhance the value proposition of our products and entice more users to commit to a subscription.

By addressing these key questions and implementing the resulting insights, we aimed to drive significant growth in our subscription products while simultaneously improving the overall user experience.

Ideation

The Print team at Chatbooks dedicates the majority of the year to selling Monthbook and Minis subscriptions, with a focus on maximizing customer Lifetime Value (LTV). To accomplish this, we conducted a detailed analysis of the purchase, creation, and maintenance process for our Monthbooks customer base.

The customer journey begins when a new user enters the app and navigates to our Shop page, where they can explore and select a subscription product. Moving forward, they are directed to the informational Product Detail Page (PDP), providing them with crucial details about the product and subscription. This phase is handled by our closely aligned Commerce team, with whom we collaborate extensively to ensure a seamless experience.

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Once the user progresses past the PDP, they enter the domain of the Print team. At this point, our customers go through the following steps:

  1. Choosing book options: Users select their preferred cover type and color.

  2. Paywall and subscription selection: Users proceed through the paywall, subscribing and choosing their desired starting month.

  3. Monthbooks Hub: Users land on the Monthbooks Hub, a central point where they can access various months' tiles.

  4. Initiating book creation: Users can tap on a specific month tile to begin creating their book.

  5. Photo selection: Users proceed to the photo picker, where they choose the images for their book.

  6. Book editing: Users continue to the Book Editor, where they can rearrange and finalize the layout of their book.

  7. Book printing: Users proceed to the printing phase, where they confirm their selections and complete the process.

As you can observe, the process is quite lengthy, with multiple screens to navigate through.

Iterations

To enhance the user experience and reduce friction during the conversion process, we initiated several changes aimed at minimizing the number of screens users needed to navigate through.

Our primary focus areas for reducing clicks to conversion were as follows:

  1. Streamlining the Paywall: We significantly reduced the number of taps required for users to complete the payment process, minimizing it from (X) taps to just 2. This change aimed to make the transition from subscription selection to payment as seamless and efficient as possible.

Furthermore, we identified the need to increase the print rate of purchased books, as it directly impacts revenue. To achieve this goal, we concentrated on the following improvements:

  1. Enhancing the Photo Picker: By leveraging AI technology, we made the photo picker smarter, enabling users to swiftly select their desired images. Additionally, we enhanced accessibility and customization options by incorporating filters, providing users with a more personalized and enjoyable photo selection experience.

2. Optimizing Steps Post-Conversion: To increase the first book print rate by a notable 6%, we made a critical adjustment in the user flow. Instead of directing users to the book hub after conversion, we guided them directly to the book creation process. This change encouraged users to immediately engage with the book creation feature, significantly improving the chances of their purchased books being printed.

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By implementing these strategic enhancements, we successfully reduced the number of screens users needed to navigate through, minimizing friction during the conversion process. Additionally, we significantly improved the print rate of purchased books, maximizing revenue generation and enhancing the overall user satisfaction.

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