Overview

App Discoverer

NiuDun100 is an App discovery and download platform. It enables consumers to explore and download apps iOS App Store running in any country. The primary need of NiuDun100 is to attract more user to explore and download apps in NiuDun’s ecosystem. According to the user research, we design a UGC community to address this need.

MY ROLE

UX/UI design, usability test, user research

Worked with PM and three other designers. Led the strategy analysis, ideation and visual design.

DURATION

Apr 2020 - May 2020

IMPACT

Improve the download experience and solved the business problems in increasing user engagement.

Gained positive user feedback.

New community feature was launched in Oct 2020.

ABOUT NIUDUN100

Niudun100 is a is a global App discovery and download platform.

8000+ daily new registered users

Background

Niudun100 enables iOS users to download global apps efficiently and rewardingly.

Niudun100 is an app download platform that displays apps across different countries.

It enables users to easily download apps across countries by providing redirect link to the AppStore download page. Niudun100 offers cash back if users download the app through its link.

For business owners and app developers, Niudun100 provides them with a place to do promotion.

Client Need

Increase app downloads and support better user experience.

We set up a meeting with stakeholders including a product lead and a tech lead in Niudun100 to learn about the industry insights, business goal and their current needs.

Needfinding

Talked with product manager to learn more about the product goal and conducted user testing to evaluate potential issues.

The client need is quite broad and somehow ambiguous, so the next step is to decide the specific problem statement. Therefore, we did a user testing with 5 users to evaluate the current user experience.

The goal of the usability test is to evaluate how well the current design can support users to download apps and how users feel about it.

Usability task - users are supposed to finish:

In Niudun100, download a new foreign app that you're interested in and try to get cash back.

Key problems

1. Users have problems in directly finding the app they like, and usually pick up one randomly at last.
2. The current HTML format is less preferred than an app on a smartphone.
3. To withdraw cash back is complex.

Prioritization

Prioritization based on the product value, user value, and cost.

We got three problems based on the testing result. In order to decide which problem we are going to solve, I analyzed the three directions with impacts and constraints.

The core product value of Niudun100 is to help iOS users download global apps. I used the Kano Model to categorize features in Niudun100 and identified the basic (threshold) features, performance features, and bonus (excitement) features according to the product goal.

Balance ideas

By evaluated the problem with user value, product value, constrains and cost, we decided to solve the problem that has the biggest value with minimum efforts.

We decided to move forward with the problem 1, to help user find apps they like more efficiently.

By observing users' behaviors, it seems like users are usually confused and quickly lost in a mass of available apps. They are not sure about if the app is good to try or not and usually need to go to other places, such as social media, to search for information.

Problem Statement: narrowed down the challenge to

How might we optimize downloads via helping users better explore interesting apps?

Interview

To find out pain points in exploring interesting apps.

We interviewed 8 people to learn about their journey of downloading apps and generated two common journey maps of downloading app in iOS App Store.

At the beginning, user always need to know the app, sometimes know it in the app store or elsewhere. Then users would make decision on whether download it or not based on his knowledge about this app.

User Journey: explore before download

Read more, download more

What is user looking for when exploring interesting apps?

To download an app, users need to know an app and get knowledge about it, which are important factors for downloading an app. However, Niudun100 doesn't provide an efficient way for users to learn about apps.

Key insights - information sharing matters

1. Download apps based on recommendations, such as from friends or KOL.

2. AppStore and commercial ads don't provide enough convincing information.

3. Authentic reviews and personal app experiences are important.

4. Users like to share apps they like with others.

Design Goal

Help Niudun100 users gather app information efficiently during exploring apps.

Solution Exploration

Generating solutions with research findings.

Feature requirements

1. See other users' experiences using particular apps.

2. Read recommendations and real comments about apps.

3. Being able to share their own thoughts.

4. Get latest news about popular apps or promotions.

5. Different experience compared to Apple AppStore.

Option: News for apps

Offering fresh news on global apps.

Option: Comments

Enable users to leave comments below the app download page.

Option: UGC forum

Enable users to upload posts to share their experiences using apps.

Optimized Solution

Evaluating the pros and cons for each option.

Design a community feature for Niudun100 that contains user-generated content and professional app news.

1. Enable users to browse and share interesting apps and personal experience in a bigger community.

2. To reduce the startup cost, Niudun100 official account will provide daily news and promotions to keep the community active.

3. Let users stay on the Niudun100 platform longer and improve user engagement.

Design

Sketches

1. Users can browse news for apps.
2. Users can create, share and save the content they like.
3. Encourage user to take action: the target app is shown on the right.
4. For bussinese owner, they are able to post promotion for their products.

News: read and learn

Users can read latest news of the global apps, which makes exploration easier and happier.

Browse, post and share

Users can post images, texts even videos to share their true app experience, and can freely browse to find interesting apps in NiuDun100 community.
When users share contents, they can involve more potential users in NiuDun's platform.

Visual makeover: Tab bar menu

Change to more recognizable icons, making Community and User Profile intuitive and understandable.

Given that Niudun100 wants to expand its business to the international market, we redesigned the Coupon icon to make it more universal. (The initial icon is hard to understand beyond Chinese culture.)

Keep visual consistency and adjust the margin. Each icon is tap-able and follow human-centered design.

Feedback and Iterations

We did user test to evaluate the prototype and gathered feedback from 8 users. The user group covered 23 - 45 years old and included both new users and tech-savvy.

New user group said they wanted cues to get started. For people who are more proficient in apps, they want to navigate desired content more quickly and efficiently.

Iteration 1

Recommender system as new user onboarding

For who are new to Niudun100 community, we provide a simple page for them to pick topics they like, and system will recommend content based on their choices.

Category

We add categories on the top to (1) help quickly navigate; (2) allow users to explore other topics when changing preferences.

Iteration 2

Optimize download access

We moved the download access to the bottom of the post and let it take the whole width. The intention for this is to make the download link more accessible therefore increase the click rate. We combined a download icon to help encourage user to take action.

Next Step

Second round user test: A/B testing to evaluate the click rate before and after optimizing the download access.

To be continue...

Edit: Niudun100 shipped its new community feature on October, 2020. In the current version, it posts daily news and promotions of apps. It brought an increase in user base and engagement. There are around 200 daily new users coming to Niudun100.

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