Ad Post-Click

The Problem

Post-click is the practice of engaging visitors after they click an advertisement. When I joined Samsung Ads, the product was at an early stage. At that time, Samsung Ads had very limited ad placements and post-clicks to offer to our advertisers. Additionally, the post-click experience was not engaging for people with many finding the experience unhelpful and thus closing the ad quickly. With this poor ad experience, people were less likely to click on an ad placement the next time leading to unhappy advertisers.



My Role

As the lead designer on the ads team, my responsibilities cover the end-to-end design process, including research, exploration, low-fi and high-fi sketches, interactive prototypes, and usability testing.

(For my non-disclosure agreement, I omitted and obscured confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study does not necessarily reflect the views of Samsung.)

How I Design

Needs and Wants

Whether on web, mobile, or smart TV, an interactive ad experience has 3 steps:
  1. People see the ad.
  2. People click on the ad.
  3. People learn more information and make a purchasing decision.
Ad placement is designed to encourage #1 and #2. Post-click experience is to solve problem #3.

Since Samsung Ads is a platform on Samsung smart TVs, our main ad categories are TV shows and movies. So the question is, what information would help people make the decision on watching a TV show or a movie? To find the answer, I ran a quick survey and identified the top factors:
  1. Synopsis and actors/actresses
  2. Trailer of the TV show or movie
  3. Airing date
  4. Price
Therefore, the post-click needs to show people the screens where they can find the above information.

Research Findings



Design the Solution

Advertisers (e.g., Hulu, Warner Bros, etc.) typically promote their shows or movies with trailers and related information. Thus, it is easy to collect content related to the four factors.

Next, I designed the following post-clicks for four different use cases:
  1. click-to-video: when advertisers have one trailer only.
  2. click-to-microsite: when advertisers have more information beyond a trailer, e.g. synopsis, posters.
  3. click-to-application: when the content is on over-the-top apps, e.g. Hulu, Netflix.
  4. click-to-web: when only websites are available. This is less likely but we need it as a backup.
When people interact with ads, the process of seeing, clicking, and deciding about a purchase is quick. Thus, in my design, the interaction flow was short and easy, with no more than two clicks from seeing the ad to the decision. Also, in the ending screen of video ads, I limited the call-to-action buttons up to two to reduce cognitive workload for people.

Ad Post-Clicks



Ad Post-Clicks




For click-to-video and click-to-microsite, we had an existing video player and microsite design, though I did not use them because they were not sufficient for people’s needs. The old video player had no time duration indicator so people would not know how long the trailer would be. Also, people had to wait till the end of the trailer to take further action (e.g., buy the movie). In the old microsite, the video container was small and was centered in the screen which was not a good use of space. As a remedy, I redesigned the video player and microsite templates to meet the updated design requirements.

Video Player and Microsite Redesign



Quick Prototype

A high fidelity prototype that could run on a TV and allow people to interact with a remote control would be ideal. However, this would require a long time to build which didn’t fit into our product timeline. Therefore, I used Axure to build an interactive prototype which reflected the post-click experience from screen to screen. As a replacement of remote control, I drew a mock remote control in Axure prototype so that people could understand how the real interaction would be.

Axure Prototype



Usability Testing

For this two-day usability test, I recruited 10 Samsung employees from other teams to be my participants. In the testing session, people were asked to click through all the post-click options and provide feedback. The testing focused closely on the new video player and microsite templates.

The findings and feedback helped me spot a few design problems. For example, in a design of ad-sponsored movie microsite, participants commented that the action button labeled “watch” was confusing to them. They were unclear if this movie was completely free to watch or if they would be charged once they clicked the “watch” button.

Some participants also pointed out that they could not tell what post-clicks they were about to click because there were no labels or icons. In the following design iterations, I proposed the design of adding visual clues to the ad placements so that people know what to expect for the click.

Launched Product

Click to Microsite on TV 2018



Ad Microsite




Ad Video Player




Ad Video Player Ending Screen


The Impact

As a result, post-click engagement increased noticeably. The total amount of time people spent on video player and microsite increased by 49%; abandon rate decreased by 42%.

We helped advertisers maximize brand engagement to drive useful results. In 2018, we increased traffic to an automotive brand site by 4.4x, adding incremental reach and efficiency to TV and digital advertising.

Takeaways

On a business-driven team, designers must stick to the design principles to achieve good design. Do not give up research because there is no time for it. Do not leave out testing because there is no tool to use.

Always do the best, find your own time, come up with workarounds, deliver high-quality design solutions, and convince the stakeholders.