When I joined Samsung Ads, the product was at an early stage. At that time, Samsung Ads only had very limited ad placements and
post-clicks to offer to our advertisers. On the other hand, the ad experience was not appearing to be engaging to people. Many
people found the post-click experience was not providing much useful information. After the click, people would leave the ad
quickly. Also, people were less likely to click on an ad placement the next time.
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
No matter whether on web, mobile, or smart TV, an interactive ad experience has 3 steps:
People see the ad creatives
People click on the ad creatives
People learn more information to decide on purchasing
Ad placement is designed to encourage #1 and #2. Post-click experience is to solve problem #3.
Since Samsung Ads is an ad platform on Samsung smart TV, our main ad categories are TV shows and movies. The next question
I need to answer is: what information would help people make the decision on watching a TV show or a movie? To find out the answer, I ran a quick
survey and identified the top factors:
Synopsis and actors/actresses
Trailer of the TV show or movie
Therefore, the post-click needs to show people the screens where they can find the above information.
Design the Solution
When advertisers (Hulu, Warner Bros, etc.) promote their shows or movies, they usually have trailers and related information about the content.
It is not difficult to gather the information that people will need in their thinking.
Next, I designed the following post-clicks for 4 different use cases:
click-to-video: when advertisers have only 1 trailer.
click-to-microsite: when advertisers have 1-3 trailers.
click-to-application: when there is no trailer but the content is on OTT apps.
click-to-web: when there is no trailer but websites are available.
For click-to-video and click-to-microsite, though we had an existing video player and microsite design, I didn’t use them because they were not
sufficient for people’s needs. The old video player had no time duration indicator. People couldn’t 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 making good use of space. To improve the experience, I redesigned the video player and microsite templates
to meet the design requirements.
When people interact with ads, they consume the information and decide very quickly. To support this quick mental process, in my interaction
design, I made the flow short and easy, as no more than 2 clicks from seeing the ad to the decision. Also, in the video end card, I limited the
call-to-action buttons up to 2 to reduce cognitive workload for people.
A prototype that could run on TV and allow people to interact with a TV remote control would be ideal. However, this high
fidelity prototype 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.
For this 2-day usability testing, 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 me with feedback. The testing focused closely on the new
video player and microsite templates.
The findings and feedback helped me spot a few design misses. For example, in a scenario of ad-sponsored movie microsite, the action
button was labeled as “watch” turned out to be confusing to people. They were confused if this movie was completely free to watch or
if they would be charged once they clicked the “watch” button.
Some people also pointed out that they couldn’t tell what post-clicks they were about to click because there were no identifiers.
In the following design iterations, I proposed the design as adding visual clues to the ad placements so that people know what to
expect for the click.
Click to Microsite on TV 2018
Ad Video Player
Ad Video Player End Card
As a result, post-click engagement increased noticeably. The total amount of time people spend viewing post-click information increased by 50%.
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.
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.