Internet company is an online platform that enables event creators to sell tickets and manage their events. A large part of my role currently is working with individual designers on their projects. Before I shifted into management I worked on a series of experiments and tweaks to improve the creator experience. I have documented one of the changes I led below.

Roles played: User Research, Prototyping, Design Lead, Testing

Project done in 2019

Background

When I started at Internet company I was hungry for research about what our event creators were like, particularly because I had been creating events and organizing events using Internet company for a few years before joining the company. I was surprised to find mostly research from our market research team rather than UX research. The team I was on was focused on how we priced and packaged our features.

Empathize

We had identified that low ticket value creators (less than $15 ticket price) had taken a significant dip in their activity on the platform. We were curious as to why that was happening. I initiated a scrappy UX research initiative where I sourced creators and former creators who had used Internet company via craigslist in our top markets. After conversations with 15 creators who hosted events that cost less than $15 I has a much better grasp on the challenges our creators were facing. I coded all the interviews into an airtable, you can see my method for that in this article. The biggest struggles we saw for our creators were money management, and an overall lack of knowledge/confidence in the features we had. A consistent theme I heard was that our payout process moved too slow for them. We default our creators to a post-event payout, but for these less expensive events creators are typically paying up front for things to get a better deal. They are extremely money conscious. Here are a few key quotes:

“We used Internet company and we didn’t get our funds until 8 days later, that was frustrating”

 

“A successful event is one where I don’t have to pay out of pocket”

 

We noted that creators that had moved off of the platform often cited the speed of our payouts as a major reason to leave our platform. We do have a feature called “advance payouts” but most creators we talked to were not aware of that.

 

We also ran a survey focused on payouts and learned the following:

62% of creators were unaware that they could get paid before their event ended
72% of creators who were unaware of Advance Payouts, were interested in learning more about Advanced Payouts
34% of creators were unsure when they got paid

Define

We were able to distill it to these 3 main problem statements:

  1. Creators need to feel in control over their money.

  2. Creators can’t find features that exist that they want.

  3. Creators need their money as fast as possible.

We decided to focus on these problems in 2 different ways.

Prototype/Test

We initially decided to create an experiment that focused on enabling daily payouts for creators. We had a hypothesis that if we reduced the amount of time creators had to wait for their payouts we would see better retention on the platform. We tested this by enabling turning on daily payouts for a select group of creators and sent them a email letting them know that was an option for them now. Our baseline was our normal open-rate for most of our emails and seeing how many creators turned on daily payouts out of this group. During this work we really got a good understanding of the process of setting up payouts on our platform which was not an easy task. We saw strong engagement with the functionality but were surprised that people got the email letting them know about daily payouts and turned on other functionality such as weekly or monthly advance payouts, we were able to deduce that they simply had no idea that advance payouts existed as a whole.

Improving on-boarding

We realized we could improve the experience of setting up payouts and make it much clearer what was happening and what was needed. We also made it much clearer what schedule you were currently on. We took a page that had little to no hierarchy or clear next steps and a lot of information, and we split it into 2 pages so creators could focus on the task at hand.

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We improved the navigation to find these pages, and we improved the copy and design on the pages and introduced clearer next steps. The original page forced creators to select their payment processor and then select their payout method and schedule. A lot of creators overlooked setting up their payouts and only focused on what their payment processor was. By splitting these pages, improving discoverability, and improving the copy and design we saw an over 20% increase in adoption of advance payouts, and a 28% increase of traffic to the pages.