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 the advertisers. Additionally, the post-click experience was not engaging for people. Many of them found the experience unhelpful and thus closed the ad quickly. With this poor ad experience, people were less likely to click on an ad the next time and that led to the challenge of business growth.



My Role

As the lead designer for owned-and-operated ad units on Samsung smart TV, my top priority is to execute my design vision by partnering up with the cross-functional team to deliver a high-quality user experience.

In the past years, I've helped the team ship out a good number of ad products, and the business has been growing 100% year over year. This article is about my general design process, a brief showcase of the final products, and the learnings I want to share. For a deep dive into case studies, please contact me.

(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 the web, mobile, or smart TV, an interactive ad experience follows 3 steps:
  1. People see an ad.
  2. People click on the ad.
  3. People learn more information and make purchase decisions.
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 TV, our main ad categories are TV shows and movies. So the question is, what information would help people decide on watching content? To find the answer, I ran a quick survey and identified the top factors:
  1. Synopsis and cast
  2. Trailer of the TV show/movie
  3. Airing date
  4. Price
Therefore, a post-click experience needs to present the above information to people.

Research Findings



Design the Solution

Advertisers (e.g., Hulu, Warner Bros, etc.) typically promote their shows or movies with trailers and additional information. Thus, it is easy to acquire the assets from them to support the 4 factors.

Next, 4 post-clicks were designed for different use cases:
  1. click-to-video: when an advertiser focuses on promoting one content with a trailer.
  2. click-to-microsite: when an advertiser has more information beyond one trailer, e.g. multiple trailers, synopsis.
  3. click-to-application: when the content has a page in over-the-top apps, e.g. Hulu, Netflix.
  4. click-to-web: when a website is the only available asset. This is less likely but we need it as a backup.
When people interact with an ad, the process of seeing, clicking, and deciding on a purchase is quick. Thus, the interaction flow was designed to be 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 button up to 2 buttons 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 template. However, I didn't recommend using them because they were not sufficient to meet user needs. For example, the old video player didn't show time duration to let people 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 on the screen which was not a good use of space. Therefore, I redesigned the video player and microsite templates to meet the new design requirements.

Video Player and Microsite Redesign



Quick Prototype

Ideally, a high fidelity-prototype that could run on a TV and allow people to interact with a remote control would be the best for user testing. However, this would require a long time to build which didn’t fit in our product development timeline. So instead, I used Axure to build an interactive prototype that reflected the post-click experience from screen to screen. As a replacement for real remote control, I drew a mockup in the 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 design.

The findings and feedback helped me realize what I could improve with design. For instance, in a design of an ad-sponsored movie microsite, participants commented that the action button labeled “watch” was confusing to them. They were not sure if this movie was completely free to watch or if they would be asked to pay after they clicked the “watch” button.

In the following design updates, I worked with the marketing team on regulating CTA button labels. We added a new section in the ad policy to instruct advertisers on appropriate button labels that would enhance user experience.

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 the video player and microsite increased by 29%, and the abandon rate decreased by 15%.

Beyond that, we helped advertisers maximize brand engagement to drive useful results. Last year, 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.

Design is a team sport, not only should a designer work with fellow designers, but also should partner up with people on the cross-functional team. At the beginning of each project, set up a clear design goal, help the team understand and align on it. Set a reasonable expectation on the timeline, get to know the role and responsibility in the project, and develop a good partnership with the people. While being responsible for the design deliverables, proactively assist with what the team needs and drive the results.