About

Animoto is video creation software designed for small business owners and marketers who have no prior design software experience. The company vision was to drive user growth by having engaged users spread the word about Animoto. We needed to consider repeat usage and habit formation in order for our users to be successful enough so that they would spread a positive message about Animoto. 

Opportunity Discovery

Our desired outcome is to increase the number of videos that users make over time. We know that first time users engagement drops dramatically after their first month, because users come to Animoto with the short-term goal of creating 1 video. The metric we would be tracking the amount of videos the user creates month 2+. More specifically watching users as they create videos in the first 4 months.
Basically, Users don’t know that they have to make videos regularly in order to successfully market their products or services. We need to inform our users what video marketing relies on repeat efforts, explain why and then help them make those videos or they will fail to see the value in coming back to use the product after the initial project is complete.  
Wearing my product management hat we used the opportunity solution tree framework the whole team submitted short user stories that aligned with these goals. From general issues like “I dont know where to start with video” to more technical problems like “I cant find the right video template to match my company’s look and feel”

*Opportunity Solution Tree

*Single branch of Opportunity Solution Tree

*Opportunity Solution Tree leads back to our desired outcome

We organized these user stories and formed the branches of the tree that lead back to our desired outcome and company vision. Then taking this structure and searching for the data that would help me size these opportunities so the team would know where to start. Some data was taken from analytical reports and some were from conducting interviews with experts within the organization. For example I may talk with the customer success team about how many tickets they received around a certain topic or work with the tradeshow team to hear about the features that come up when they demo the product.
The upfront research lead us to two areas that seemed to have the most impact on our users and were causing the most confusion and frustration, in terms of product adoption and habit formation: “Its not easy for me to make a professional video” and “I want to create videos regularly over time”
Now that we were able to find the areas of the product that was causing the most pain we were able to write our problem statement that would help guide the research that we would do in this area.

Quantitative Research

Now that we knew where we wanted to invest our time and efforts it was time for me to dig even deeper into the research. We started by pulling data on our “highly engaged users”, or users who have created more than 1 video per month consistently for a year. Looking into metrics from these users will help us figure out what success looks like for the user. Studying these users on topics like their average video output, industry, project start method, the templates they used, the time it took them to publish a video, the length of the video and the export method they used. These gave us insights on our highly engaged users behaviors.
Studying these metrics gave us key insights on our highly engaged users behaviors which we could use to inform the design decisions we will make when designing the solution

Expert Interviews

We also knew that we would need to figure out what content could help our users be successful. We needed our content to inform the user about best practices around creating their own content, tracking their success, leveraging social media and, of course, understanding how often to post their content. So we started conducting interviews with marketing experts within the organization and among our highly engaged users to figure out how they solve these problems.
We then synthesized this data down into key insights on what content to post, how often to post on different social media channels, how to track your success and we got some insights on some of the challenges that our users face.

Competitor Analysis

Another part of our research was to audit how some of our competitors and innovators from around the web are handling goal setting so we can use some familiar patterns. There are certain elements in goal setting for the user.

Layers of Goals

Some other take-aways from this analysis was the concept that there are layers. When we look at what these layers might mean for our users it looks something like this: 

  1. Immediate goals which are to create 1 video to be used for a singular purpose.
  2. Project based goals which are part of a campaign, product release, or event these are many videos that are all part of a unified project. 
  3. Lastly there are user lifetime goals, these might not be apparent to the user but throughout their career they will be making progress and advancing in areas like using the design software, becoming better storytellers

Ideation Workshop

I rounded up all this research and presented it to the team during an ideation workshop and allowed our project manager, 2 developers and some outside steakholders whose input we wanted to capture to sketch out ideas. We then did some dot voting and collected everyones thoughts on which ideas worked well and which ones didn’t and turned those statements into key insights which we would use to drive our concepts.

User Flows

Then I started taking a look at possible user flows that were focused on these ideas and gathering feedback from the design team and other contributors.

Concepts

After  a ton of exploration gathering feedback and refining my designs these user flows eventually lead us to 3 concepts that we felt pretty good about.
Concept 1 a Dashboard that the user can see 4 milestones and has some motivational content geared towards getting the user to get to the next step
Concept 2 a similar dashboard but the milestones have informative content that gives the user ideas/instructions on what video to create next.
Concept 3 concept where the user is shown what video to create next while they are searching for video templates. 

User Testing

I wrote three scripts and ran all 3 concepts through usertesting.com and learned that users loved seeing the milestones. They resonated the most with the first 2 concepts and while they resonated most with the concept that provided instruction on what video to make next we decided that we could roll out a test with the first concept to get some early learnings.

The Result

After the first month of running the test we saw that there was an increase in the amount of users who are creating videos in month 2. We also saw an increase in the amount of users who made videos in the first 4 months after they signed up. 

The results were pretty promising and showed early signs that we are headed in the right direction. With this successful test we are able to move forward with testing different types of content for the roll out of our second concept.