Designing Paywalls for Sipree, Inc.
USER RESEARCH | USER EXPERIENCE RESEARCH | BEHAVIORAL PSYCHOLOGY DESIGN | VISUAL DESIGN
ABOUT SIPREE, INC.
Sipree, Inc. is a cloud-based finance tech start-up that allows enterprise companies and governments to deliver instant payments to their consumers via a white-label platform that utilizes alternative payment networks such as Venmo, Paypal and so forth. They were working on a new "Paywall" product and needed help designing several versions.
Sipree needed help designing a new "Paywall" product, with the main goal being to prevent people from selecting the "Check by Mail" option. However, they lacked a strategy and the time to properly conduct user research in order to understand user behavior regarding alternative payment options.
Using our knowledge of behavioral psychology design and cognitive biases, we designed three additional paywalls. Ultimately, we found that there was one prototype of the Paywall that was the most effective in achieving Sipree's goal; and, it was largely due to the application of behavioral psychology design.
Lead Product Designer
The Design Process
1 WEEK • BEHAVIORAL PSYCHOLOGY + COGNITIVE BIASES RESEARCH
Relevant Cognitive Biases
As humans, we are not truly rational thinkers and cognitive biases often impact our decision-making — how we sell, buy, interact with people, think, feel and ultimately — make choices. I am absolutely fascinated by this, which is why I decided to use these notions as the basis for our redesigns.
1 WEEK • SIMPLE TASK FLOW • LO-FI WIREFRAMING
Scenario and Context
Since Sipree's many clients range from Global 2000 companies to government institutions, we had to re-scope the project and narrow it down to one particular payment/reimbursement scenario in order to arrive at useful research results and findings. In the case of our project, the scenario was that of a "Rust Consulting" settlement case regarding hardware.
1 WEEK • HI-FI WIREFRAMING + PROTOTYPING
The Final Hi-Fi Paywall Designs
1 WEEK • COMPREHENSION + USABILITY TESTING • 30 INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED
User Testing and Questions Asked
As the Lead Product Designer, I chose to conduct both comprehension and usability testing on 30 users. I also composed the entirety of the interview script. For each design, six individuals were asked and conducted a series of questions and tasks, respectively, in order for our team to achieve unbiased research results.
I'm sure the key findings regarding payment choices will not be shocking to anyone. While there were a total of seven payment choices, not a single interviewee of the 30 (who ranged greatly in age) selected Starbucks or "Check by Mail".
We definitely did gain some interesting insights, such as the fact that over 50% of those interviewed were surprised by Starbucks as a payment option and that most people today trust these alternative payment options far more than the U.S. Postal Service. Also, people are lazy — but that's nothing new. No one wants to wait for a check, nor would they want to make the extra effort to go out and cash it.
Ultimately, we found that behavioral psychology design can definitely have an affect on user choices and behavior, even in this context — as one particular prototype was the most effective by somehow eliminating the "Check by Mail" option without actually doing so. In any case, at the end of the day, people tend to stick to their gut when making choices as each person has their own mental model and lived experiences which impact their choices, and those things, are sometimes nearly impossible to change.
Winning Paywall Design
Delivery + Reflection
Sipree was incredibly happy with our research findings, despite the fact that the scope of the project shifted massively from what they had originally intended. Beyond delivering our results and designs, they will also be taking our recommendations and implementing our designs in their new white-label product.
Looking back now, I am so glad I was able to lead a project that began with a complete lack of structure or direction, and both restructure and re-scope it to provide research and design deliverables that satisfied the client. Being as obsessed with behavioral psychology design as I am (Thanks to Nir Eyal's Hooked!), this experience and what we were able to uncover and create are things I am immensely proud of.
We were tasked with redesigning many versions of a single screen with basically zero constraints except for a few set elements. While it may seem minor in comparison to the creation or redesign of a massive web or mobile app since our redesigns revolved around only one screen — it was the research aspect and thought that went into the designing these screens that made this project oddly special, ridiculously challenging (in a good way) and somewhat unforgettable.