Quantitative UX/CX Research for
Newsday

Newsday is a daily print and online news publisher serving the New York City borough of Queens and Long Island. I worked with the House of Kaizen agency on this project as a Quantitative Researcher using heatmap analysis, funnel analysis, form field analysis and live session recordings to reduce friction, discover usability issues, improve value prepositions, and further optimize the subscription and checkout process.

Overview

Goals

  • Understand how users behave at the shop and checkout

  • Discover where users are experiencing friction

  • Learn where users are experiencing anxiety

  • Find ways to optimize the experience and motivate sign ups

Overview

Methods I used

Process - Heatmap analysis

Heatmaps let me understand more about where users really wanted to go

Insight 1 - Heatmap analysis

Up to 30% of users were still looking for more info on the shop page

Insight 2 - Heatmap analysis

More than half of mobile users did not see the other subscription options

Possible Solutions

Here's how others kept their products above the fold

Other products (from left to right): Lifesum, The Athletic, Netflix, Habitify and Headspace.

Insight 3 - Heatmap analysis

The design and size of the mobile header is a friction point to filling in the form

Possible Solution

Here's how it could be improved

Process - Session Recordings

Session recordings helped me uncover usability issues causing friction

Insight 1 - Session recordings

Opportunity to expedite sign up for previous subscribers

Returning users had pre-existing accounts. The backend recognized their email, but they were asked to complete the form anyway. 

Possible Solution

Direct user to log in as soon as an email is recognized

Once logged in, have the user confirm their address and then introduce them to a deal they are eligible for.

 

before

After

INSIGHT 2 - Session recordings

Create a path for lapsed subscribers to expedite sign up

Lapsed subscribers don’t always realize they’re ineligible for the deal. Users who had pre-existing accounts or lapsed subscriptions struggled with a “New start failed” error when trying to get the new deal. They were ineligible but they were not shown or directed to another one they could purchase. 

This represented a missed opportunity to re-engage with users who had already used the product. These users were primed to buy but they were looking for an incentive to re-subscribe. Instead, they abandoned their transactions in frustration as their journey reached a dead end.

INSIGHT 3 - Session recordings

If a form field is not optional, make it really clear

Some users struggled to complete all the form fields. They scanned around looking for the field they missed, but it was not always obvious. Others gave up in the confusion. 

Possible Solution

Here's how it could be improved

INSIGHT 4 - Session recordings

Align error messages with the appropriate form field for quick correction

Sometimes the users struggled to find the form field that needed attention because the notification was not proximal to the error. The error in this example is in the address field. That field also has a green border—causing more friction. 

Possible Solution

Here's how it could be improved

INSIGHT 5 - Session recordings

Consent and continue caused confusion

Some users experienced friction around the consent check box and progressing to the next step. 

It happened on mobile too

The “Continue” button becomes active before the user has checked consent. 

Then the user gets an an error because they forgot to check consent.

Possible Solution

Here's how it could be improved

Key Takeaways

Summary of insights

  • Users are seeking more information on Newsday on the shop page
  • Form analysis indicates checkout may be premature for users arriving through the paywall
  • Create a path for lapsed members to motivate and expedite sign up
  • Opportunity to redesign the mobile shop to increase visibility of the print subscriptions
  • Session recording analysis indicated no obvious difference in outcomes between 100 users who saw the renewal price and 100  who did not 
  • Implementing form field best practices and functionality optimizations will increase completions

Want to work together?

Adam Inglis – UX Designer and Researcher based in New York.

Adam
Inglis