jennifer shen

Tap: Content Reorganization


Creating a fresh and personalized experience by showing users the right stories at the right time.



Tap by Wattpad is a chat-fiction app that introduces a new way to experience interactive stories on your phones. These stories go beyond text to integrate media like video, sound, images, voice notes, and even a “choose-your-own-ending” feature. Since its debut, Tap has grown its catalog to include over 300,000 stories and has recorded over 2 billion “taps” to date.



We have observed that regular Tap users have trouble finding new and fresh stories to read every time they come on Tap. Since these users keep on seeing the same stale content, it causes them to find Tap stories repetitive.

How might we make the content seem less repetitive so that our users continue to feel excited about stories they see on Tap and not churn?


original design

In the original design, users can discover content by scroll through a curated list of stories on Tap home page. Since we organize this list in reverse chronological order, it would only update weekly when new content releases. This forces our daily users to see the same stories every day, making our content seem limited and stale.



We conducted 4 remote user interviews with our power users to uncover why these users are not finding stories they want to read. Some of our findings include: 


Content Repetition

Users have the perception that stories on Tap seem repetitive due to the fact that they predominantly see horror stories. Although Tap has diversified their content selection, it seems like users still have trouble seeing story variety based on the current homepage setup.  

Stale Content

The list of stories on the home page and category page remain stale until new content is added. This means that daily users have to scroll down, sometimes for more than 30 seconds, to find stories they haven't seen before. 


We also asked Tap users what stories they usually look for and what steps users usually take to find them. We found that the current discovery process does not accommodate for most use cases and it was difficult to find stories on Tap.





In initial stages of brainstorming, I came up with many approaches make content discovery more efficient. Some ideas included discovery by moods, sub-genres, and reading history. After a few more brainstorming sessions and sketches, I decided on the modular design as the final design.


I tested the relevancy of the following modules with users through interviews and card sorting. I then iterated on the previous designs by narrowed down the number of modules, making adjustments on the copy, and rearranged their to better serve our users. 



Reducing Content Repetition

The redesigned modular discovery layout gives users more ways to discover stories and allows the team to showcase more diverse content. The new modules also allow users to have the ability to see and choose between more stories compared to the original design. We also introduced story-level metadata to reduce the perception of stale content by emphasizing the diversity of our content selection.


Delivering Fresh New Content

Since users can’t find fresh content due to the lack of story updates, we needed to surface stories that users have not read before. The new algorithm prioritizes stories that the user has not read before every time they pull-to-refresh or start a new session. 

pull to refresh.gif


Prioritizing Series Updates

From the interview learnings, we saw that the biggest pain point was that user had trouble finding series updates. Now when users finish a part of a series, they will automatically receive series updates from the new Notifications section in the side navigation bar.



During the design iterations, we were constantly testing and collecting feedback from our users to validate our designs. We used the qualitative learnings from usability tests and card sorting to improve our designs. To validate design decisions that had a lower risk, we launched A/B tests to gather quantitative results. The problems we wanted to address included the following:

  1. Did our solution boost our user retention and reading time

  2. Which modules do users find helpful and gravitate to first? 

  3. Does browsing on modules give users the perception of having fresher content?

  4. Is it easier for users to find stories they want to read with the new layout?



Since launch, the module redesign was met with good user reviews and has boosted subscriber retention in the first month and weekly reading time per engaged user



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