Audible had focused for years on making a simple checkout experience. There were various hurdles to purchasing an audiobook on Audible.com and Amazon.com that add complexity. While my Amazon team had managed to simplify the user experience for learning about an audiobook and purchasing, we knew that Audible wasn't being seen as the media brand it deserved to be. Audible was making a large push into exclusive content to establish itself as a media brand. I knew it was the right time to consider optimizing our product detail pages to give a better user experience.
The current experience was highly Amazonian but through user testing and research, we knew our customers didn't always connect with the content as they should. In fact, most membership purchases we done through content-first flows. People search for the content they want first and if they see you have that content, they sign up for membership and purchase the content together. Customers also told us that sampling played a big role in making the decision whether to buy the book or not. Was the narrator droll when speaking? Did they get you excited to listen? Can you listen to that person speak for 15 hours? These were all things we learn from user testing sessions on our control experience. We new we were on the right track by wanting to enhance user engagement with content and that it could play out really well for the company if we addressed these needs.
We first started on this by partnering with our marketing team and decided that our first approach would be on exclusive audiobook titles or select ones where there would be high traffic and people would stop and spend more time. So we began concepting for these one-off experiences for select titles. We redesigned above the fold the be a much more robust experience with sampling at the forefront. Users would click on the play button for the audiobook trailer and a waveform would begin to move across the top playing the curated audiobook sample as the clouds and lightning flashed in the background. We restructured the buy box area and format chiclets to simplify the cognitive load that was present on the control. After that we also implemented a "What is Audible" module to explain to users what Audible membership was because user feedback suggested that people would come to the page for the price but not understand what Audible was.
We then made the synopsis more prominent so people could learn about the book. Another very cool piece of functionality we designed was the ability to have the page change similar to a choose your own adventure. Users would see a marketing module on the Amazon gateway page to choose whether they supported The Chosen One or The Dark Mark, and it would begin playing a contextual audiobook sample around each and at the end, bring them to the immersive Harry Potter Audible page skinned for whichever path they chose. If they want to go down the other path as well, we had an additional module on the page to allow them to listen to that. It gave fun interactivity to ads on Amazon.
While our team loved the idea and we went into development on the designs, we knew we had to continue doing something similar but make it more scalable to our full collection of over 200k titles. So we began breaking down the control experience again and determining how we could make it more scalable while still offering a media experience.
We began thinking through design systems and how we can begin breaking down the elements into testable components and not just do a complete redesign and launch it in a single go. My team worked with the PDP team at Amazon to understand what things they've seen and learned. We also worked with the Games team at Amazon to understand a recent immersive redesign they did for game detail pages.
After pulling together all of our research, mapping out user flows, and digging into data, we put together a short document with learnings to present to leadership on how our users engaged with Audible content.
After countless hours or research, running design studios with various teams, and concepting, we landed on a redesign which was scalable to 200k titles, utilized a modular design system to easily test how each change affected numbers, and had listening and cleaner checkout at the forefront. With content first flows being a key driver for the Audible business and a primary need for the user, this was an important project that would help engage users more deeply than the transactional checkout experience provided by the control. Before I left Audible, these elements began being weblabbed (A/B tested) to understand impact that each had, starting first with sample button placement and consistency.
While you're here, why not check out some of my other work also. You might find something you'll like.