For internal content team members who need to drive engagement within the Manga Rock app, For You is a new feature that allows them to configure the home screen of the Manga Rock app to showcase specific content to a specific audience across the iOS, Android, and Web app.
Unlike the current home tab in which there is a fixed set of sections, the new For You home screen allows curators to customize the sections and their orders in the app.
Concepts & Ideation
Enterprise UI/UX Design
1 product manager
MR (Manga Rock) Comics is a manga and comic aggregator app available on iOS, Android, and Web. With a huge catalog of over 20,000 free comic titles, readers have an abundance of choices when it comes to choosing a title to read.
However, it is this abundance that has resulted in difficulty for the readers to actually find something worthwhile to spend their time on. One of the most common feedback and suggestion we got back from our readers is that they would spend more time looking for something to read and actually reading something.
From an experience point of view, we want the time it takes from launching the app to reading to be as little as possible, because the more time user spends reading, the more value for them and for the ads-based business.
We tried to assume the role of manga and comic readers looking for something to read when they’re inside Manga Rock. Right now, when users open the app, they are faced with a list of all 20K+ titles, sorted by popularity or newest. Users can search, sort, and filter by genre. These are the means that users can employ to look for something to read, and we want to look into this activity and do something to enhance it.
Assuming the role of a comic reader, our team discovered the following opportunities:
- Discover comics based on what’s hot and trending right now
- Discover comics based on what’s new
- Discover comics based on genres
- Discover comics based on curated collections on a specific theme
- Discover comics that is similar to what they read
- Discover comics based on the current occassion, festivities, time of year
- Discover comics based on user reviews
After some rounds of discussion, we settled on an idea of a single point of discovery that readers can find comics to read based on a variety of factors. The feature is called For You, it will be a new tab in the app, next to All and Latest, used to showcase daily featured, new & relevant content to users.
For the feature to work, we need to cater to 2 different sets of users: the readers and the content curators. This article will focus on the side of the content curators.
Content curators need to control what readers see in the For You view of the reader apps on iOS, Android, and Web. They would need to define:
- The items to be shown
- Which dates to show these items
- Which platforms, versions and source to show
- Which audience to show these items to
Also, after each release, the content curators would also need to measure the performance on that date, to better inform them about future content.
To control how the For You view looks, we come up with the idea of For You Releases. They can set a different For You Release for each platform, app version, and manga source. The flow would look like this:
- Content curator create a new For You Release
- Define items
- Set release date
- Set target audience
- Publish the For You Release
- View the list of releases
- Search for a specific release based on release date, platform, audience…
- View the releases on a calendar
- Wait for the day to come
- View reports and analytics
- Duplicate the For You Release to quickly define a new release
For the items inside each For You Release, we come up with the term Sections. Sections are the main building blocks of a For You Release. To the readers, the For You screen is a vertical list of sections.
Based on the needs of the content team, we identified the following types of sections inside a For You Release:
- System Generated – auto-generated in apps or Manga Rock server
- Hot Updates – popular manga with new updates
- Being Read Right Now – manga currently read by other users
- Recommended For You – similar manga to those user already read
- Popular This Week – manga read the most this week
- Because You Read – up to 3 sections of recommended manga based on a manga user recently read
- Sponsored Ads – display native ad
- Promotion – a customizable section for displaying promotional content
- Custom – a customizable section for displaying hand-picked content, such as collections, tips…
Based on the above user flow, we define the touchpoints that content curators need to go through as the following information architecture.
The illustrated screen flow looked something like this:
As there are many systems involved in the making of this feature, I drew a sequence diagram to illustrate what’s actually going on behind the scenes between the different systems.
Finalizing The Business Rules
After this initial effort, we come together with other stakeholders from content, tech, and business for a discussion. After that, we settled on the following business rules:
- A For You Release would contain many Sections
- A new For You Release has the Draft status and need to be publish before it can be shown inside the app.
- There can be only one For You Release for a combination of selected platform, app version, manga source and date. Trying to publish another would result in a conflict.
- Once released, a For You Release can still be changed, and those changes need to be reflected quickly in the apps.
- If there is no For You Release published for an app on a given date, a Default Release will be used. When creating a new For You Release, an addons user can set it to be a Default Release. A Default Release does not have release date and other targeting information.
This feature lies within MR Systems Addons Portal and utilizes its navigation structure.
After 2 months of implementation, we rolled the feature out to the content curators, alongside the reader app’s release. The content effort has been planned weeks in advance, and it was just a matter of data entry. Overall, we saw a significant increase in weekly and monthly active users. And users would say that they especially love the human touch of the collections, and stated that they would not have discovered these comics if it were not for Manga Rock!
Next, riding on our success, we continued to work on improving the For You so that it is even more tailored to each individual user’s taste, read more in Content Targeting For Manga Rock.