• Vidyard Free

    May 2019–Aug 2019

    Vidyard launched a screen recording chrome extension in late 2016. 300k signups later, Vidyard was ready for a self-serve freemium product to advance what the extension had started. This is how we designed the Free tier of Vidyard's first freemium offering.

    For more context, read a bit about my time at Vidyard, and how I prepared the Vidyard platform for freemium. (5 min read)

    Team and Role

    The team included 5 engineers, an engineering lead, a QA, a product manager and myself. As the sole designer for Vidyard Freemium, I worked with the team through the entire thing, from defining the product goals and metrics, to scoping the work down to an MVP, to designing the visuals and interactions, all the way to the launch.

    Video for all

    As a newly formed team, we were tasked with shipping Vidyard's freemium product within a single quarter. While Vidyard's use-case for the chrome extension had been for sales outreach, there were clear indicators that the use-case can be expanded to help more people communicate with video. Thousands of users did not fit into the sales persona and were utilizing the extension in creative ways:

    1. An author was scheduling conferences and communicating with coaching clients through video.
    2. A wedding officiant was reserving weddings by communicating with potential clients through video.
    3. A cooking school was sending out assignments and practice videos for students to review before cooking classes through video.

    After analyzing hundreds of extension user's habits during my time at Vidyard, I found the most successful people using video naturally:

    1. Weaved their authenticity and brand into their video content in creative ways—using whiteboards, logo backgrounds, and fun personalized intros.
    2. Provided an easy verbal cue for their viewers to contact or interact with them.
    3. Created and shared 5x more videos if they received 3 views within the first 2 weeks of creating a video.

    These data-informed insights helped us redefine the demographics we used to target, and provided behavioral insights into the feature-set that would enhance their communication. Our new product goal emerged.

    To help people authentically communicate and interact with their engaged viewers, using video.

    Defining success

    Our first goal was to create a product with a Free tier that activated users by helping them authentically communicate using video. Our second goal was to create a Pro tier that enhanced their video engagement and provided more insight into how their videos were being received. Since the extension launched with similar definitions of an activated free user, we opted to reuse the same metrics.

    1. Time-to-Activation: Percentage of users who recorded or uploaded a video and received a view within 2 weeks.
    2. Retention: Percentage of people who returned and created more videos after 3 view notifications.

    We found these two proxy metrics to be good predictors of free users who had found success with the extension.

    Existing workflows

    We opted to use the extension as the basis for the new freemium product due to its large userbase and its pre-defined workflow.

    While evaluating the extension experience for freemium, two limitations quickly appeared:

    1. The extension had a limited recording-only experience, and would not help users who already had videos to share—as most people looking for a video hosting solution usually do.
    2. The extension had a limited channel of growth due to its reliance on the Chrome Store.
    Create, Share, Track
    All features of the extension fit neatly into three categories. The extension operated as an overlay of the current open tab on Chrome, and had no dedicated video library or video edit page like the platform.

    New workflows

    Fortunately, I had spent the previous year simplifying the Vidyard platform to get it ready for this self-serve experience, and explored a few original workflows combining the platform and extension into one experience.

    I pared this concept down to its most essential components for an MVP that supported users signing up from:

    1. The existing signup channel: A user signing up from the chrome extension.
    2. The new signup channel: A user signing up from vidyard.com

    From there, I broke down the new workflows into pages, components, and states, and started working with the engineering team on the first release of the MVP.

    Create, Share and Edit, Track
    I wanted to add to the extension experience with minimal impact to standard workflows. Adding the Vidyard platform into the workflow, but directing the user through the same functional path made for a smooth transition for the extension user, while also introducing new options. This also allows the product to function independently of the extension for users signing up from vidyard.com

    A place for new options

    The addition of a new video edit page included new quick editing options, and a new thumbnail selector. The editing options were now easily accessible right below the video, while keeping the primary share flow the exact same for extension users. This new page became the default edit page for the entire Vidyard platform once more options were added.

    New edit page with quick editing options, and Yukon—resident Vidyard support dog.

    New limitations

    As more functionality was added, like the ability to upload and embed videos, and quick editing options, a new limitation was introduced. Embeds were limited to 5 videos, as most brands or businesses had a higher traffic internet presence and would embed videos on blogs and landing pages. These businesses to an enterprise tier where they would be better served, and with less limitations.

    Create, Share and Edit, Track
    The different states of the share modal—which contained the embedding feature—would go through based on the limit.
    Create, Share and Edit, Track
    When embed limits are reached, graceful fallbacks were designed to always allow access to video content. Product triggers were then implemented to suggest the best product tier based on the limits reached.

    Appcues onboarding

    To help new users, and returning extension users being introduced to the new workflows, we implemented Appcues—a product tour platform. I designed customized tours based on signup channels and usage metrics, and encouraged users to share videos with trusted family or peers first to help them gain confidence with their content creation abilities. These tours were optimized to help users get 3 view notifications, and to help new users understand the value of the product—the "Aha" moment. The flows were featured on the ReallyGoodUX blog and were described as charming.

    Appcues onboarding
    The illustration was created by the amazing Julie Campbell.

    Free Tier Launch

    The new pages, components, and Appcues came together just in time with a coinciding marketing launch. We launched the Free tier and immediately saw some encouraging results.

    The number of new signups almost doubled overnight! The time-to-activation and retention metrics met expectations within two weeks, and the external feedback was positive!

    Appcues onboarding
    From Victoria—a Vidyard user and a product manager from HubSpot. This new product launch was interpreted as a redesign, which shows the care and coherency we were able to maintain for the extension users, something I was aiming for.

    By this point, hundreds of design, tech, and product decisions were made, all in preparation for the upcoming Pro tier of the freemium product, and everything had launched on time. It was all thanks to the organizational efforts of Mike Stark (Engineering Lead) and Ashton Rankin (Product Manager), and the freemium team, none of this would've been possible without them 🎉💃

    Read next

    Vidyard Pro: 1000 paying customers within 6 months of launch - case study coming soon! In the meantime, feel free to read the press release.