uTorrent/BitTorrent for Android allows users to find torrents and download them directly to phones or tablets. It was first released to the public in 2012 after a team of engineers (V.1) quickly built a mobile version based on the original desktop app. I came onboard in early 2013 when the company wanted to optimize the app to increase retention and it's user base. I then became the UX Design Lead (V.2 to V.3) for both the desktop and Android applications.
The goals for the V.2 app were in five parts: to optimized some of the existing features to be more user friendly, introduce new Pro features and promotions, increase customer relationship by engaging and educating users about torrenting, to build a dedicated tablet application to provide a tailored experience, and lastly an integrated music and video players along with music and video libraries to help users find and play the media they have on the mobile device.
Personas and User Testing
We started off by developing a set of assumptive user personas based on information we knew about our users. The idea was to iterate on them as we continued to build the product and got to know our users more through user studies and ongoing research.
V.1 of the app was far from friendly and modern. There were a lot of opportunities for us to transform the app into something a lot cleaner and more functional. For V.2, I focused on developing a visual treatment that evoked an emotional connection with our users. The use of icons also became more sophisticated, simplistic and creative.
As part of our efforts to retain new users and decrease drop-off rates we ran a series of onboarding tests to increase user retention by demonstrating the value of the product and how to use it. We tested number of steps and various layouts. The one shown below is the one we ended up using. It had the highest retention rate, searches, torrents added, and torrents completed.
After we launched V.2 of the app, we received a lot of positive user feedback through email and Google Play Store reviews. The overall impression was that they loved it and it was clean and functional. Here are a few that stood out.
As we began designing the media library experience, the feature set quickly became overwhelming. We had a high bar to reach if we were to provide a robust media player and library experience that would exceed what our competitors were offering. We also needed to focus and only build features that mattered to our users. We partnered with our user research team and our growth hacker to run surveys and revisit past research to help narrow down the feature set.
Version 3 / Material Design
Our V.3 design resulted in a more robust media library experience that featured a play queue and integrated Google material design.