UX Case Study : LINE Webtoon, Browse Comics Efficiently

Hi readers! Welcome to my first ever UX Case Study post. First of all I just want to say that this is my first attempt to actually compile an appropriate design portofolio so guys, don’t be too harsh on me.

I would like to start by saying is always be my dream to work in a huge technology company like NAVER, NAVER it’s the mother company of LINE and from the place where I live right now Indonesia, LINE is considered as one of the big tech platform here and every tech savies dream to work at. LINE is originally an instant messenger platform with so many well-known features such as funny animated stickers,various choice of app themes and also mini games. LINE Stickers became more popular because of it’s cartoony concept and catchy bubble message which it’s competitor like WhatsApp, iMessage and many other messenger app adapt to their features later.

Looking at it success LINE has branched out to another field, online comics. Before LINE Webtoon the world is already familiar with conventional comic books or in more familiar terms, Manga. Manga is a japanese style comics and super popular around the world. Saw this popularity of Asian comic reader enthusiasm, LINE open up an online comic portal in 2004 called LINE and become one of online comics pioneer.

Inception

I’m actually one of LINE Webtoon loyal users, I read their comics regularly on a daily basis, I’m always keeping up with my favorite comics update and I also attended an annual Comic-con in Jakarta as one of my favorite LINE Webtoon author were there.

But lately I figured out some diffuculties while using it for example, it’s so hard for me to browse the comics on the app, you can only search the comics by it’s title and author and there’s no feature to search it in a specific genre, you have to go all the way to the genre page, so tiring.

Since LINE Webtoon was launched, many competitors have followed up the trend with a similar business model, filling the marketplace, becoming popular and in few cases working even better than LINE Webtoon itself.

To begin my research, I started to look at a few competitors or similar platforms, analysing UI, UX, User flow, IA and key features. I won’t go into detail however, as I want to keep the focus on the research which has been made on LINE Webtoon itself.

User Persona

Going further through the research, I identified three personas which have different needs and different goals. This data will be useful to improve the user experience for each one of them.

The goal would be to improve the functionalities to provide the best possible experience for each persona.

data acquired from online research and users interviews (sample of 15 users)

User Reviews

acquired from LINE Webtoon AppStore page

To check the water I looked into LINE Webtoon page on the App Store, found most reviews were about coins and app bug, I did found some concern about the effectivity and the recommendation which all of it written in Bahasa. The first one by the name of ‘your option’ talked about how inaccurate the recommendation is, the second one by the name of ‘aura kasih’ talked about how messy the interface is and the last one is dissapointed by how unorganised the catalog is.

Pain points

Summarising the research, I have develop the following considerations:

  1. It’s not giving user a room to browse the comic freely
  2. So many unnecessary features in the homepage
  3. UI could be improved and made more user centered rather than “aesthetic centered”
  4. There are issues related to coin purchases

Solutions

Homepage

Simplicity & Shortcuts

For all of the comic lovers around the world know that we actually need a button to get to where we want, in order to make it easier for users I added three essentials buttons for those who want to jump straight to the schedule, check out their favorite indie creators or for someone who just bored and need some entertainment they can just clicked the Browse button and surf.

Another major changes is in the For You tab, I changed it to a simple Home tab as most users are more familar with the word Home.

I keep the My Series tab because it still important for most readers to keep their subscribed list on the frontpage to keep themselves updated.

I created a simple tab button so user didn’t have to scroll their finger to the bottom of the ocean to find a hidden gems, but more important thing is no more inaccurate recommendation! They now can choose what type of recommendation they want to see.

Daily, Genre and Rank

I made some major changes on the genre and rank tab, instead of displaying unnecessary huge button, I added a classic dropdown menu that everyone’s familiar of, I also made the comic cover pic and description a bit longer so they able to read at least 50% of the comic description while browsing. I also made some changes in the tab, I put the rank button as one of the tabs as I think on the previous version it’s hidden on that badge-like button.

As for the ranking I made it looks more showcased, it will affect user feelings by showcasing the rank, most user may want to check out the top ranked comic or maybe just add more comics to their reading list as it used the same dropdown menu to choose genre so user can easily check which comic is the best on each genre.

Browse

I’ve rolled out many changes which can be introduced on the browsing page. I’m basically re-designed the entire browse page and leave no trace of the old UI, this is to provide user an option for genre filter so they can narrow down their search results. While exploring their features I found out that comic can be listed in more than one genre but there’s no option for user to discover it through the browsing page.

With this feature using the same dropdown menu I developed more than one genre search filter and also a toggle button so user can switch the search easily from Original comic (featured by LINE Webtoon) or Canvas (Indie) mode.

My Stories

On My Stories page we made some minor changes, started from the page name. I think it will make more sense if this page become more like the user profile page rather just being a reading list. My goal it’s to create more personality on the page by adding the coin feature visible with user’s photo and name in it than being a small button next to the trash can.

Prototype

I made a prototype to show the entire experience, enjoy!

Usability Testing & Feedback

I wish I could test this with users and get some feedback. The only way I would be able to prove my solutions solved users problems would be with quantifiable data which I don’t have since I did this entire case study alone using online feedback and corroborating this with my own problems with the app. I also don’t have any solid sources for my qualitative data outside user reviews on the app store. I just collated the recurring comments and feedback that were prominent.

Thank you so much for checking this out, I really open up for critique and feedback at arinaindarti@yahoo.com or say hi at my LinkedIn Profile!

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