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QuillBot: Homepage homerun

QuillBot's paraphrasing tool is the primary entry point for most users, leading to a perception of QuillBot being solely a paraphrasing service. However, as our platform evolved, we aimed to carefully reposition QuillBot's identity to become synonymous with the best AI Writing Platform while retaining our standing as the premier paraphrasing solution. This strategic shift aligned with our growth accurately represents our full range of services designed to improve users' writing abilities. To achieve this, I and a team of stakeholders undertook a crucial initiative to develop a dedicated homepage that accurately showcases QuillBot's full suite of AI-powered writing tools, positioning us as the go-to destination for all writing needs.

Responsibilities

  • Initiated project scope and set KPIs

  • Defined content hierarchy for leadership alignment

  • Drove the delivery of 1 of 2 homepage designs

  • Managed 2 product designers and 1 brand writer

Goals​​

  • Reposition QuillBot as an AI writing platform, rather than a random free paraphrase tool on the internet

  • Increase extension installs for better retention

  • Increase product cross-pollination to boost retention

  • Boost conversion rates by increasing product use frequency

  • Maintain top SEO ranking

 

Impact

  • Increased product exploration to Grammar Checker, AI Detector, and the Summarizer

  • Increased extension installations from both homepage variants

  • Improved conversion rates from both homepage variants

  • Leveraged a "extension" component originated on the homepages to increase conversion in used in cross-sell AB tests

  • No SEO impact

Challenges

The project faced several challenges, including the risk of an SEO decline, the need to align with many stakeholder opinions, and micro-interactions were constrained by the use of Instapages, a site for running AB tests. We also had a tight one-week deadline for the first high-fidelity homepage. Additionally, the initial gray box exercise did not meet leadership's expectations. Despite these hurdles, the team stayed focused and determined, leveraging their expertise and collaboration to overcome each obstacle and deliver a successful outcome.

Solution

Project brief collaboration

I collaborated with the brand team and product managers to write the business case, ensuring it was aligned with our OKRs to drive adoption of apps and extensions, and to mature our growth and conversion efforts. Additionally, I worked closely with designers to set a realistic delivery date, balancing quality and timeline requirements.

Content strategy workshop

Based on my manager's suggestion, I facilitated a workshop where department stakeholders from brand,  marketing, product management, AI research, and design created their own version of a homepage. These individual concepts were then consolidated into 4 layouts to present to product leadership. This inclusive process allowed us to define the necessary content while considering diverse perspectives.

 

One challenge we faced was the varying levels of familiarity with our paraphraser page and the key elements of a strong homepage design. However, this experimental approach provided valuable learnings that will be applied to future initiatives. By embracing collaboration and leveraging the team's expertise, we developed compelling homepage concepts that resonated with stakeholders and aligned with our strategic objectives after a few rounds of intense wireframing.

Two homepage variations

In pursuit of an optimal homepage design, two distinct variants were developed, both intentionally omitting the prominent canvas feature – the paraphrasing tool that typically engages users at the top of the page. Variant 1 showcased product tiles, the Chrome extension, and writing workflow benefits prominently, while Variant 2 highlighted extensions and product overview benefits in the hero position, followed by trust markers, with product tiles positioned near the bottom. 

Combining the strengths of both designs, a third version emerged as a contender for further A/B testing. However, upon careful consideration, this iteration was deemed too cluttered. Ultimately, the decision was made to move forward with an enhanced version of Design 1.1 as the official new homepage. It consistently outperformed the alternatives in driving increased conversions – a testament to its user-centric and conversion-oriented approach.

Original

Variant 1.1

Variant 2.1

3 landing pages.png

Variant 1 performs the best

Amplitude data confirms Variant 1.1 as the clear winner, driving higher post-visit engagement, increased paraphrasing and grammar checker usage, elevated login rates, and superior overall user retention. Conversely, while Variant 2.1 initially boasted higher installation rates, it experienced higher uninstallation rates, undermining long-term retention. Variant 1.1 skillfully balances engagement, feature adoption, and sustained user commitment, making it the clear winner. 

The heat maps reveal similar click hotspots across both variants, centering around navigation, the "Get Premium" button, and the "Add to Chrome" button. However, Variant 1.1 distinguishes itself with a cleaner, more streamlined user interface. In contrast, Variant 2.1 forces users to visually navigate around a cluttered hero area and an animated GIF, ultimately hindering their path to left-hand sidebar.

Outcomes

Through meticulous team collaboration and hands-on leadership, we successfully unified the goals of our homepage, prioritizing the prominence of extensions. Daily check-ins with designers ensured we launched within our ambitious 30-day timeframe. The entire team performed stupendously, garnering well-deserved recognition in our All Hands meeting.

 

Transitioning from our old paraphrasing tool to a contemporary one proved less risky than anticipated. The homepage, affectionately known as "Quilly," now proudly represents the face of our brand, resonating with our customers. Both homepage variants performed admirably, with Variant 2.1 driving increased cross-exploration of products, higher extension installations, and improved conversion rates. However, Variant 1.1 ultimately triumphed due to its exceptional impact on user retention, our primary KPI.

 

Our CEO expressed satisfaction with the project's success, noting a slight improvement in SEO performance as an added bonus. This project exemplifies our commitment to innovation and user-centric design, setting a new standard for our digital presence in the competitive AI writing space. 

Strategic Design Leadership

Design Intrapreneur

Seized the opportunity to kick-start a keystone project that unified the entire organization behind a historical milestone, establishing QuillBot as a leader in the AI writing market through a new homepage design.

Design visionary

Led strategic design leadership at the highest levels of QuillBot, collaborating with department leads to define their own vision for QuillBot’s first homepage while maintaining SEO positions.

Strategic Unifier 

Promoted a cross-functional collaborative culture where strategic decisions involving multiple departments were made in a manner that encouraged open and honest communication, ensuring everyone's goals were heard and implemented.

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