Google Play Store powers all Android devices around the world, allowing smartphone users to get apps, games, movies, books, and TV shows. I had the opportunity to work with the Subscriptions team as the lead UX Designer, working to help people discover, sign-up for, and manage subscription services offered by our many Android developers.
A common user complaint we heard was that it wasn’t obvious that Google Play was managing their subscription billing. When it came time to cancel a subscription, some users would get frustrated searching for the “cancel” button. We believed that helping users manage, and even cancel, their subscriptions easily was the right thing to do.
First, we decided to make the Subscriptions page easier to reach by putting it directly in the left menu. (Previously, it was tucked away as a section in another page)
"Making it just as easy for consumers to get out of their subscriptions as it is to sign up is a good business practice, and could boost subscription sign-ups overall, which benefits developers. When consumers aren’t afraid they’ll forget or not be able to find the cancellation options later on, they’re more likely to give subscriptions a try."
The look & feel of the previous Subscriptions page was outdated. We needed a new, fresh design to:
After launching the new Subscriptions page, we also crafted a simple survey that subscribers can fill out when they decide to cancel a subscription. This new Cancellation Survey gives subscribers a way to send feedback directly to the creators, while respecting their privacy and security.
A lot of churn from subscriptions is voluntary. The team hypothesized that giving users an option to pause their subscription may be an attractive alternative to canceling.
There was large user interest in being able to set up a backup form of payment, in case something goes wrong with their primary form of payment. Our goal was to make Play subscriptions more reliable by decreasing payment failures.
In many parts of the world, bank transfers are a popular way to pay for goods & services, and we wanted to bring this new type of payment method to Google Play. However, it came with challenges. The team felt that subscriptions was a good first step to introduce direct debit because the process can feel more seamless with free trials, and subscription entitlements were easier to manage compared to one-time microtransactions.
After several years working on Google Play Commerce & Monetization, and having the privilege to work with every product manager in the department, I felt like my understanding of UX Design was stretched in good ways. The Google Play billing platform is probably one of the most complex user-facing billing systems in the world, and it was an honor for me to be a part in shaping the user experience.