Condé Nast Subscription & Login Products
Design Specializations: 
Responsive Web, User Research, Design Systems
The Challenge
Creating new accounts, signing in, and purchasing digital subscriptions for Condé Nast brands was confusing and cumbersome. Antiquated back end systems limited the team’s ability to iterate on user flows and subscription offerings.
The Solution
Informed by usability studies, we created new registration and purchasing flows with improved IA and modernized UI to accommodate any subscription offering for any Condé Nast brand.
My Roles
I managed a globally distributed product design team, overseeing all UX/UI.
Background & Research
In 2021, Condé Nast recognized the shift away from third-party user data and print media, two areas that the company had heavily relied on.
Time to Adapt
We needed more efficient ways of driving registrations and digital subscriptions. However, the outdated systems managing login and subscription flows were challenging or impossible to update.

Additionally, user feedback revealed several usability challenges with subscription flows. In particular, users struggled to understand pricing and compare features of different offerings.
User Journey & Hypotheses
We used user feedback to outline the phases of a subscribed user’s journey. By combining this feedback with insights from Product Management and Product Marketing, we formulated problem statements, hypotheses, and aspirational opportunities for each phase.
Team Operational Considerations
In addition to usability issues to resolve, outlining the subscribed user’s journey helped us uncover an operation challenge.
Operational Challenge
The longest phase of the subscription user journey happens before they even consider a purchase; This is when users establish affinity for the publication by reading articles. However, Condé Nast already had teams in place to manage those experiences.
We established clear delineations of responsibility between our team and those publications’ teams. My team, loosely known as the “Revenue” team, would guide users from the point that they took an action that expressed interest in a subscription. All experiences prior to that were the responsibility of the publications’ individual design teams.
User Flows
New user flows and UI were crafted with emphasis on clarity, ease of use, and scalable UI.
UX Improvements
Pricing and benefits of each subscription offer were simplified. Long forms used progressive disclosure instead of a single page. Landing pages were designed to support a configurable number of subscription offers: 1, 2, or 3 offers.

To allow for quicker purchases, we also implemented a “Smart” buy button in addition to standard credit card and Paypal payment options. It would automatically display the most appropriate payment option, based on the user’s platform. For instance Safari users on Mac were served an Apple Pay button, while Chrome users on Windows were served a Google Pay button.
Brand Configurability
The UI was also set up to take colors and fonts from the design system of any Condé Nast publication. This allowed the flows to be quickly configured for any brand.
Support for Marketers
Marketing teams often use seasonal promotions to drive new subscription purchases. To simplify their workflow, standardized specs and templates for images on offer pages were created and delivered to marketing designers.
Validation and Lessons from User Research
The new flows were validated with a usability study. Users reacted positively to the clarity of subscription offers and found flows easy to complete. Surprisingly,
Surprising Feedback
Several users appreciated a visually distinctive legal disclaimer about automatic renewals. We were initially concerned that its warning-like appearance may scare users. However, they found the visually highlighting and overt language refreshing.
Registration Wall
Data showed that users with accounts were significantly more likely to eventually subscribe. In addition to new subscription flows, we also designed new registration walls for 7 Condé Nast brands with the goal of increasing new sign ups.
Success Metrics
The new registration walls allowed users to complete the entirety of their sign up of sign in flow without ever leaving the article page.

The new design was very successful across all brands. In particular, Vanity Fair saw a 19% improvement on conversion rate, which significantly outpaced projections.
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