Project Constellation: Phase 1

Wattpad's New Home: Establishing a Scaleable Modular Framework



"I'm not interested in the recommendations I'm getting"

Additional Web-specific Problems

  • Not responsive = missing functionality or broken experience at some breakpoints
  • Only 4 recommendations
  • Often sub-optimal recommendations due to most popular stories domin
  • Other elements on the page are low engagement
  • Not optimal use of home screen real estate


  • Product Manager and Community Team set up user interviews (remote & in-person) to observe current content discovery behaviours
  • Consulted with Content and Community teams to understand known methods and behaviours for content discovery amongst community
  • Consulted with Data team to understand current patterns in content discovery
  • Collect and analyze all potential content and meta data to be used in content discovery
  • Lightning Demos / Competitive Analysis of competing / related experiences

User Story Mapping

Conducted company-wide User Story Mapping exercise to visualize the new discovery journey through all parts of the app

Project Constellation: User Story Mapping Part 1

Project Constellation: User Story Mapping Part 1

Project Constellation: User Story Mapping Part 2

Project Constellation: User Story Mapping Part 2


Defining the Module System

  • Unique recommendations powered by machine learning
    • Because you voted on X story
    • Because you read X story
    • Because you followed X profile
    • #tag related to what you've been reading
  • General recommendations available to all users
    • Featured Stories
    • Trending Stories
    • Popular Stories
    • Curated Sets of Stories
  • Work across all platforms, all screen sizes, all breakpoints
  • Flexible system can live in every part of the experience
  • System can evolve for new use cases in the future

Content Audit

Conducted content patterns audit to brainstorm all possible module types


Early Wireframes

Exploring module types and layouts


Final Modules


Prototype & Beyond: The Master Framework Prototype

Original scope of prototype was the home section, but I knew we had to explore how the system could be carried out through the entire app, so I went ahead and prototyped how the entire system could be updated.


High Fidelity Scrollable Prototype


Rollout & Launch

After we had validated that users understood how to find content using the new home modules, and we got feedback that they would use the new Home to find content, it was time to build and test the real content with real users.

  • Because this was such a huge change for users (first page they see on login / sign up), we wanted to roll this out slowly to make sure at the very least it did not hurt reading time, our key metric
  • Quantitative Measurement: A/B test new design vs existing design with small set of users and measure reading time (retention) for various segments
    • New vs Existing Users
    • Age Group (Under 25 vs Over 25)
    • Platform (iOS, Android, Web)
  • Qualitative Measurement: 
    • Survey to beta group users
    • Network of Wattpad Ambassadors (passionate users who help moderate the community)


"I like the recommendations I'm getting"

  • 4% increase in overall retention
  • Size of retention increase varied by age group, but EVERY group saw significant increase in retention
  • One group saw nearly a 200% increase in reading time
  • Surveys yielded high satisfaction scores
  • 76% found it easy to do what they intended on the page, mostly about finding great stories and engaging quickly
  • The modular foundation is set!