WeTransfer mobile link upload

Experiment and release link transfer on WeTransfer mobile uploader

As the designer working on WeTransfer’s main Transfer product, large amount of my daily work contributes to our team objectives: user activation and retention. WeTransfer has been perceived as file transfer service based on email addresses since the beginning. The challenge is to tap into other potential values we can deliver to attract new users while maintaining the product legacies for our power users.

Starting with past research insights and user feedback, I built up design hypothesis on how mobile link transfer can attract new user base while contributing to our team objectives. Working closely with product manager, business analysts, developers and user researchers to go through a full process of feature investigation and design exploration. The insights helped our team to prioritize team roadmap for launching mobile link transfer.

Early 2019, you are welcome to share your files through link transfer on wetransfer.com mobile uploader.

Personal contribution: Data investigation; Product Strategy; User research; UX/UI design; Usability test; Scrum development

Team: Tobia Donati (Front-end Developer); Luca De Rosso (Product Manager); and the rest of the TEx Team

09/2018 – 01/2019


Project Background

At the moment I joined WeTransfer Transfer Ex team, we have mainly two major objectives in the team:

1. Improve Reciever to Sender conversion by 10% (New user activation by 10%);
2. Improve conversion from 1D-28D* users to 2D-28D users (User retention through creating a 2nd transfer within 28 days).

* Our analytics team has set up 28 days as a cycle to measure the user activation and retention of our main transfer product and experience.

We’ve done lots of A/B tests in every Sprint to detect areas of incremental improvements in reaching these two objectives. Such as providing features like Preview, Copy link or doing experiments on adding WeTransfer uploader to mobile home page.
As a product designer, one of my main strength and initiative is to think along with product strategies.

I realize that,

"all this time, we are focusing a lot on the top 10% power users who relies heavily on email transfers, but not looking at other areas to bootstrap on the remaining 90% of non-active users."

. . .

Backlog Insights & Hypothesis

I started the process by looking into former support tickets on Zendesk, user researches and market researches. Along with participation in some user researches for other product features. I found out some interesting insights pointing to a promising design direction:


1. Users will copy the link from email transfer in their own email and adding more context in their professional deliveries;
2. Users have the need to share their works to more people than email recipients, such as in Whatsapp, on Slack, or in Messegner, etc;
3. A link is perceived as a light-weight, mobile friendly way to share something fast.

I started building up my design hypothesis:


. . .

Data Investigation

To support product manager and our team objectives, I decided to firstly sit together with our Growth team, to quickly see if the hypothesis can be verified or supported by data and business analytics.

We looked into the growth rate in the past years of email transfer and link transfer users, the download times per link transfer and email transfer, downloader to sender conversions and the page views generated. Four main conclusions were concluded and have shown positive indication of moving forward with the design hypothesis.


On the other hand, the way and funnel our Growth(BA) team used to track email transfer users are different from the way of link transfer users. I assisted our business analyst to visualize the four key measurements used to track users and how the funnels look like for email transfer and link transfers.


. . .

Design Iteration & User Test 1

In our quarterly meeting within the team, I showed the insights aggregated so far and the team decided to move forward with link transfer on mobile as a quarterly main objective to work on.

What is a simple, elegant experience to live on mobile for both link transfer and email transfer?
I started the design process with consideration of mobile-friendly patterns that consistent with web patterns, system status visibility, user control and freedom, finger tap area, clear distinctions of link transfer usages and email transfer usages.
Meanwhile, I reached out to our user research team to plan ahead a user test session to research on latent struggles and detect major usability issues for design improvement.


An initial product flow has mapped out and an interactive high-fed prototype is created for the user test by InVision and Principle.


Five existing WeTransfer users and five new users were invited to go through the flow and complete two tasks:

  • Create a link transfer;
  • How are you going to use the link transfer.

  • We observe users’ potential struggles and ask their thoughts on this relatively new feature. A research framework is followed and certain guidance was provided in order to continue the research. Some research insights are shown below:


    . . .

    Design Iteration & User Test 2

    After gathering insights from user research and our weekly UI critique session, I worked on the design iteration further by grouping relevant actions step by step and taking reference to other file sharing services, such as Google, Dropbox. During the process, one interesting design direction emerge and have won most support from product managers and other designers, is
    to place the choices between link transfer and email transfer after user uploading their files.

    The rationale behind this:
    1. User care the most about choosing the correct files to upload as first step;
    2. After optionally attaching a short message and uploading their files, they are prompted to choose how they would like to share;
    3. If they choose link transfer, no further info is required from their side; If they choose email transfer, they would need to provide more info.

    In this way, we are able to simplify the mental burden for mobile users while empowering them to make choices based on needs. User feel a sense of control without switching back and forth to adjust settings or informations since all of them are left at the very end.


    With assistance from the research team, I used TryMyUI for a remote usability test session to verify our assumption and define any potential usability problems. The result turns to be positive mostly with small usability areas to improve. But we are confident enough to release the MVP version of this feature so far.


    . . .


    Together with the product manager, and absorbing feedback from stakeholders, we refined a template on Github for our Sprint experiments and A/B testing.
    The template includes the experiment background, timeline, objective, successful criteria mostly from a data perspective, hypothesis, user stories, and our dependencies on relevant departments to prepare for the experiment and final design documentation.
    We tag and involve stakeholders especially developers in the template so they can read this documentation and provide insights early on either through discussions or on GitHub.


    The flow was done in a quick manner with Overflow to improve understanding for different stakeholders.
    Prototypes were done in Principle to demonstrate how the selection works among different transfers with corresponding components, and redesign components that require further demonstration.
    We used Github and Abstract mainly for version control and collaboration with developers.

    As for every project we’ve been through, we document everything on WeTransfer Paper to present our process, results and learnings in weekly product sync in the company.


    . . .


    The recent time (April 2018) I checked the data shows that after the launch of link transfer in February,
    our mobile user growth rate reaches in avg. above 15% per month (user activation).
    For our Plus users alone, 40% of new transfers made are link transfers in the nearest month (user retention).