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Pain Points, Itch Points, Hurdles, and Altruism First:Optimizing User Experience in the AI Era

For those outside the internet industry, terms like user pain points, itch points, and hurdles might seem like jargon. However, for those deeply involved in user operations, especially in user experience and product management, these concepts are familiar territory. It's about understanding what users find frustrating, ensuring smooth experiences, and strategically placing barriers for user actions like registrations and conversions.

When we talk about growth, seasoned operation professionals have plenty to share. Just look at numerous SaaS tools in China—they always introduce a not-so-harmonious mechanism just when you're about to take the next step, whether it's signing up, paying, or viewing ads. When you desperately need to download a resource, when your download reaches 99%, when you're eager to share content with others, or when you've just settled comfortably with a slice of watermelon on the couch and click the play button on a video...

Do these hurdles annoy you? Or have you grown accustomed to them? These are real examples, each strategically placed at the moment when users are most eager, all to boost that conversion rate by a fraction of a percent. Granted, these hurdles are effective, achieving conversion rates of up to 50% or more in some cases.

But must it be this way? Must we find and exploit the user's most urgent point, interrupting an otherwise smooth user journey, just to achieve our goals?

Our team at woc.space has been thinking and operating this way for some time. We've learned from the diverse tactics used by our predecessors in the Chinese market, striving to increase platform conversions. Regardless of whether users like it or not, "continue, then register" is a mantra we cannot abandon.

Indeed, these hurdles have proven effective because everyone else is doing it. Different strategies and optimizations are shared by operations professionals based on data. Initially, it seemed obvious that achieving user conversion required strategically placed hurdles in an otherwise seamless flow.

However, upon reflection on our previous strategy of setting these hurdles, I still don't think it's entirely wrong. But now, I feel that guiding user conversions in this manner is a result of lazy thinking, a lack of innovation, and failure to deeply consider the user's perspective. We've been willing to sacrifice user experience, even risking user resentment, simply because it works for others, and we wanted to try this approach.

But what if we took the time to truly understand the user's conversion journey? What if we bypassed all conversion hurdles, designing a path that is comfortable for users, yet equally effective in achieving our goals?

After discussions, woc.space's team reached a consensus: the optimal user experience value path is unrestricted, hassle-free, immediate-use large file delivery. We removed all hurdles from this experience path, instead focusing on conversion prompts at "itch points". These "itch points" represent the maximum value output at this stage of our product, reflecting our confidence in the product. For example, we prompt users to convert after completing an upload or after they click to download. These actions don't obstruct the user experience path (unlike many Chinese products that restrict downloads without registration). Coupled with our confidence in the product's speed and experience at these points, we implemented these operations. The results? Since launching on the evening of May 29, 2024, our registration conversion rate exceeded 50% in the next two days. Daily new registrations increased by at least 150% compared to the same period, and weekend registrations increased by 800%.

However, this isn't the whole story. By eliminating hurdles and instead prompting conversion at "itch points", users felt something beyond a simple prompt—they experienced altruism.

Altruism is an intriguing concept, complex to explain but universally understood. Unlike other features, it's more of a direction or strategy. When beneficiaries—users in our scenario—recognize the altruism we offer, they spend more time on our platform. Gradually, through our guided strategies, they enter the "itch point" user experience path. After completing this journey, they convert through our conversion path.

This approach seems more complex and challenging than setting hurdles. However, the actual results far exceeded our expectations, bringing benefits several times over—possibly even hundreds of times over—in the future.

In the AI era, the importance of assets is increasingly highlighted. woc.space is committed to optimizing user experience, taking an unconventional path through innovation and deep understanding of user needs, achieving remarkable results. We believe that with thoughtful consideration and respect for users, the possibilities for the future are limitless.