Chris Thelwell
Case studies

Explaining a complex support policy

ThemeForest—one of the top 100 busiest websites in the world—is a marketplace for selling website themes and templates such as WordPress and Joomla. The marketplace platform connects would-be-buyers with authors who create the themes. As a global platform and the leader in the market quality is very important.

Envato—the team behind ThemeForest—employed stringent quality measures to ensure items were good enough to be sold. As well as ensuring authors made any necessary changes to ensure the item matched it’s description—to keep inline with various trade laws around the world—and was kept up-to-date.

But something was missing. Many authors provided extra support for their items, such as answering questions about installation, fixing bugs or assisting with 3rd party assets. But not all, as support was expensive for authors to provide.

Support as standard

Envato wanted to introduce a standardised support model for all ThemeForest items. This would be a first in the market. Providing buyers with much needed confidence in the items they buy. The policy also needed to be fair for the authors. It needed to limit the amount of support they were required to provide to prevent an increase in the price of items. An extra revenue stream could also be created by providing extended support for those authors wishing to provide longer term support.

Tell it like it is

The design team got to work incorporating the support model changes to the buyer experience. One of the challenges encountered was how to explain the new support policy.

Envato’s values include ‘Tell it like it is’. Several attempts were made at writing a brief summary of the support policy and highlighting it’s features keeping this value at heart. However, it was difficult to present both sides of the support policy—providing reassurance for buyers and limiting costs for buyers—and make it clear for our users whom English is not their first language.

Video was the answer. We needed to create Envato’s first explainer video. The video needed to tell the story of the new policy and why we were introducing it. It needed to explain how it benefited buyers but also how it made things fair for the authors.

A storyboard was created and iterated on, script written and voice over recorded. Finally the artwork was created and animated. Then the video was incorporated into the design of the item product page to ensure buyers found it at the moment they came across the new policy.

Product Page

The support policy promoted on the product page

Explainer Video

The video launches as a lightbox

The result

The new support policy and video were a great success. The video was viewed over 100,000 times in the few weeks after launch and contributed to a reduction in the support queries and negative author feedback expected in the weeks after launch.

The first of many

The video format was a proven success. A set of guidelines were created to ensure it could be used again for similar communication problems. Explainer videos have since been used for the launch of new categories. Such as Musicof a new audio format on AudioJungle, to help explain what the format is and how it can be used.