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Level Up

Designing a freemium model that attract users conversion


This was a client project that I did with a team of five UX Designers for LevelUp. The client has an existing website design and has been partially developed. Therefore we have to follow the design system and guides that were already in place.

The key objectives of the project given by the client are

  • to improve the users’ understanding of the freemium model

  • provide a clear idea of the payment model of the Levelup education service and 

  • general UX improvements to the website.


About Level Up

LevelUp is an education company working on delivering psychometric testing for children via gamified instruments.


The company allows caretakers to let their child take the test by playing the game for free and provide a summary report once the child has completed the game. The more in-depth insights, such as learning preferences and caretaker tips, will be given inside the premium reports which is chargable. It also provides a private consultation service for caretakers should they want to receive a detailed explanation on the child's result.

What are the free services ? 

  • Personality test for children in the form of a game

  • A basic summary report will be given after the child has completed the game

What are the paid services? 

  • Detailed report that contains: child's personality traits, strength and growth, learning preferences, and tips for caretakers.

  • A private consultation by an education specialist

What are the unique selling points?

  • The gamified approach of the test

  • They shared the sub-traits of the personality which has never been done by other personality test company

Long story short..

The problem

  1. Users need to be made aware of the pricing options so that they are not caught off-guard.

  2. Users need to believe in the value of product so that they are willing to commit time and resources.

The solution

To redesign the landing and report pages to present pricing plans opportunely and increase the perceived credibility and value of the product so that users are more willing to purchase the full report


Final Design

After testing and conducting few rounds of iterations, we deliver the revamped website to the client. We also did the mobile prototype and screens as part of the deliverable. Here are a few key modifications we did:

1. Emphasize the benefits of the service on the main landing page

2. Upfront disclosure about the freemium model

3. Entice user on to upgrade by revealing teaser on the free report page

Click to view full process

Process Overview

Throughout the project, we incorporated the double diamond process. Below is the summary of the design iteration stages and the methods we used.


Original Website

Though the website was still not live yet at that time, a prototype  that was designed by the previous cohort had been done partially by the developer. The design guide and the art direction was already in place and as instructed by the client, it was preferably to be left as is.

Original screens.png


Competitive Analysis

This research was conducted to find out from the direct competitors when they show the pricing to users, what are the free services that they provided and at what point do they prompt users about the paid services. By doing this, it helped us to get understanding about the strategy they implemented to gain conversion.

Competitive research.png

User Research




  • Usability test on existing LevelUp website

  • User interview


  • To understand why parents would pay for LevelUp’s service

  • To understand why parents would want their child to go through a psychometric evaluation

  • To understand what motivates the parents to pay for such a service

  • To understand when users need to be informed of a paid version

Key Findings

  • The information on the landing page is too broad and does not resonate with users or speak to their needs. There is also a lack of information about what value the users will get out of this product.

  • Hidden pricing detail. There’s only a small mention at the landing page and after the game is completed when they access the dashboard.

  • Users felt that the “unlock this page only” option on the paywall was unnecessary, as they would much rather pay for the full report to get access to everything.

  • The report is giving away too much information for free. Unlocked content might not be enticing enough to warrant purchase.

Affinity Mapping

By talking to the users and grouping similar inputs using affinity mapping, we filtered the information to these 4 key insights:


I want to see how LevelUp would be a value add for my child’s growth


I want to know if LevelUp can be trusted / is credible


I want to know what exactly it is I’m paying for


I want to know what I’m getting from the consultation


Problem Statement & HMW


Users need to be made aware of the pricing options so that they are not caught off-guard.

How might we present pricing options clearly so that parents are well-informed to make purchase decision?


Users need to believe in the value of product so that they are willing to commit time and resources.

How might we position the test as credible and useful so that parents are willing to let their child take the test?

Solution Statement

To redesign
landing and report pages to present pricing plans opportunely
and increase the perceived credibility and value of the product
so that users are more willing to purchase the full report


Redesign User Flow

There were two main changes that we implemented in the new user flow:

  1. Enable users to view full information about the pricing of the product and services offered. In the current design, the users only know about all the price points after they completed the game.

  2. Provide users with opportunity to add consultation at a later time after purchasing the premium report. In the current design, users are only able to select one out of the three options available and there was no available option to upgrade.

Current User Flow

New User Flow

First Design Iteration

Due to the project's short duration, we decided to focus on the redesigning of the landing page and the paywall first put second priority to the report pages.

Landing Page

For the landing page, the objectives are to show clearly that the users will be able to take the game for free but they need to pay for the full report. Because of the findings from the user interview, we want to highlight more on the benefits they would get from the premium report. 

Paywall Page

Some initial design iterations and consideration that we have on the paywall design

How many pricing options?

The initial paywall design was showing 3 price points. The first being unlocking a single page only. However, from the user interview we realised that users most likely won't get the full benefit by receiving partial information only. The 1 page only option, which is the lowest price point, does not seem to be of interest if the full content price is affordable enough. So we decided to go with 2 price points. That being said, from a design perspective it is easier to draw users attention if we have 3 options with the middle being the preferred one. Therefore, the team decided to add a comparison with what users will get for free as Basic users.


Bundle or Add On?

The initial thought was to have the consultation as an add-on option. With this approach, users will be able to arrange a follow up consultation should they need it and not only give it as a one-time session. We realised that a child's personality might change over time and the caretakers may want to revisit this test at some time in the future if the child took it at a relatively early age.

When this add-on idea was brought up to the client, it was decided that there might be too many options to consider for the users and also consultation itself is not the core business features. Therefore we ended up with 2 packages: the full report and the second one is the bundle option with the consultation. 

The add on consultation option will be shown after the user has chosen the premium package. By doing this, it gives users time to consider whether or not they need a consultation after they see the full report.


Comparison Study

Using the current design as a baseline (design A), we did a comparison study with our new design (design B). I suggested to the team to go with the survey method instead of doing another usability test so that we can gain rapid feedback regarding the effectiveness of the redesign with more users.






Get insights on what will convince the users to try the free game


The users are not willing to try the game because:

  1. They didn’t understand the company credibility and product’s value proposition

  2. The pricing was not transparent


Landing Page

There was a mix result for the user preference on the landing page.

Landing Page A is better in:

  • Visualising the process to obtain the report from start to finish

  • Presenting the company’s credibility

Landing Page B is better in:

  • Providing clear information about the value of the service offered

  • Highlighting to users the need to pay for a full report

We then took the preferred selection from each option to come out with the next iteration.



For the paywall, we had a clear winner, which is design B. 

Users prefer Pricing Page B because:

  • It provides a better explanation of the benefits of and differences among the pricing options

  • It helps users make faster decisions by drawing their attention to the “Best Value” option

Second Design Iteration

In this second design phase, we used the findings from the survey to improve on the landing page and paywall design. We also redesigned the report screens and added new screens for payment flow. Upon discussion with the client, we incorporated her feedback and used the new redesigned screens for the usability test study.

Overview Page

The main objective for the redesign is to make it easier to comprehend and therefore encourage the purchase of premium reports. We want it to be simple enough for the users to read the brief overview of the result and not overwhelm them with too much information.

Locked Pages

For the locked pages, we designed a visual teaser to entice caretakers of the analysis they would be missing out. Because the main goal is to convert users to purchase premium reports, therefore the free portion should not reveal too much and only act as a preview.

Unlocked Pages

We separated the “Caretaker Tips” content from the “Personality Traits” section because currently the amount of information there is too lengthy. Furthermore, most of the users we interviewed told us that they are more interested to get the actionable tips so it makes sense to put it as a separate page so that they can quickly find the information they need.

Unlocked pages_iteration2.png

Usability Study




  • Observe how users explore on the new redesigned web

  • Test the newly added payment flow


  1. Explore Landing Page

  2. View Free Report

  3. Upgrade to Premium Report

  4. View Premium Report


What users like

  • Playful and vibrant choice of colors and glimpses into the gamified personality test.

  • Able to locate the information they need easily (e.g. about the product, pricing and company credibility)

  • Clear articulation of the value of the different pricing packages

SUS Score


/ 100

What needs to be improved (implemented in the Final Proto)

  • Add currency on pricing page

  • Add CTA to upgrade at the bottom of Overview page

  • Make the benefits of the private consultation more obvious on the paywall design

What needs to be improved (for future)

  • Include a video demo of the game

  • Personalised user profile photo for kids

  • Additional payment option such as PayNow

  • Consider replacing the sidebar navigation in the report pages


Final Prototype

We implemented some of the key feedback from usability test findings and the client input to produce the final prototype. Feel free to play with the clickable prototype or view the video below.

Exploring Landing Page

View free report and upgrade to premium

Responsive Design

We also did the mobile prototype and screens as part of the deliverable to the client. Feel free to explore the mobile prototype from the button below or view the video.



Working with a project that’s been done by the previous cohort

As this is not a “zero to one” state, there’s more restrictions in terms of the design space. There are some areas that we’re not supposed to change because a lot of work has been done by the developer.

Resource constraint

We started strong with a group of five. But during the course of the 1.5 month project, 3 of my teammates were taking turn to be affected by Covid. So I really had to push through to deliver the prototypes for both mobile and desktop with very limited time and manpower.

What I learned

Not all free items will be taken happily by the customers, especially if it has to do with children. As a mom, I know how stringent I am with the things I give to my kid. I will read up on reviews first and make sure that it is safe and age-appropriate for my kid. The gamified experience probably will hook the kids' interest, but sadly not so much for the parents or caretakers. I find this is a tough challenge for the company to convince the parents, who are the decision-makers in this case. But I believe there would be more modern young parents who are more open-minded to try the non-traditional approach for their kids. Maybe the company could explore more on how they might make the test interesting for the parents as well.

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