Marvel Unlimited is widely considered the Netflix of comic books. A subscription based comic reader app that gives access to over 17,000 (and counting) comic books from Marvel's rich archive. Launching Marvel Unlimited involved collaboration between my team, Marketing, Sales, and publishing to not only design the app, but completely relaunch, rename and rebrand the digital subscription service for the ultimate Marvel fan.
The Legacy Web App
Marvel Unlimited as we know it today wasn't Marvel's first foray into Digital Comics. The previous offering, Marvel Digital Comic Unlimited, was a web based, flash reader that became outdated, hard to maintain, and ultimately wasn't serving the company from a business sense with year over year membership on the decline. One of my first projects at Marvel, in parallel with the redesign of the brand website, Marvel.com(see project), was to re-imagine the subscription service for present day and beyond.
Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited Design, before I joined the team
A NEW BEGINNING
After countless meetings, sketches, and design reviews, the design team was able to land on the icon and lock-up. It was an offshoot of the digital brand style guide we had already been developing and is meant to be a shield, a stylized "U" for unlimited, and an open book.
Much like any media app, music listening, reading, or watching videos, the actual interface should be straightforward and focused on quickly getting users into the experience. For that reason, there aren't a large amount of screens throughout the app. The homepage, updated weekly, was meant to house new releases to keep a sense of freshness to the membership experience. The browse feature allowed drilling down to your comic of choice by series, character or creator.
An Editorial Touch
Shortly after the launch of the app, users told us that they loved the ability to browse the entire archive but didn't know where to start. A brainstorm between the product manager and myself resulted in commissioning Marvel's very knowledgeable editorial team to regularly curate a section of reading lists, called "Discover".
THE SUBSCRIPTION MODEL
The base tier subscription model was the entry level option and offered access to the app as a baseline. As an upsell, we developed Marvel Unlimited "Plus" which was the subscription for the ultimate Marvel Fan. In it, subscribers got a custom box shipped to them full of limited edition figurines, comic books and a membership card that offered discounts at on Marvel merchandise.
Here are a selection upper funnel communications that lived across e-mail and social, meant to compel clicks to various areas of the experience.
240% Growth of Membership Base
© MattVandrick 2020