2019 / WEB & iOS & AN / SHIPPED

Redesigning the submission flow of the Wattys

Creating a smoother submission process for Wattpad’s annual writing contest.



The Wattys is an annual writing contest Wattpad holds to identify high-quality, popular content. The Wattys winners get funneled into the Wattpad Stars program where they’re eligible to have their story adapted into books, TV, or movies.

The old way of submission was for users to tag their stories (ex. #wattys2019). We wanted to improve this submission process to increase the quality of our submissions and to identify more serious writers for our content pipeline.

Team: Writer Success - Product manager, Frontend + Backend engineers, Content/Marketing managers

Role: UX + UI Design, Collaborative content design

The Opportunity

HMW design a submission process that should make it easier for Wattpad to identify high potential writers and their stories and encourage higher quality entries for the Wattys.


The previous way of submitting your stories to the Wattys is by having users add a tag with #Wattys and the year.

Redesign Goals

  • Increase quality of submissions by introducing eligibility criteria.
  • Position The Wattys to serious writers as a viable path to our other writer opportunities such as the Wattpad Stars program and the Paid Stories program.
  • Leverage The Wattys for our internal content funnel with 500 warm story leads for Paid.

Entry by tagging introduced many problems. From a UX point of view, there was no verified feedback that you actually were submitted besides seeing your tag. From a business point of view, we had so many unqualified submissions (very short stories, smut, etc.) that we had to sift through.

Our approach was to tackle this issue by:
• Introducing guidelines and updating our eligibility criteria
• Implementing a more rigorous/effortful submission process to improve quality of submissions and filter out hobbyist writers

Process Highlights


Determine eligibility criteria

Worked with our Content stakeholders to determine what information we want to collect, how important it is to the team, and how we would use it. New eligibility such as min. 50k words were included which established the wattys as a contest for the more serious writers.


Engineer Collaboration

• Collaborated requirements with engineers on the squad to align on how we wanted to collect submission data across different languages. 
Decided to use a web form because it was fastest to build and centralize the data collected 

Redesigned Flow


Desktop Web




This year we received less than a quarter of last years' amount of entries due to the new criteria, creating a barrier of difficulty to those not committed to winning. This filtered out many submissions and left us with more committed writers, resulting in higher-quality stories overall. Though the decrease of the submissions seemed daunting, this was a deliberate decision to ensure we discovered more dedicated writers. Even more importantly - we now had 50k+ fully completed stories for our content pipeline, providing more opportunities for writers to potentially monetize off of. 


Currently open to opportunities! 🍵
Let's chat about the amazing things we can build together. 

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