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On Onboarding

If you have a useful product, I believe Onboarding is the most important thing you can build to help your users get to your product. People often significantly underinvest here, create short onboarding experiences to rush users into the product, and don't understand the key takeaways users should have. I make the case of how to build much better onboarding through this deck.

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On Onboarding

  1. 1. On Onboarding Josh Elman @joshelman
  2. 2. Products I’ve worked on facebook twitter
  3. 3. O N B O A R D I N G When you know the experience is great, If only you can find your way there Photo by Patrick Hodskins on Unsplash
  4. 4. It all starts at Inception Photo by George Vasiliadis on Medium
  5. 5. Then someone Shows Up to your front door Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
  6. 6. Their Motivation Matters How motivated are you to use this product? Fly-Bys They just aren’t that into you Eagers They just want in so bad. The Fuzzy Middle They are curious. They want to learn more. This is who you can convert.
  7. 7. THIS IS YOUR MOMENT YOU WILL NEVER GET THIS MUCH ATTENTION AGAIN.
  8. 8. My Onboarding Philosophy 1) Your users are motivated and curious 2) You have their attention for several minutes. 3) Take the time to introduce the product 4) More simple steps are better than fewer complex ones. 5) No one wants a lecture. Nor a mystery.
  9. 9. What great onboarding feels like
  10. 10. How do you replicate that? 1) Start by repeating the core message and setting context 2) It’s ok to ask for the basics (email, password, etc). But for anything else, explain why you are asking 3) Break your product down into key concepts 4) Each step should represent one concept with a clear action for the user to take. More steps are better than fewer steps. Yes, I know that sounds backwards.
  11. 11. EXERCISE Find someone new to onboard to your product. One person is the coach. One person takes notes. Record every single thing the new user asks about, is confused about, is nervous about. Record every single thing the coach says to smooth it over. Then… Take everything the coach says, and figure out how to embed it into your product.
  12. 12. How do you know if it works? Customer Research: After someone onboards, ask them “What do you think the product does?” If their answer matches what the product does, you’re good Metrics: Measure usage after 1 week and 1 month. Do not measure completion rates of your onboarding flow
  13. 13. Example 1: Life360 (you’ll see me thinking out loud)
  14. 14. Front Door Ok - so Life360 helps me share my location with family and drive more safely. Why are we in the mountains?
  15. 15. The basics At this point, I’m motivated enough, I’ll just blitz through this
  16. 16. Hey that’s personal! When you start asking for more personal information, it’s always good to explain why. This applies to birthday, address, Social Security number, etc.
  17. 17. Setting Context A circle is a key concept for Life360. They take a moment to describe it. Also - you might have been invited. Make sure you catch this. Getting context someone comes with is very valuable.
  18. 18. Concept by Concept They get you to simply name your circle. And they plant the seed for creating more. Also - they make sharing a natural step. Sharing in invite flows are great.
  19. 19. Concept by Concept Describing role - look at all the other people you should invite! Power of suggestion. And photos - they show how it gets used and how to shape it.
  20. 20. Notifications Explain why. Ask one by one. Don’t just pop the OS windows without preparing the user first.
  21. 21. Concept by Concept Places -- they introduce them and let you set your first ones. Driver Protect - they introduce premium features. “Maybe Later” is easy to dismiss. But now you know it’s there!
  22. 22. NOW I’M IN That was a lot of steps and prep, and finally I’m in the product. And it’s still reminding me I’m not really set up until I have more people. Tips at the top.
  23. 23. Second Launch When I come back to the product they are still reminding me of features. I’m new, so this is ok. Over time it might get annoying.
  24. 24. Example 2: Facetune (you’ll see me thinking out loud)
  25. 25. Introducing Context It’s all about faces. And it gets me excited for how good looking I could make my selfie. Or… are these just good looking people?
  26. 26. Aggressive Upsell? Whoa, I was just getting going on the product. This is quite an aggressive special offer. I’m not sure I’m ready yet. I didn’t expect that.
  27. 27. Aggressive Notifs? Whoa, I just skipped your upsell. Now you are foisting Apple on me to ask if I want notifications? I haven’t even seen what you are about yet.
  28. 28. Learn by doing? I started playing with this example image. I couldn’t figure out what was going on or how these worked. Giving me the app is pretty overwhelming. Could use better onboarding!
  29. 29. My Onboarding Philosophy 1) Your users are motivated and curious 2) You have their attention for several minutes. 3) Take the time to introduce the product 4) More simple steps are better than fewer complex ones. 5) No one wants a lecture. Nor a mystery.
  30. 30. On Onboarding Josh Elman @joshelman

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