Product Problem

Onboarding

There's an art to getting people started with your product or service. Here are the Nuggets that any new product should definitely use.

Foot In The Door

Foot In The Door

Conversion

Making a small commitment now makes us more likely to agree to a greater one later

We're more likely to commit to larger tasks after completing small ones first.

So when people start using your product, provide them a simple task to get started with.

Payment app Wise present you with four distinct options, asking you "What would you like to do now?"

Once the task is done, provide clear positive feedback and next steps.

Where in your onboarding can you give people a small task to get started with?
When this task is done, what would you like their next step to be?
Collection Bias

Collection Bias

Product Development

We have an emotional need to amass sets of related items

For content-heavy platforms, allow new members to select from a range of pre-chosen categories, making their experience immediately personal and subject to less analysis paralysis.

E.g Spotify does this by asking you which 3 artists you like as part of the onboarding flow.

Automation tool IFTTT adds even more functional value by providing you a set of pre-defined automation recipes called "Applets" to collect instead of making your own from scratch.

How might you allow people to tailor or fast-track their experiences by choosing only what matters to them?
In what novel and helpful ways can you curate your options into convenient bundles?
Peak-End Rule

Peak-End Rule

Experience

We remember an experience by its peaks and how it ended

Create a positive surprise towards the end of your onboarding process, celebrating task completion and providing clarity that they're good to go.

For instance, messaging app Intercom provide a colourful blast of confetti once you've finished a learning sequence.

Remember to use them sparingly for only the most important milestones.

What are the key milestones in your onboarding process?
How can you leave people feeling great upon reaching each one?
What positive call-to-action could you provide as part of this peak-end?
Spacing Effect

Spacing Effect

Experience

We remember things better when repeated over time and across environments

Take the pressure off shoe-horning everything in within the first experience.

This is because we better learn and recall information when it's spaced out over time and across environments

As it's likely we won't retain all knowledge shared, critical information ought to be repeated multiple times to make sure it sticks.

How can you space out what is to be learnt over time? Over what period?
What are the different environments in which you could present this information? Email, different parts of the website, push notifications, etc
What are the key messages you really want people to remember?
Analysis Paralysis

Analysis Paralysis

Product Development

Our capacity to process information and make decisions reduces with each made

Too much info, tasks and expectations will simply overwhelm, turning first impressions into worst impressions.

Cut all non-essential steps and information.

What is the shortest possible onboarding you can provide that gets people started?
Default Effect

Default Effect

Conversion

We tend to accept the option pre-chosen for us

When faced with a new environment, we look for support as to the right choices. Help people get set up with well-designed default choices.

Where in your onboarding can you offer meaningful defaults to encourage 'good' behaviour or to simplify the onboarding process?
Storyteller Bias

Storyteller Bias

Branding

We’re more persuaded by and better recall those who tell stories

Wrapping up a series of tasks into a compelling narrative can help us navigate any complexity or disinterest with the onboarding process itself.

Where can you help guide newcomers with simple stories from existing users to provide clarity, relatability and inspiration?
Goal Priming

Goal Priming

Product Development

When we’re reminded of our aims, we're more motivated to reach them

Providing a clear reminder as to the whole point of onboarding can motivate us to complete it.

Duolingo do a great job here, teaching you a little of your chosen language *before* you finish signing up.

What are the high level goals of your onboarding experience?
How can you surface these aspirational outcomes to help onboarders better imagine their futures and do the work now to get there?
Limited Choice

Limited Choice

Conversion

We’re more likely to decide when the options are sensibly restricted

Providing the the right level of choice at the right time is delicate balance.

Be careful of how many sets of choices you offer to people to curate their experiences.

Could some choices be constrained or left out of the initial onboarding?
Going further, do they need to be any part of it at all?
Feedback Loops

Feedback Loops

Experience

We look for information that provides clarity on our actions

We're desperate to be told we're on the right track, and respond well to feedback telling us so.

Where in your onboarding can you provide clear feedback that "I've got this", particularly early on or for more complicated tasks?
Endowed Progress Effect

Endowed Progress Effect

Loyalty

We reach our goals faster when we have help getting started

Task completion lies at the core of onboarding, so showing that onboarders are already on their way will compel them to complete the entire process.

Where's the earliest point you can make people they've already started onboarding, visually showing this progress on-screen?
Curiosity Effect

Curiosity Effect

Conversion

We're driven to seek missing info that closes our knowledge gap

We're often motivated by closing down information gaps, and this could be put to good use during onboarding processes.

How can you trigger a sense of curiosity within your onboarding process to motivate completion and trigger that satisfying "aha!" moment?
Commitment

Commitment

Conversion

Once we’ve made a public statement, we make consistent decisions to support it

Allowing people to select their own aims is a great way of providing long-lasting accountability and a more tailored onboarding experience.

Duolingo do a great job here by asking you to set a daily goal.

Where can you allow people to set their own commitments within your onboarding experience?
Zeigarnik Effect

Zeigarnik Effect

Conversion

Incomplete tasks weigh on our minds until done

Onboarding processes ask us to complete a series of tasks, of numerous sizes and complexities, so it's natural that we'll not complete every part of the onboarding process.

This can be remedied by framing the task as partially complete.

Emphasise the minimal effort now required and the maximal gain of completing the next task.

How can you highlight "just how close" users are to finishing, within your interface or follow-up comms?
Ownership Bias

Ownership Bias

Conversion

We value things more when we feel we own them

Our sense of self bleeds into what we own.

Foster a sense of personal ownership within the onboarding process from early on to create a strong desire to motivate completion and fully own the experience.

Even subtleties like framing progress through the user's name will help.

Where can you turn a generic process into a personal one?

Checklist. I've...

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