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USER ONBOARDING
Patterns and Anti-Patterns Explored
Paul Sherman
UXPA Cleveland
June 23, 2016
2
Ever start a new app and see
something like this?
You just got onboarded.
In this case, poorly.
3
What is this
onboarding thing?
Why is it so
important?
A model for adoption-
abandonment.
Onboarding principles,
patterns,...
Trained as an aviation human factors researcher.
I’ve built small and large UX teams.
Teach at Kent State’s UXD program.
P...
6
I’m also a Pixar plot device.
Onboarding
7
The process of getting people to
adopt your application or service.
8
When you’re
onboarding the
user, you’re
trying to get
them to like
and want your
product.
9
http://bit.ly/28MV6Ephttp://bi...
You know onboarding is
important.
How important is it?
10
It’s quite literally
a matter of
survival.
The average
app loses 95%
of its user base
within a few
months.
11Andrew Chen &...
“Users try out a lot of apps but decide which ones they
want to stop using within the first 3-7 days.”
“The key to success ...
A model for adoption vs.
abandonment
13
Users are
constantly -
and somewhat
consciously -
assessing a
product on two
dimensions.
14
High
Time investment
None
Perc...
What is value?
“The worth of a good or service as determined by
people’s preferences and the tradeoffs they choose to
make...
“People don't buy
products; they buy
better versions of
themselves.”
“When you're
trying to win
customers, are you
listing...
If people feel like
they’re nearing
better versions of
themselves, they’ll
adopt your product.
If that better
version of
t...
Some Common Onboarding
Patterns
18
Not many advantages. It’s out of context. People don’t really remember.
19
MODAL STEPPED TUTORIAL
Probably better than
the modal stepped
pattern.
It draws the user’s
attention to key areas
and provides concise,
clear exp...
Another
first-run
callout
example.
21
It also draws the
user’s attention to
key areas.
But what if you
wanted to check it
out later?
22
NEW FEATURE CALLOUTS
Provides video
and voice.
But…what if I
want to get back
to it?
23
VIDEO TUTORIAL
But…what if I want
to get back to it?
Yeah…they got that
covered.
And they have a link
to new features, as
well as a new
f...
Good in theory…
often not so good in
practice.
Just look up “Clippy
and “Microsoft Bob.”
25
CONTEXTUAL ASSISTANCE
Gamification and social
comparison trigger
people’s desire to
complete a process, rack
up achievements, and earn
“karma” in...
27
I earned a badge!
I win the Internet!
Showing frequently
asked questions and
answers.
Providing easy
access to user
forums and expert
help.
28
SOCIAL FACILITATI...
Let the user return to the onboarding content later.
29
MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM THESE PATTERNS
Let the user return to the onboarding content later.
Incent new users to learn by showing what’s new…or at least telling
t...
Let the user return to the onboarding content later.
Incent new users to learn by showing what’s new…or at least telling
t...
Let the user return to the onboarding content later.
Incent new users to learn by showing what’s new…or at least telling
t...
Let the user return to the onboarding content later.
Incent new users to learn by showing what’s new…or at least telling
t...
Going Deeper:
Onboarding Principles
34
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
Office Lens
Clear value
proposition
37Video
Medium
Clear value
proposition
38
Amazon Silk
Unclear value
proposition.
I’d like another
browser please!
39
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
41
Aspirational appeal - “my best self”
42
Moqups
It’s all about
them.
Not me and my
better self.
Video
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
Fast News
Not really doing, but
close.
44Video
Canva
Nailed it!
45Video
WordPress
Showing and telling
and warp speed.
I’m not going to
remember any of
this.
46Video
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
Moqups again
No signup!
Get in there and
play!
48Live demo
Medium again
Did I really have to
go through the
standard, sucky
flow?
49
50
51
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
InVision
It’s a content
creation app,
but they gave
me nice
samples to
play with.
53
Flipboard
Takes you right
to the content.
The callout
also supports
learning.
54Video
Pocket
Big empty.
But at least they
gave me some calls
to action.
55Video
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
Moqups again
No commitment until
I’m good and ready!
Also a generous free
plan.
57Live demo
Google News
Gives me a good
reason for tracking
my location.
58
Google News again
Same flow!
Why would you send
me alerts?
Denied.
59
Facebook
Um, no.
60
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
Stack
Exchange
Badging
and
reputation
are rewards.
62
I couldn’t find any gamification and social
facilitation anti-patterns…
But I’m sure they’re out there.
Maybe Amazon’s revie...
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
Gmail
I started
selecting
multiple items.
It recognized
this and offered
information.
65
Me
I did it
wrong!
66
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
InVision
Lower the
perceived cost
of adoption.
68
Proto.io
Lower the
perceived cost
of adoption.
69
Proto.io
Tips and tricks
and content.
70
1. Present a clear value proposition.
2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations.
3. Doing is better than showing or...
Question and discussion time.
72
Paul Sherman
paul@shermanux.com
@pjsherman
Get this presentation:
www.slideshare.net/PaulSherman
73
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Lightning Talk #5: User Onboarding: Patterns and Anti-Patterns Explored by Paul Sherman

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This presentation will provide you with ammunition you can use to sell the value of user onboarding design in your organisation, as well as as analysis of some great, good, and not-so-good examples of user onboarding experience design from around the web and mobile.

Whether you’re a designer, developer or researcher, you’ll appreciate this in-depth exploration of initial user experience patterns.

Published in: Design
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Lightning Talk #5: User Onboarding: Patterns and Anti-Patterns Explored by Paul Sherman

  1. 1. USER ONBOARDING Patterns and Anti-Patterns Explored Paul Sherman UXPA Cleveland June 23, 2016
  2. 2. 2 Ever start a new app and see something like this?
  3. 3. You just got onboarded. In this case, poorly. 3
  4. 4. What is this onboarding thing? Why is it so important? A model for adoption- abandonment. Onboarding principles, patterns, and some anti-patterns. OBJECTIVES http://bit.ly/28LWXFs 4
  5. 5. Trained as an aviation human factors researcher. I’ve built small and large UX teams. Teach at Kent State’s UXD program. Provide user experience research and design consulting. 5 ME
  6. 6. 6 I’m also a Pixar plot device.
  7. 7. Onboarding 7
  8. 8. The process of getting people to adopt your application or service. 8
  9. 9. When you’re onboarding the user, you’re trying to get them to like and want your product. 9 http://bit.ly/28MV6Ephttp://bit.ly/28T2blZ Random cuteness
  10. 10. You know onboarding is important. How important is it? 10
  11. 11. It’s quite literally a matter of survival. The average app loses 95% of its user base within a few months. 11Andrew Chen & Ankit Jain, http://bit.ly/1Hq53AR Percentageofusersstillactive Days since app install
  12. 12. “Users try out a lot of apps but decide which ones they want to stop using within the first 3-7 days.” “The key to success is to get the users hooked during that critical first 3 - 7 day period.” - Ankit Jain 12
  13. 13. A model for adoption vs. abandonment 13
  14. 14. Users are constantly - and somewhat consciously - assessing a product on two dimensions. 14 High Time investment None Perceivedvalue Abandonment zone Adoption zone MY HYPOTHESIS
  15. 15. What is value? “The worth of a good or service as determined by people’s preferences and the tradeoffs they choose to make given their scarce resources.” - Investopedia.com 15http://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/economic-value.asp#ixzz4CK5qPTFt
  16. 16. “People don't buy products; they buy better versions of themselves.” “When you're trying to win customers, are you listing the attributes of the flower or describing how awesome it is to throw fireballs?” - Sam Hulick 16http://www.useronboard.com/features-vs-benefits/
  17. 17. If people feel like they’re nearing better versions of themselves, they’ll adopt your product. If that better version of themselves appears too far away - or unattainable - they’ll abandon it. 17http://bit.ly/28QuLFS
  18. 18. Some Common Onboarding Patterns 18
  19. 19. Not many advantages. It’s out of context. People don’t really remember. 19 MODAL STEPPED TUTORIAL
  20. 20. Probably better than the modal stepped pattern. It draws the user’s attention to key areas and provides concise, clear explanations. But how do you see it again if you wanted? 20 FIRST-RUN CALLOUTS
  21. 21. Another first-run callout example. 21
  22. 22. It also draws the user’s attention to key areas. But what if you wanted to check it out later? 22 NEW FEATURE CALLOUTS
  23. 23. Provides video and voice. But…what if I want to get back to it? 23 VIDEO TUTORIAL
  24. 24. But…what if I want to get back to it? Yeah…they got that covered. And they have a link to new features, as well as a new feature count badge. 24 VIDEO TUTORIAL
  25. 25. Good in theory… often not so good in practice. Just look up “Clippy and “Microsoft Bob.” 25 CONTEXTUAL ASSISTANCE
  26. 26. Gamification and social comparison trigger people’s desire to complete a process, rack up achievements, and earn “karma” in some form. Both can be effective, but also expensive to implement. Social comparison can also backfire and cause users to abandon. 26 GAMIFICATION & SOCIAL COMPARISON
  27. 27. 27 I earned a badge! I win the Internet!
  28. 28. Showing frequently asked questions and answers. Providing easy access to user forums and expert help. 28 SOCIAL FACILITATION
  29. 29. Let the user return to the onboarding content later. 29 MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM THESE PATTERNS
  30. 30. Let the user return to the onboarding content later. Incent new users to learn by showing what’s new…or at least telling them “hey, here’s some new features!” 30 MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM THESE PATTERNS
  31. 31. Let the user return to the onboarding content later. Incent new users to learn by showing what’s new…or at least telling them “hey, here’s some new features!” Contextual assistance is great in theory, but hard in practice. 31 MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM THESE PATTERNS
  32. 32. Let the user return to the onboarding content later. Incent new users to learn by showing what’s new…or at least telling them “hey, here’s some new features!” Contextual assistance is great in theory, but hard in practice. Gamification and social comparison can increase motivation, but are costly. And social comparison can backfire. 32 MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM THESE PATTERNS
  33. 33. Let the user return to the onboarding content later. Incent new users to learn by showing what’s new…or at least telling them “hey, here’s some new features!” Contextual assistance is great in theory, but hard in practice. Gamification and social comparison can increase motivation, but are costly. And social comparison can backfire. Social facilitation requires critical mass or it suffers from the “empty store shelf” problem. 33 MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM THESE PATTERNS
  34. 34. Going Deeper: Onboarding Principles 34
  35. 35. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 35 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES Partially adapted from Lisa Battle, First Impressions Matter: Onboarding for First Time Users. UXPA 2016.
  36. 36. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 36 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES
  37. 37. Office Lens Clear value proposition 37Video
  38. 38. Medium Clear value proposition 38
  39. 39. Amazon Silk Unclear value proposition. I’d like another browser please! 39
  40. 40. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 40 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES
  41. 41. 41 Aspirational appeal - “my best self”
  42. 42. 42 Moqups It’s all about them. Not me and my better self. Video
  43. 43. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 43 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES
  44. 44. Fast News Not really doing, but close. 44Video
  45. 45. Canva Nailed it! 45Video
  46. 46. WordPress Showing and telling and warp speed. I’m not going to remember any of this. 46Video
  47. 47. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 47 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES
  48. 48. Moqups again No signup! Get in there and play! 48Live demo
  49. 49. Medium again Did I really have to go through the standard, sucky flow? 49
  50. 50. 50
  51. 51. 51
  52. 52. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 52 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES
  53. 53. InVision It’s a content creation app, but they gave me nice samples to play with. 53
  54. 54. Flipboard Takes you right to the content. The callout also supports learning. 54Video
  55. 55. Pocket Big empty. But at least they gave me some calls to action. 55Video
  56. 56. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 56 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES
  57. 57. Moqups again No commitment until I’m good and ready! Also a generous free plan. 57Live demo
  58. 58. Google News Gives me a good reason for tracking my location. 58
  59. 59. Google News again Same flow! Why would you send me alerts? Denied. 59
  60. 60. Facebook Um, no. 60
  61. 61. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 61 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES
  62. 62. Stack Exchange Badging and reputation are rewards. 62
  63. 63. I couldn’t find any gamification and social facilitation anti-patterns… But I’m sure they’re out there. Maybe Amazon’s reviewer system? Wikipedia? 63
  64. 64. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 64 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES
  65. 65. Gmail I started selecting multiple items. It recognized this and offered information. 65
  66. 66. Me I did it wrong! 66
  67. 67. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 67 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES
  68. 68. InVision Lower the perceived cost of adoption. 68
  69. 69. Proto.io Lower the perceived cost of adoption. 69
  70. 70. Proto.io Tips and tricks and content. 70
  71. 71. 1. Present a clear value proposition. 2. Engage emotional and aspirational motivations. 3. Doing is better than showing or telling. 4. Minimize friction and barriers. 5. Stock the shelves. Avoid the empty store. 6. Don’t ask for a commitment before the user is ready. 7. Leverage social comparison and gamification. But don’t be cheesy. 8. Support learning and mastery at the point of need. 9. Share content via different channels to encourage engagement. 10. Measure and test! 71 10 ONBOARDING PRINCIPLES Partially adapted from Lisa Battle, First Impressions Matter: Onboarding for First Time Users. UXPA 2016.
  72. 72. Question and discussion time. 72
  73. 73. Paul Sherman paul@shermanux.com @pjsherman Get this presentation: www.slideshare.net/PaulSherman 73

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