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User onboarding steps you can focus on for SaaS and startup business models

Ben Stanford
8th Jan 2018
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When looking at goals for your software or app the first time experience for the user is one of the most important aspects in on-boarding.

SaaS
Look at some options for your software or app when a user signs up

The first time a user experiences your products they will come to understand your company stands for. If your app or software is not suited or responsive to the users’ need then chances are you are going to lose customers.

If you want to build a product that users love, then you will have to build an excellent first- time user experience that represents your product and showcases a story that the customer can resonate with

Creating a user app that is unique and has something different that no other app can present can pay off immensely. When a first- time user is delighted by the experience they have they are most likely to share it with their friends on social media and leave a detailed review on the app store of what they think about your app.

Every time you update your software and make changes your definition of success and goals will change as well. This means that you will have to re-assess what a successful user will look like when they get to your landing page.

When doing your initial research take note of the onboarding process

A user will sign up for an account and will be presented with a dashboard screen. This is the first thing your user will see and if the experience doesn't feel too good; there is a high chance they will not use your app again.

Look at the first touch point for the user and how you can improve this.

Look at some options for your software or app when a user signs up. There is a linear progression line in the decisions your user will make.

Take a look at the UX design and things such as the options presented to the user when they sign up. Do you want to present them with a million options or something simple which is more pleasant for the users?

Here is an imperative rule:

Don't ask for information that your software or app can’t use right away. This will create a higher amount of friction and will divert the user from the overall experience.

Make the experience easy

Users are extremely impatient, as they have just signed up and have an experimental trust with your product.

Take a look at some of the biggest gaming companies. When it comes to an introduction when you start a game you will either be hooked or you will put it back in your library of games to play later.

Create a visualisation with your startup app or software

Image: Shutterstock
Create a visualisation with your startup app or software

Draw mockups of the different screens users will be presented with will them with information and vibrant ideas.

Here are some tips to make the first- time user experience exceptional

  • When the user first uses the software give them indicators of how it works to keep them engaged
  • Create Information help screens – Loading screens are a great place to put in relevant information about your services
  • Create quotes – Generate some inspirational quotes to take the users mind off the time waited for the app to load
  • Create targeted animations – Catchy animations can help the users feel like they are a part of something exceptional unfolding in front of their eyes.

My advice for someone who wants to create a spectacular onboarding first- time user experience would be to create a mockup of your goals and vision over a time period, say 60 days.

Here is an example:

The first seven7 days – Can you get your users to use your software or app more thaen once?

The next 14 days – Can you establish a pattern of usage and target it to a demographic?

The next 30 days – How can your software or app become an essential and indispensable tool for users?

Build a storyboard of the experience the user should experience over 60 days from day one. You only get one chance to impress your first- time user.

Some more points you need to look at for the user onboarding experience include your alignment goals. Make sure your team is excited about the growth you are going to experience and ensure they are willing to make sacrifices for your company.

Retention is also a factor you need to reconsider. If you have a high rate of users signing up though those users are not sticking around then you may be in trouble. Focus on signups and retention to gain some measurable statistics for growth.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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