Why you need a KILLER Login and User-Onboarding flow

Some 13.7 Million years ago, there was a colossal Big Bang, which created our universe, and is the reason we’re all here today. In a trend not all that different, and with 246 million registered Domains as of 2012, the internet footprint has exploded in recent years, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

With the white-hot battle for eyeballs and companies / websites vying for our attention, it’s not hard to understand why our attention spans have shortened in recent years, to the point where user loyalty is at an all-time low and on the verge of extinction.

As entrepreneurs and product designers, it is therefore critical to focus on our users more so than ever, especially during that early acquisition and onboarding flow, to guide our first-time user through the experience, ask for information we want from them, and show them features and functionality that they need to get accustomed to, so that they may find our product or service useful and (hopefully) come back a second time.

In that vein, and in order to design our login experience and onboarding flow to be as effective as possible, we need to keep asking ourselves questions like:

  • How can we make login as quick and painless as possible (ideally a 1-click experience)?
  • Does Facebook Connect / Sign in make sense? How can we make the user login / signup using Facebook (instead of email)? The obvious advantages here being convenience, one-click signups, social integration and access to rich social data that we’d otherwise have to ask the user for.
  • What does the user need to know when he logs in the first time?
  • What information do we want the user to answer?
  • What information do we want from the user via other means (facebook connect, etc)?
  • What features and functionality do we want to show the user (like a tutorial that is shown by default for the first time, but can be manually invoked again at a later stage)
  • How do we motivate users to become ACTIVE contributors (instead of passive readers and content consumers)?
  • How can we add a certain degree of randomness / unpredictability to that first login / onboarding experience? (we tend to dismiss the boring and unpredictable but pay attention to things that we’re not expecting)
  • How can we motivate and incentivize the user to come back?

The login and onboarding process should be a key piece to the success of our product and user experience. It’s our one chance to create a (strong) lasting impression. Without it, the rest of the features we build simply will not matter.

If I’m missing other questions we need to be asking ourselves, please leave a note in the comments below.


28. April 2013 by Kunal Punjabi
Categories: Product Management, User Acquisition | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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