30 Jan 14 of the most brutal (but fair) SAAS onboarding teardowns from a UX expert
Samuel Hulick runs a fantastic blog at Useronboard. With honesty he praises and dismisses online product onboarding sequences. And when I say honesty…I mean the ‘Coach Taylor’ honesty – firm, but fair.
You never want to get on the wrong side of him – but a dose of his feedback is mighty good for you.
He’s provided some of the funniest, most brutal putdowns I’ve seen aimed squarely at some of the most successful SAAS products on the web. But – every single one of them is justified and a change would almost definitely see an increase in signups.
For those who haven’t seen the blog – it’s incredibly fair – justified praise is dealt with well to show what awesome SAAS onboarding could look like.
As we’re lovers of SAAS companies (we help them generate leads to scale fast), we compiled his most brutal assessments. Each one is amusing, but a helpful reminder of just how making or missing little tweaks can make all of the difference in the number of customers you will sign-up today.
Let’s dive in:
1. Apple Music
You’d be forgiven for assuming that with Jonny Ive onboard, Apple Music would have the most elegant onboarding process on the planet. Sadly not, they quickly wind-up Samuel, who can’t help digging into this bizarre notification about Audiobooks.
Make sure every action you want a user to take is clearly labelled with zero confusion.
Think about how a user views the ENTIRE page on every device
Keep your user focused on the one job you want them to do….sign up. Don’t give them any reason to leave your signup process, especially one of your own doing.
I’ll be honest, I LOVE Headspace. The app is gorgeous and with its’ 10-day free trial, it converts thousands through a calm, guided, well thought-through introduction to the world of mindfulness.
That said, even the most-zen-like user could get slightly wound-up by a few parts of their smooth introduction. No punches are pulled here as a vicious Chuck Norris meme is dropped after being directed to an unintuitive small icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen – instead of taken through the app further.
Make. Every. Step. Obvious.
If you need some information from your users – make sure they know why they are providing it, or accept the fact that a percentage will be annoyed by every small request for information.
No matter how cool your product is, you still need to tell people as soon as they hit your page – exactly what your product does and why they should care.
7. Less Accounting
Imagery can often make or break a site
Proof-read everything until you are braindead to make sure your whole page makes sense.
No matter how cool the rest of your page is, even a poorly added stock photo can take away a lot of the impact.
Don’t set your users up to be let down – if something will take time, let your users know exactly how long it will take…or at least, don’t ever underestimate how much of their day you will take-up.
Nobody in the world likes a form – so make sure they are as pain-free as possible. Being clever is great – but not if you’re going to wind-up your users.
Focus on where your user will direct their eyes – no matter how cool your design is.
Work out your users’ best next-step and guide them that way, don’t give them too many options.
Make sure your offsite activities link up with your onsite messages – and try your best not to
Samuel does a great job on finding every single fault in these teardowns. I’d highly recommend you check out the blog.
The curious thing is that none of this is exceptionally hard. All you need is a fresh pair of eyes and a clear focus on the user.
Knowing how hard it is to review your own work, make sure you get some user testing completed by the most critical people you know – and those who know literally nothing about your business.
A clean pair of eyes can really spot items that shouldn’t be there on your site – and increase your SAAS sign-ups