Onboarding turns new signups into power users as quickly and easily as possible. Done well, it generates excitement about future use, provides learning by using the product, and takes care of basic configuration in a fun and engaging way.
The following principles and patterns are based on our learnings through experimentation and qualitative research - test and measure to see what works for you and your customers.
Our onboarding principles are effective in three distinct contexts:
An evaluator is the first user trying your product. They are making a purchasing decision for their team or company. Since evaluators are probably trying competitors at the same time, you need to distinguish yourself quickly. The key is time to value: getting to that 'Aha!' moment as soon as possible.
An invited user might be skilled in your product, have used an older version, or be totally unfamiliar. Your onboarding should fit all cases - from helping new starters to clearing the path for experts.
Introducing new features and product changes is vital - particularly in navigation or nomenclature. Onboarding into a product update, where a user may feel stress or confusion, needs hand-holding, tact and an empathetic voice and tone.