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A little something to welcome our users

Posted by Janna Bastow
July 21, 2012

Welcome MatWe’ve been doing a bit of experimenting here at ProdPad. There comes a time, in every Beta product’s early life, that you realise that the sign up flow you created just isn’t going to cut it.

When we first built ProdPad, we built it as an internal tool, leaving the registration process as an afterthought.

Now that we’re starting to get out there and shout about what we’ve built, we’re watching sign ups closely to understand what’s working and what’s not.

We found a correlation: Our most active users (and the one’s who are coming back with the best feedback), perhaps not surprisingly, are the ones who begin to use ProdPad early on, right after they sign up.

Based on our data, I’m seeing two early ‘indicators’ of what makes one of our users stick around and renew:

  1. They’ve added ideas or imported their existing backlog. I suspect this is the case as it takes the user from an empty dashboard, to instead starting with at least a few entries.
  2. They’ve invited at least one other colleague. One of the key benefits of ProdPad is that it allows your entire team to collaborate on what’s happening with your company’s product offering. Once you’ve got a few team members in ProdPad with you, you can comment back and forth on ideas in the backlog, and keep up to date on what everyone else is contributing.

Screenshot of the first iteration of the registration page on ProdPad

Original registration

Didn’t make the grade: First iteration

Our old registration page was, in a word, a bit scary.

The first iteration involve sticking all the necessary fields on one page and letting fly… instead putting focus on features within the product once logged in.

Putting to the test: New onboarding process

Our new registration starts by asking you to confirm one simple detail, your email address. With this, we’re testing if we can increase the number of registrations, just by simplifying a step at the top of the funnel. Our hypothesis is that if we strip our existing eight different fields from down to just one, we’ll see immediate improvement. On this point alone, I hope we can post positive results within the week!

A new, simplified registration for ProdPad

A new, simplified registration for ProdPad

Screenshot of Step 1 of the new Onboarding flow welcome our users

Step 1: Create your account

Step 2: Invite your colleagues

Step 2: Invite your colleagues

Step 3: Set up your product

Step 3: Set up your product

Step 4: Build product backlog

Step 4: Build product backlog

Of course, we still need more details to complete the registration, but we’ve deferred these to the next page, helping the user by automatically filling in their company name and username.

The next steps are where we’re really going to be experimenting. To start with, we want to help new users invite their colleagues, start defining the product they are tracking and building, and either importing an existing backlog or adding their first idea.

Event Tracking – How we plan on seeing the results

We’re using Mixpanel to track the actions – an upgrade from my usual choice of Google Analytics, but a tool, that Simon is more versed in than I. I’ve set up tracking for each of the steps within the registration and onboarding, as well as on the ‘Skip’ options. Hopefully this will shed some light on which steps people are willing to complete, and which they’d rather skip.

What we’re looking for

As I mentioned going in to this, the goal of creating the new onboarding flow was to help get our users accustomed to ProdPad from the moment they sign up. So far, our numbers show that those who, early on, make the effort to figure out how to add a few first ideas and get their colleagues in the system, tend to stick around and get the most usage out of the site.

We’ll report back on the results of this iteration, and will hopefully be able to come back to say that it’s resulted in more of our new users getting more use out of ProdPad.

With this iteration, we haven’t added any new features, just made it easier to find them right away. And with the right tracking, we should be able to tell if we’ve made a smart move!

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