One of the biggest pieces of feedback we'd hear from new users is that despite being given tools to learn the basics, they either don't know how to use Mural or don't know why they would want to. We hypothesized that this was due to the fragmented, lackluster nature of existing onboarding experiences.
To address the myriad areas of opportunity for the future of Onboarding at Mural, I led an effort to conceptualize what the best possible onboarding experience might look like.
I lead the workshopping, concepting & visuals for this project, with design support from Sarah Xie, guidance from my manager Lada Gorlenko, and strategic input from our PM Ryan Linden.
Onboarding is often that first impression a new user has.
A strong onboarding is a strong contributor to product-led growth. To create a successful product-led business, you need a quick time-to-value. Users who are able to become engaged and see the value quickly can lead to more retention and less churn.
When evaluating the state of onboarding at Mural, we identified the following as key problem areas:
We have three main personas we account for and a total of 6 types of onboarding when joining a mural. These experiences overlap in what we teach but exist exclusively of one another, which leads to a higher product team effort to maintain and update these flows.
Our most built-out onboarding flows are for Creators and Joiners joining a mural for the first time. We teach them how to use introductory features but offer very little guidance after that. One of the most quoted reasons for leaving Mural is that they “did not have another use case”. Focusing on first-time users forces us to teach the ‘how’ but not necessarily demonstrate the value of our product or show our users how to further engage with it.
We are either missing or have very rudimentary onboarding to other key parts of our app, such as the dashboard, rooms, and workspaces. We also focus on a fail to account for some key user journeys, such as starting from a template on the marketing website. If we want our users to unlock the full value of Mural, every part of the app should have an onboarding.
Right now, we break up our users into “Creators”, “Joiners”, and “Visitors”. However, these personas are more tied to assumed actions rather than their motivation, potential engagement with the product, and where they are in their visual collaboration tool journey. For example, a Creator and a Joiner joining for the first time who have no experience in visual collaboration tools will need to learn the same things. A Creator might be more motivated to learn about the product after their initial onboarding, but making that distinction so early on just results in a fragmented experience we have to maintain (see point 1).
Think about the last time you had a really positive onboarding when you didn’t necessarily want to go through an onboarding. What made it positive? What made you feel engaged? Mural has a such a strong brand of playfulness; Let’s bring some of that into onboarding so it’s more memorable and engaging.
Before we could begin visual exploration, we'd need to talk to our users to better understand what specific pains they have with the current experience. We'd also need to do a little selling to leadership that a visiontype was the best course of action.
We interviewed 5 participants per experience who have never used a visual collaboration software before. Each participant was asked to:
We learned a ton about our current experiences from this research. I won't bore you with the specifics, but with the all the pieces of knowledge in hand it was time to sell the project up the chain.