Onboard customers to your app, part 1: Overview

June 13th 2018 Kelly Snow in Server, Cloud, Apps, User experience

Customers should be able to install and configure apps quickly and easily so they can fairly evaluate how well they solve a business problem. Some customers never get through the installation and configuration steps and quit in frustration.

We want to connect customers to solutions as easily as possible. This blog series will help you think about an onboarding flow that avoids friction and helps you determine which patterns and practices to design into your app. First, I describe the overall flow and basic principles to think about. Next, I'll focus on the admin experience. Last, I'll look at the end users experience.

A typical journey

This journey starts with an app trial installation and ends with end-users confidently using your app. We'll go over each step and related patterns.

Complete flow for onboarding users to your app
Admin user steps Admin UI within Atlassian products, available to admin users. Universal Plugin Manager (UPM) is the Marketplace embedded within Atlassian products that handles app installations. Admin user steps Product UI, available to end users

4 Design principles for your onboarding journey

John Snow knows more than your users

1. Assume the user knows nothing

Assume users (admins and end users) know nothing about your app. Assume someone asked their admin to install the app and didn't communicate this to their organization. In this scenario, it's important the admin understands what your app does, especially if configuration is involved. They need to successfully install and set up the app for users. Once you get through that step, end users may not know your app was installed, especially if it has a small presence in the product UI.

Complete flow for onboarding users to your app

2. Reduce friction (increase flow)

We want users to flow seamlessly from one step to the next. As you think about onboarding, consider the minimum steps a user needs to complete a task successfully. Sometimes that means adding a step or bit of information to explain complexity. Other times it means removing distractions.

Keep users in context

3. Keep users "in context"

Keep the user within the Atlassian product to complete a task. This is important for configuration in particular - if the admin can't figure out how to get the feature installed and configured, and has to seek documentation elsewhere, it increases the chance they will give up and uninstall.

Show vs tell

4. Show versus tell

You can read a manual about how to use your camera... Or you can learn through experience. It's often easier to show your users how to do something in a picture, rather than describe the process. When we are coaching our users through the setup process, remember that showing is better than telling.


Next, onboard admin users

Learn how to apply these principles to your app onboarding journey end users, in Part 2: Onboard admin users.

Complete flow for onboarding admins to your app