April 24, 2024

After making a revised onboarding stream for a fintech app, my design crew had simply three days to check and fine-tune it for our shopper. As a result of we didn’t have sufficient time to collect consumer suggestions, I wanted one other strategy to rapidly refine the stream and reveal its influence.

I developed an evaluation technique to streamline the onboarding steps and quantify how a lot easier they’d turn into. Once I introduced the up to date stream to the shopper, they authorized our design, and we instantly carried out the modifications.

Since then, I’ve used the identical approach to strengthen current consumer flows for extra purchasers. It’s a easy technique that saves time, improves usability, and exhibits the effectiveness of your design selections to stakeholders.

Person Stream Evaluation in 4 Steps

Person flows map out the trail a consumer should take to finish a activity, similar to onboarding, subscribing, and checkout. Designers might make consumer flows through the product improvement course of or as a part of common UX evaluation after a product has launched (particularly when updates and new options are carried out).

A product’s consumer stream is vital to UX, and it ought to be used alongside consumer analysis and user path analytics. The Interplay Design Basis underscores its significance: “The higher you facilitate the consumer shifting from begin to end on a selected course of—the simpler the product is to work with and the extra probably that you’re to ship an superior consumer expertise.”

Any designer or design crew can make use of this four-step stream evaluation to boost UX and assist customers full duties that help enterprise targets. As an example, I’ll apply the approach to an app onboarding instance.

Map the Present Course of

Step one is to look at the consumer path by noting every motion required to finish the duty, similar to gestures, face scans, or viewing updates like snackbars. Right here’s the onboarding stream instance labeled with every step the consumer takes. On this case, the stream makes use of 5 actions: wait, scroll, faucet, sort, and observe an exterior hyperlink. Whether or not you create a digital consumer stream or a bodily one with boards and sticky notes, it’s useful to position the motion labels close to the associated screens (or display representations) to visualise the steps.

An onboarding user flow for an app in 15 screens. Below each screen are action labels involved in the step: wait, scroll, tap, type, or link. The first few screens share benefits of the app, followed by a welcome message and then fields to enter a username, password, and email address. The flow ends on a home screen.
Instance App Onboarding Person Stream

This instance stream entails many steps throughout a number of screens, and it’s clear that it must be streamlined. However the variety of actions isn’t the one measure of how demanding a course of is for the consumer. Some steps are extra taxing than others. For instance, it takes extra bodily effort to sort than to faucet. To judge the consumer stream, we’d like a strategy to quantify every motion.

Rank Actions by Complexity

The subsequent step is to think about the time and psychological or bodily effort every step requires. For instance, deciding between two choices demands mental energy, even for seemingly small selections. Alternatively, typing takes physical effort (notably on cell). Different actions might solely take psychological effort with no bodily motion, similar to ready for a snackbar to vanish. The mixed psychological and bodily effort that customers should take to achieve their targets is the interaction cost.

I like to recommend creating a easy hierarchy for the actions in your consumer stream, from best to hardest. Figuring out an motion’s issue is much like rating the severity of usability issues: As a result of subjectivity is concerned, you want constant standards (on this case, time and psychological and bodily effort) when evaluating the actions in opposition to each other. (You probably have the chance, observe customers working with the prototype to assist affirm your rankings.)

Subsequent, assign every motion a colour and a degree worth. I favor pink for probably the most difficult and grey for the only. The harder an motion is to finish, the upper its level worth ought to be. Right here’s how I broke down the actions in our consumer stream instance:

A table with two rows. The top row is labeled Action, and the bottom is Value in points. The first action, Wait, has a value of 1 and is gray. The action Scroll has a value of 2 and is green. Tap has a value of 3 and is yellow. Type has a value of 5 and is orange. Link has a value of 10 and is red.

There could also be variable complexity even with the identical exercise. Scrolling will often be a easy activity, however what if a consumer is scrolling to learn an advanced authorized doc? In that case, you might create a label that displays the complexity higher, similar to Learn.

In case you’re working with a crew in individual, attempt placing the screens up on a board and utilizing colourful sticky notes for the motion labels. It is a enjoyable strategy to visualize the consumer stream as a bunch and see the method from a brand new perspective. For distant collaboration, attempt on-line whiteboard instruments like FigJam or Miro.

When you’ve labeled every motion, multiply its assigned worth by the variety of occasions it seems within the stream. You may then add the factors for every motion collectively to create what I name an “effort complete.” (We’ll speak extra about what this quantity means later once we measure influence.)

A table shows the value of each of the five actions (Wait, Scroll, Tap, Type and Link), the number of times each action occurs in the user flow, and the action total—the value multiplied by the number of instances. The sum for all five actions is 78 points.

Streamline the Person Stream

When you’ve calculated a baseline effort complete, return by the consumer stream and determine locations you might be able to mix or simplfy steps. Concentrate on lowering the variety of actions or changing advanced actions with easier ones. As an example, you possibly can usually scale back tapping by combining screens. That stated, it’s greatest to not merge screens that comprise advanced info. For instance, customers might get overwhelmed in case you have cost and consumer info fields on the identical display. That’s why it’s higher to purpose to lower complexity relatively than concentrate on decreasing the variety of screens.

It’s also possible to incorporate automation to ease the consumer’s burden. As an example, an app may mechanically fill in a safety code despatched by way of textual content or detect the consumer’s nation in order that they don’t must sort it.

In our consumer stream instance, screens two by 5 are advertising microcopy and a welcome message. There’s no want to make use of a number of screens for that info, so we will mix them. You may additionally make the keyboard mechanically open at any time when there’s a display with an enter area so the consumer doesn’t must faucet earlier than typing. Some enter fields may be mixed into one display, such because the username and e mail tackle. Whereas not relevant in our instance, one other strategy to make onboarding extra environment friendly is to incorporate superior options, similar to permitting customers to scan cost playing cards as a substitute of typing the credentials.

The onboarding user flow for the app is condensed into seven screens. Below each screen are action labels involved in the step: wait, scroll, tap, type, or link. The welcome screen includes one of the app’s benefits (“enjoy a seamless experience”) and the username and email address fields have been combined into one screen.
Simplified App Onboarding Person Stream

Decreasing this stream from 15 screens to seven makes it simpler for the consumer to finish the important activity of account setup. Most apps don’t need extensive onboarding processes or explanations. As a substitute, it’s greatest to maintain onboarding temporary and centered on vital steps.

Calculate Affect

It’s possible you’ll must show to your shopper or different stakeholders that the streamlined consumer stream you’ve created is value implementing. For instance, the shopper may very well be hesitant to take away onboarding screens that showcase the app’s many options. In case you obtain pushback in your proposed modifications, it’s greatest to help your case with numbers. Spotlight the variety of customers who depart the app earlier than finishing onboarding, or who obtain the app and don’t use it once more. It’s also possible to share examples of apps which have extra seamless onboarding flows with the shopper to reveal the distinction in expertise.

Even additional, with this consumer stream evaluation technique you possibly can quantify the influence of the improved stream. To do that, calculate the overall effort rating of the brand new model, and evaluate it to the unique rating.

A table shows the value of each of the five actions (Wait, Scroll, Tap, Type, and Link), the number of times each action occurs in the new user flow, and the action total—the value multiplied by the number of instances. The sum for all five actions is now 49 points.

Realizing the hassle scores of each consumer flows, we will quantify a change in usability between the 2 variations and use the end result to help our design selections to stakeholders. To take action, merely divide the distinction between the brand new and unique flows (29 factors) by the primary rating (78 factors) and multiply by 100. Within the case of our instance, the brand new onboarding stream is 37% easier than the unique.

I wish to share the modifications with purchasers in a presentation to underscore the influence of the updates and the logic behind eradicating actions or steps. Testing the stream with just a few customers can assist you validate the outcomes of the design course of. If wanted, you possibly can repeat all 4 steps to additional streamline the stream.

A Extra Environment friendly Product Improvement Course of

After utilizing this technique, affirm that the stream equips customers to efficiently navigate the product and obtain their targets by gathering suggestions. As well as, analytics will present the place customers depart the product or fail to finish a activity and any modifications within the bounce charge as a result of updates. With the fintech app I first tried this method on, we decided by qualitative testing that customers have been glad with the brand new onboarding course of and didn’t expertise interruptions when the product was up to date.

I’ve discovered that this four-step consumer stream evaluation approach is a fast, efficient means to enhance UX and maximize effectivity within the product improvement course of. Use it to simplify duties for customers and to quantify the influence of your design selections.

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