If users don’t know about it, they won’t use it
This summer a strategy class at the University of British Columbia (UBC) used Nugg to share discussions about strategy and to manage project teams. The instructor tied using Nugg class participation to grades, so there was a lot of use. We got some feedback from the class and mixed in with the good stuff and the “you should fix this” stuff, was one thing that (I think) is in the product. So…
What’s the problem here?
First the gap…
In the feedback from the students they said:
Include a “Seen by [user]” notation that shows who has seen the post”
We have this feature! When you open the detailed view of a nugg, you see who has viewed it. But the user get’s to decide if there is a problem, not me, so how do I solve this?
Fresh look at onboarding and use
There are two sides to this problem: product and customer success. I’ll skip over the product side for this post?—?that’s best left to our UX genius Felix?—?so I’ll look at customer success, which is my bailiwick anyway. For customer success the first stop is onboarding new users.
Here’s how I handle onboarding right now.
New users receive an email the first day they sign up for Nugg with the goal of moving some conversations out of email and into Nugg. Three days later I talk about how you can use Nugg right from email. After a week, I talk about the decisions feature. Two weeks on I suggest reviewing the questions they ask their team.
Nothing about the interface of the app. I covered that in the past, but thought it would be more important to cover those topics above. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe Nugg isn’t as intuitive as I thought (or people tell us).
Lorenzo, our front-end developer, passed around a post about how a “find a store near you” service was created and in that post the author talks about saving support time and converting more paying users through better onboarding. He listened to what people were asking about and why people didn’t pay for the service after the trial and learned his users often didn’t know the feature they wanted was right there in front of them all the time! Ah ha! Onboarding to the rescue!
His issue was solved with onboarding videos peppered throughout the app. A great solution, and one I’ve seen used successfully with other apps. I might not be able to do that with Nugg in the near term, but that doesn’t preclude me revisiting my whole onboarding process and messaging.
Which is exactly what I’m in the midst of doing.
Gather the data
My first step is gathering data. Between direct feedback and in-app analytics, I’m getting a handle on what people would like to do and what I can help them with. There are going to be things I just can’t do much about. If a feature isn’t there, it just isn’t there, but if I can suggest an alternative or work around…I’m game for that. Gathering the data is only step one, the next step is picking what to focus on.
Find the low hanging fruit and what will make the most difference
There are two things I’m looking for in onboarding: what are the low hanging fruit, easy things to explain, that will help people use Nugg better. Adding new team members, editing questions, hiding teams from view, these are easy to show. The other thing I’m looking for are the tasks or features that I think will help us meet our usage and adoption goals. These aren’t so easy. These tie into the Cue-Routine-Reward-Investment cycle as highlighted by Nir Eyal in his book Hooked. What can I do to help people create routines that lead to rewards and will, eventually, lead to increased use of Nugg.
Not easy, but essential to Nugg and its success. And worth the time to figure out.
It’s not the user’s fault
The final bit of this puzzle that is essential to understand is that none of this is the user’s fault. If someone doesn’t know a feature exists?—?a feature they want to use?—?then that’s our fault for not exposing it to them. If they try the feature and it doesn’t work as expected, that’s a different story. And a story for another post.
Listen, learn, fix, adapt, rinse, repeat
And none of these onboarding challenges go away. As Nugg gets more features, get more complex (though we get kudos for its simplicity, so “complex” will mostly be under the hood), I’ll need to keep working at onboarding. I’ll need to keep listening to what users don’t see or understand or know exists, and show it to them in the coolest and simplest ways possible.
’Cause that’s just what I do.
Spyglass photo from Tilemahos Efthimiadis.