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Our Customer Onboarding Mistakes by Samuel Hulick

As a designer onboarding is the toughest portion of customer experience to craft. Onboarding into accounting software is even harder. Each customer has a different expectation, past experience with our competitors, knowledge of accounting and attention span. We’ve been building this product since 2007, and very often I get stuck in a rut and make the wrong assumptions.

Getting feedback from our customers is vital to helping us improve our product. There’s no such thing as “bad feedback.” There’s “corner case feedback” but not “bad feedback.”

I track the word “LessAccounting” on Twitter to see what people are saying about our product. I’m always searching for feedback. Last week I saw a tweet talking about our onboarding experience. The tweet linked a slide deck from a gentleman named Samuel Hulick.

I read through the slide deck. It was a complete teardown of our onboarding experience, full of nuggets of wisdom. SCORE!

The majority of the feedback felt like “Oh duh” moments. You’ve experienced them before: It’s when you get feedback and you’re like “Oh duh. Yeah we should change that.” Other parts of the slide deck exposed flaws in my designs that make me cringe in pain and embarrassment.

As a designer if you ever want to have your ego destroyed have someone signup for your app & record their experience.— allan branch (@allanbranch) November 18, 2013

I reached out to Samuel. I think he was surprised that I was happy and excited about his feedback. Samuel actually recorded a 20-minute long video of his walk-through and uploaded it for me.

Here’s the video. Again, it’s painful to watch. Much of Samuel’s feedback and ideas have already been implemented and the rest are coming in the next few weeks. I thought I’d share the teardown on our blog maybe hearing Samuel’s thoughts as new user will spur some ideas for your app’s onboarding as well.

Samuel did a teardown of Basecamp as well, I hope he’s doing more. He also writes quite a lot in a collection called “Designing for Results” and about to release an ebook called “How to drive adoption for your SaaS product.”

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