Users, especially new users, are of the mindset that they will get instant value. If they aren’t shown value quickly enough, it’s too much friction and not enough reward.
Examples of friction to a new user
Go through an entire mandatory on-boarding flow
Fill out a product’s details in full
Fill in a 25 field form
Repeat the same actions with no shortcut options
Forced to abandon a flow in order to complete a small part of the flow somewhere else.
- Abandon creating a Purchase order because the product they want to order needs to be created in the create in some other app first
Stagger user learning over time. Don't rely on heavy text and forced on-boarding flows to cram everything into a users head in one go.
Allow users to learn what they need to know to fulfill their immediate needs first.
Provide clear and obvious ways to change previous decisions as users learn more.
- Sample templates for excel or .csv to preview acceptable formats
- Dummy data in empty states across your app to help learn.
- Short help text underneath fields, explaining what the information is used for.
- For complicated flows, external guides are linked in the UI so a user can learn as they face problems.
- A link to guides on how to bulk edit, import, export
- Allowing a user to save incomplete forms. Mentioning how missing information will result in under-utilized functionality.
- Users can create a product without adding it to a category. The user is told how our reports have powerful filters that run on categories and that this product will be missed because it does not have a category. Provide the user a way to add a category to the product later.
Instead of bombarding users with 10 prompts at once, first gather the information they need to complete their immediate task and then provide them a way to add the rest of the information at a different time. Match the experience in the app with how users think about and complete tasks in real life.
- While creating a purchase order, allow the user to create a product within the flow by adding a SKU. Provide them with an easy way to find and add the rest of the product details later.
If you have a common use case, you need to create shortcuts for it and not make the user jump through hoops to achieve what they expected to achieve in the first place .
If its common for a user to import a .csv or excel files in your app, then focus on making it easier for the user to import these files and make adjustments using previews. Instead of making the user adjust the file in excel or a text editor or use a wizard to import it.
If its common for users to discover missing products in the purchase order creation flow, allow the users to create these products from within the flow. Instead of forcing them to leave the flow and create the product.
If its common for your users to search by SKUs, provide the ability to search by SKUs.