Elements of a Great First-Time User Experience

I like to think of first time UX of web/mobile apps the same way your first time experience is when walking into a physical shop. Is the place welcoming? Is there any direction of where to look for things? Can you try things without the obligation to buy?

First-time user experience should be an ongoing project within any product development team. I’ve made it a priority to devote at least 10% – 15% of our time each week tweaking and refining on-boarding and first time user experiences.

Krystal Higgins does an amazing job at dissecting different popular apps and finding common themes that have designed a great first-time UX in her blog. Some common elements of great first-time UX are as follows:

  1. Provide Guided Interaction 
  2. Give Free Samples
  3. Establish a Personal Focus

This video further dives deep into how you can adapt the above three elements into your own product design process:

Krystal Higgins: New users matter too! Designing better onboarding experiences (Webdagene 2015) from Netlife Research on Vimeo.


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Zain Abiddin is an Entrepreneur & Product Manager. He is the founder and Product Manager of Chillik Media, a design led software agency based in San Francisco.

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