The first mile of your customer’s experience using your product cannot be the last mile of your experience building the product. The first mile requires your study and continuous scrutiny before and after launch. Avoid the tendency to design your “tour,” on-boarding flow, and “empty states” right before launch. The first mile of a user’s experience is the top of your funnel for new users and needs to be the most thought-out part of your product, not an after-thought.
A failed first mile cripples a new product right out of the gate. Your product may get lots of downloads or sign-ups, but very few customers get on-boarded and primed to the point where they know three things: (1) why they’re there, (2) what they can accomplish, (3) and what to do next (note: users don’t need to know how to use your product at the beginning, they just need to know what to do next!). Once a new user knows these three things, they have reached “The Zone.” Fantastic businesses are built when the majority of users that express interest in a product are able to get on-boarded and into The Zone.