Week 1 Gmail OnBoarding

Taking a tour on how Gmail onboards their new users was very interesting. Prior to watching this step-by-step breakdown of the onboarding process I had never thought to look at the onboarding experience critically. It is amazing how important it is to have intuitive user experience and user interface in order to get a customer through all the steps of learning a new program. I especially appreciated the author of Gmail’s onboarding process on useronboard.com as they pointed out some of the things done well by Google as well as things that could be improved in the site.

The first thing that I liked about Gmail’s onboarding process was their home page. I agree with the author’s comments stating it’s “nice” and “clean”. This makes the page feel professional as well as friendly, both essential at grabbing a customer and enticing them to progress further through the site. The home page isn’t cluttered with information that may distract a user or from moving forward through the onboarding process.

On to Gmail’s second page, the sign-up page, I immediately noticed the size of the sign-up fields and wondered if it may be better to break those up across multiple pages, however I then have to wonder if a user would lose interest moving through additional pages that could be condensed into a single page as they have on Gmail. Perhaps Gmail has tested both a single page as well as multiple pages asking for the necessary information. In addition I noticed that the page does not have any “required” fields. As a user it makes me wonder why Gmail needs my phone number or why they need my current email when I’m signing up for an email service. They could possibly break these pages up into required information and additional information, the latter being optional. I agree with the author’s comments on the password guide, as this is a handy tool when creating my own passwords.

The next part of the onboarding process that caught my attention was what the author called “I’m doing stuff spin state”. This made me think about how a customer may feel if that spin state was not there. Had that minor graphic not been there the customer might feel that they did not click the CTA button as the site loads the next page but nothing is happening in the moment. This could cause confusion or frustration for a new user and could cause them to leave the site entirely.

All in all I thought the onboarding process for Gmail did a nice job of walking the user through a new program and thoroughly explaining how to work the site.

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