In the age of dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge, setting up a date with an unknown person is very easy. But, in reality, how the person is could be much different to what their profile says. The person's appearance, fashion sense, behavior and expressions all together make the first impression.
In the first meeting itself, you would be able to decide whether you would like to meet that person again or not? Underwhelming first meetings rarely result in a second.
That's how vital your app's First Time User Experience (FTUE) is. It lets your user decide if your app is a keeper or not. It would be best if you always were 'dressed to kill' when a new user opens your app for the first time.
What is First-Time User Experience and how does it work?
First-Time User Experience or FTUE is the experience you give to your new users in their first interactions with your app. FTUE is often associated with user onboarding. Yet, what many people forget is the right FTUE begins way before app onboarding. The app's landing page on the app store/ play store, the screenshots, the reviews, the ads all form the FTUE.
For instance, Dropbox delivers cute mail to your inbox asking users to download their app. The mail is worded such that users are geared up for their FTUE with the app.
This experience you deliver leads to downloads and activated users. It further transcends down the AARRR funnel with the users retaining, generating revenue and finally becoming champions for your product by recommending it to others.
Ways to Improve Your First-time user experience
The FTUE quality reduces with every non-user-friendly transaction that occurs. Hence, you need to find the clear and underlying reasons and correct them. So that any friction for converting a new user to an active user gets eliminated.
On an average, if you retain users till Day 3 while they spend a suitable time on your app every day, their retention and conversion rates are likely to be three times better. So, make sure to nudge your new user to use the app every day for the first few days.
First-Time User Experience Best Practices
Once a user has downloaded the app, the in-app user experience starts with the right user onboarding experience. This entails the following aspects:
1. Have Seamless Logins that Assure Privacy
Logins are the dreaded bottlenecks where a user has more chances of backing out. Reasons for this could be - a) fear of giving away private information, b) the process taking a long time. Assuring the user that their information will be kept private is one way of achieving login success. Another important aspect is to keep the login page simple. Just ask for the essential information and have your user onboard quickly. For instance, Instagram keeps its login screen very simple. It also assures the users of safeguarding their data.
2. New User Bonuses
You can improve your FTUE by keeping it simple in the first step. Lure new users to register by offering them a bonus or reward. The user would is tempted to explore further, and this leads to better retention. For example, Netflix shows its subscriptions free for one month. It also states that the user can cancel anytime. This reassuring promise lures users to join the subscription plans. As the quality offered from then on is sustained, there are hardly any problems of retention.
Check out some minimalistic onboarding flows we have listed in our article 5 Best Mobile App User Onboarding Flows.
3. Have Clear CTAs
First, an app needs to have very clear Calls to Action (CTAs) options such as login and sign up. The CTAs should be such that the users know the next destination upon clicking.
4. Deal Well with Permissions and Information
A user might not be willing to give away too much information and permissions in the first go itself. Instead, seek action-specific or rare permissions only as and when the need arises. For example, the online shopping app Flipkart seeks your address only when a purchase is being made. Sensitive information, like credit card numbers, etc., is stored only with the user's permission. To keep the user experience seamless, Flipkart goes a step further, exempting its users from logging in even during a purchase.
5. Onboard New Users with Walkthroughs to Activate Users
Onboarding walkthroughs are a must have for a mobile application, unless your app does not have more than 2-3 main features and is self explanatory.
Onboarding walkthroughs are not product tours which simply take your users through the app's features. Onboarding walkthroughs will give your users a tour of your app’s best features. These are the features that have helped retained users find value with your app. The onboarding walkthroughs are designed along the paths followed by your retained users.
This data-driven approach is highly effective in activating your users and guiding them to the Aha!moment.
Read our User Onboarding 101 to get a hang of how to work on your user onboarding.
Fine-tune Your FTUE with Apxor
Many times, the app owner/ developer can speculate reasons for falling activation rates. For example, it could be asking too much information, which channel users are retaining, etc. Apxor is a product experience tool that helps product managers/owners validate their assumptions. Apxor shows insights based on tracking user behavior.
Apxor's Insights help you locate and pinpoint why the FTUE was not as per your expectations. The data is developed so that they run simultaneously as a user is browsing or using the app. Apxor records users' actions and the time spent on every action, giving you clear insight on a timeline, if and when a user got stuck in your app or left the app.
This way, you can test everything extensively. You can find out what works better than others by comparing funnel and activation reports. You can also track activation outcomes, implement changes, and keep testing.
Onboarding funnels help categorise users based on different attributes such as age, location, gender, interests, etc. while analysing onboarding paths help create insights based on how the user has interacted within the app. Now you can analyse and amend shortfalls that could lead to a poor FTUE.
Apxor's User Onboarding Software is a solution designed to help you get your user onboarding right.
It allows you to create contextual onboarding walkthroughs on the fly in just a few clicks. Using Apxor find out what are the features that your retained users have interacted with. Find out what features are leading to retention.
Create walkthroughs that guide users to these features, so that they get value from your app very quickly.
You can also create contextual surveys using Apxor. The surveys can gather information regarding the usability of your app. When launched contextually you are bound to get the right feedback.
A great example of Apxor's success with FTUE is a dating app. The insights showed that a majority of the users uninstalling on Day 0 were women. Further insights into these women's interactions uncovered the reason. It was because of a strikingly high rate of connection requests from men.
It could be a meagre value-generating or rather annoying experience from men. The issue was resolved by letting the women use their security settings during the onboarding process itself. They could choose the maximum number of connection requests they would like in a day. Thus, a tiny change in a user's FTUE can boost that benefits the business in the long run.