The Large Modal Window - Deepstash

The Large Modal Window

A large window that takes priority on your screen, most often dimming the background, the modal is an effective design pattern for focusing the user’s attention.

But it may come across as noisy if not used well. You’ll often see a modal when you sign up for a product and are asked for your email address.

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User Onboarding: A crucial step for users

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MORE IDEAS FROM How your user onboarding can make a great first impression

User Onboarding: The Great First Impression

Like the early stages of a burgeoning relationship, multiple steps shape the outcome and determine whether the relationship between you and the user will be a wild success, an unremarkable encounter or a dismal failure.

The goal of onboarding isn’t to show new users where features are. Instead, it’s to guide users towards their “aha” moment, the moment of delight where the value of your product becomes immediately clear.

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Empty states are how your app or product looks on first use before it’s filled with user content. An empty product or app can appear like a blank page to a novice writer – it can feel overwhelming.

Not only are users trying to get oriented with this new space, they’re excited to jump in and get started, but they need guidance and reassurance on how to proceed.

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To build that lasting first impression, first understand the actions your users should take and how to motivate them.

  • What do you need to know about your users to provide them with a great experience?
  • What do users need to do to get value from your app?
  • What are the costs and benefits of adding friction to your onboarding?
  • How will you motivate users to complete onboarding?
  • At what point in your users’ lifecycle does onboarding need to be completed?
  • What actions must your users take regularly to drive growth and revenue?

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They might seem incredibly simple but a considered welcome message can make or break your tour.

This is your first opportunity to greet your new user, so it’s important to be warm and approachable and give them a reason to engage.

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Three core components make up successful onboarding:

  • UI design patterns
  • Contextual educational content
  • Contextual communication

It is vital to consider how these components interact throughout the customer lifecycle and in different channels, but they should also come together in that very first impression, the moment of first use. A positive first impression that shows the true value of your product sets the tone for a fruitful, long-lasting relationship with your user.

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Interactive product tours excel at helping users overcome those early moments of disorientation in a new app. Product tours are usually action-driven pointer messages that look similar to tooltips, but rather than being available as a consistent part of the UI, they appear only during an onboarding experience.

They point out critical UI areas that the user needs to interact with to achieve their goal.

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Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. The first time someone uses your product, they’re likely a little disoriented as they attempt to familiarize themselves with the new environment – your app’s UI. They’ll be searching for cues to find their way.

UI design patterns like empty states and inline hints and tips can help make the unfamiliar feel familiar and get the user to see value, fast. Let’s run through the most useful patterns.

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Inline hints and tips are subtle and look as though they fit in with the rest of the content on the page. Their subtlety is what sets them apart from the other UI design pattern. As a result, they should be used to enhance a user’s success in your product, for instance by providing additional information about a complex feature or best practice tip.

However, one has to avoid the temptation of relying on tooltips as a substitute for well-designed interface elements.

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The design patterns discussed above are by no means a definitive or ranked list, but they’re the most common patterns used for onboarding. However, too often they’re implemented without any user context, a core aspect of effective onboarding.

Without user context, these patterns become a one-size-fits-all tactic that relies on assumptions about the “average user,” rather than the individual you’re engaging with.

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