Onboarding: Designing Welcoming First Experiences

A prime example of great onboarding
One of the best and most often-cited examples of an onboarding process is on Tumblr.com. Tumblr proudly calls itself the easiest way to blog and goes to great lengths to prove its point. The sign-up process itself is dead simple—just a single form to provide an email address, password, and desired URL. Once the user confirms her credentials by logging in, she is presented with the main interface and blogging tool, but most of the page is dimly lit. Her attention is directed to the toolbar, and a large bubble tells her exactly what to do next: “Create your first post!” In actuality, there are a dozen things she could do from here, but the guide is making a decision for her. By limiting the user’s focus, Tumblr ensures that she is significantly less overwhelmed by the options at this point, while simultaneously being trained on the primary purpose of the product—to create content.

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