Designing an Effective Honeymoon Phase in Your Product (Part 2)

Let's jump to part 2! Last week I mentioned that the free DFA Self-Assessment Guide introduces ideas for designing a honeymoon user experience and how to audit your own product's success in this phase of the customer lifecycle.

Here in part 2, I want to share some specific actionable steps you can take to improve the honeymoon UX. Some of these steps are more specific to on-premise software, but you can pick and choose as you see fit.

Honeymoon Period Design Tactics
  • Ensure your dashboard and other key screens do not have empty states that are....empty. If a widget is empty, help the customer understand what steps they should do to get the value promised by this content on the "Nth" day it is used. If an entire screen is not relevant to customers, you may need to rethink your overall flow and whether it makes sense to offer the screen at all at this stage. It's ok to "reveal" more of the product as it becomes more relevant, so long as you don't do it in a way that customers feel like they "can't find the X screen" because you removed it entirely during honeymooning.
  • Similar to what you may have seen on LinkedIn where they express "profile completion" as a percentage, help your customers understand what onboarding steps that they should take to maximize value. This could be:
    • Downloading mobile app/partner applications
    • Setting SMS/email preferences for notifications
    • Adding/removing team members/users and setting their permissions/roles
    • Configuring data sources, importing relevant data for preprocessing
  • Schedule a set of notifications (email, SMS, push) that can either be informative, or marketing oriented to progressively reveal product value:
    • Help customers understand what their gap is so far, and what else they need to do
    • If there are "in progress" activities that take significant time (days/weeks) to complete, consider sending periodic notices showing their progress to date ("Data collection is 50% done - we'll let you know when it's complete!")
  •  For you engineers and product managers, some email and backend considerations to keep in mind:
    • Batch emails when possible. Most people don't need (4) separate emails when they sign up for your product. This is especially true if you app-driven notifications and separate drip campaigns going out at the same time using different tech.
    • Have a clear call to action in your emails (not 10)
    • Make sure that you are carefully keeping track of all the notices and emails going out.
  • Video Tours / Product Feature Intros - as a general rule, I don't believe in tutorials (if the design is right, you don't need a tutorial) - however, when used properly, they can enhance the UX. One example might be a dashboard that, each week, promotes a different feature of the product that the customer hasn't touched yet. A video intro, or a carefully-designed UI overlay that introduces the feature, can be a nice way to show customers more of your product's value. Be sure to allow users to dismiss these. I think Facebook does a pretty good job with this, if you've ever seen one of their demo/tutorial overlays before (small sequence of popups of introductory content, overlaid on top of the new UI they are introducing).  
  • 30-Day Value Report Card - this can literally be a report card, ideally delivered via notification, that helps customers understand "what value did I get from your data/analytics during these first X weeks?" This can be particularly helpful if your paying customer had to get "permission" to buy your product from a more senior colleague as they can just forward your product's report card and let the data speak for itself.  30 days is a rough estimate; the right time period between onboarding and your first report card should be based on what is right for the customer. You can determine that based on business cycles, your product's natural cycle of use, and when enough time has passed that significant value in your product can actually be derived. 
Copywriting/Tone
  • Business/enterprise software doesn't have to be boring, dull, or neutral. It's ok to have a voice, and even have some fun during onboarding. Your tone should support your company brand, but in general, I think most products could "relax a little" and learn from consumer products. At the end of the day, you still have human beings using your software. Onboarding may be a good time to have a little more fun, relax the tone, and ease people into your product UX.

Need to improve your product's design?