According to Chartbeat, 55% of people spend fewer than 15 seconds actively on a website.
That means that websites nowadays have 15 seconds to capture a person’s attention before he leaves for greener pastures. In that brief moment, how do you compel someone to give your product a try?
Recently I’ve grown very interested in what factors generally go into making a successful product. What I’ve learned is that yes, it’s important to have a deep understanding of the market, ability to channel the voice of the customer, and build something that solves the customer’s problem. However in today’s internet-driven world, when someone lands on your website, it’s also critical to thoughtfully craft the new user experience (NUX for short) as part of defining your overall product experience. If no one is coming back to your website after their first visit, you may want to see if broken NUX is the culprit.
What are the goals you should be aiming to achieve in your product’s NUX? Here’s some ideas:
- Succinctly communicate the value of your product. This can be as simple as a headline on the home page. For example, Pinterest has the headline: “Join Pinterest to find (and save!) all the things that inspire you.” It’s short, gets straight to the point and makes Pinterest sound useful and interesting. Of course I want to find more things that inspire me. Let me click that big red “Sign Up” button now.
- Get new users excited about your product. Use a value proposition that doesn’t sound like you took it straight from a business plan document. A boring, vague, and unexciting way to frame Pinterest could have been “a website for lots of people’s collections.” I think what’s key here is understanding what emotions drive people to use your product and how can you trigger those emotions using your headline copy? For Pinterest and many consumer websites, you would want the copy to trigger feelings of curiosity and delight. For SaaS and enterprise websites it may be different. You may want to trigger feelings of pain and frustration that you immediately replace with feelings of delight.
- Eliminate friction to joining or trying your product. It should be very apparent to new users how to get started, whether that means creating an account, playing a game, watching a video, etc. If user testing surfaces any doubt or confusion around what’s the next step to take, you need to make that super clear to new users. Note: It is OK to make your sign-up process more complex if you’re intending to make the product more valuable for users through personalizing the experience. One great example of this strategy done right is Lumosity’s sign-up flow that walks you through a lengthy survey and Fit Tests before sending you to your first, real game. While making the sign up process so lengthy led to some early drop off, it increased engagement and subscription rates about 2%.
Once you’ve established your high-level goals for your product’s NUX, then it’s time to dive into the more nitty-gritty elements of establishing success metrics, gathering research and analytics, developing project ideas, prioritizing and executing. I’ll save those steps for a later post.