500px Onboarding for iOS

User onboarding is difficult and if you ever think you're done, you're probably wrong. This is the third iteration of onboarding for iOS that I have designed and shipped. We are constantly learning from our failure and success.

Getting started

Encouraging signups is far more important than logging in. Because we maintain user sessions, it is much less likely that you will land on this screen as a current user after having logged in once.

We offer the standard options for signing up for an account. Facebook and email. In this iteration, we eliminated the ability to register with Twitter and Google because of dwindling activity and we felt it could cause cognitive overload by having so many options. We deal with a user base with a wide gamut of ages. We find that our younger user base (which grows every day) is more willing to register via Facebook. Because this is such a quick way to entry, we make it the primary. But that's not all Facebook is good for. It also helps us onboard you faster by supplying us with some data to help get you started. Things like your avatar, first name, last name etc. We still allow users to register with email for those more comfortable with it or who do not have a Facebook account. Many of our users are from countries where Facebook use is low so this is a reality.

Collecting Details

The above image is in a state where the user has signed up with email (No pre-population).

To start, we collect your avatar, first name and last name. This is done for obvious reasons. We'd like you to have an identity on the platform to engage with the community :joy:. However, one mistake we had been making in the past was auto-assigning user names. We would take the first set of characters from the email you supplied and generate a user name out of it. This was problematic for a couple of reasons. First, we have many user in who register via an email service called QQ. If you remember the days of ICQ, QQ is quite similar. Users are assigned a number. Users would register and have user names such as 949745836963@qq.com. While absolutely harmless, our North American and European users felt that these were spam accounts and understandably so. Secondly, we are trying to build a social platform. It's very difficult for users to communicate with someone who can only be identified by a string of numbers. Users now pick their username during signup. This became a huge help when we introduced mentions to the platform a couple months later.

Getting to know you

500px has all different types of photographers and content consumers all interested in different things. To get people started faster, we ask you what types of photography you are interested in with samples of the content types. We then use this information to recommend new users content. The worst thing a product can do during onboarding is have people land on empty states after going through a registration. If there is nothing to do, they will leave.

Lastly, we want to know why you are using 500px. We ask users to check off what they are looking for. We can then use this information to bucket users into different types, giving us the ability to cater to their personal interests more directly.