Four steps for product managers to make an awesome First Time User Experience
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How much do you think about the user experience of your products? The entire user experience? I know I have put my focus in one area and neglected other aspects of the user experience—for example, the functional experience with the product, while perhaps ignoring the onboarding aspect or the customer support aspect. Even if you argue that such areas are someone else’s responsibility, I believe you, as the product manager, have important insights for improving these areas.
Our guest, Elizabeth Ferrao, has a practical framework for quickly evaluating UX called First Time UX, or FTUX, which is an acronym for a 4-step process. She’ll take us through the steps and an example so we can understand how to apply the framework. Elizabeth is the founder of Product Mindset, a product consultancy focused on FTUX and onboarding.
Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers
[3:01] What is your focus as a UX product person?
I’ve worked as a product manager for many companies, repeatedly working on onboarding—getting customers into the funnel. I started thinking about the first time user experience. I learned that 77% of mobile users download an app, then never use it after 72 hours. That means the money spent on getting those customers to download the app is wasted. The funnel is leaky. How do we make sure that the first time user experience is fantastic and offers immediate value that keeps users coming back?
[6:38] What is First Time UX?
First Time User Experience (FTUX) is the experience a person has the first time they encounter a product. FTUX is important for physical products and digital products. For digital products, it’s very measurable because we can measure our bounce rate, why people are dropping off, and what they’re looking at.
[9:45] What are the steps of your First Time UX evaluation?
I have a set of four steps that I walk through in any product experience, physical or digital.
[9:54] Step 1: Landing Page
On the landing page, I look for…
- Really strong message strength. Are they speaking directly to my pain point?
- The customer persona. The landing page tells whether the team understands whom they’re building the product for. I should be able to identify the key customer persona from the landing page.
- Are there any barriers to entry? I don’t want to have to enter a credit card number or talk to a salesperson.
[11:09] Step 2: One Minute Magic Moment
This is what the customer sees in their first minute with the product. For example, if an orange juice bottle tells me it has no sugar, and that’s my pain point, I’ll keep reading the bottle and might purchase it. As another example, when you first start using Spotify, it asks what music you like to listen to and automatically recommends songs you might like.
It’s important to note that as a product manager you can’t satisfy your super fans and first-time users at the same time. You have to focus on one. Often product managers are focused on creating more value for current users, and they might not think about first time user experience. It’s important to have someone focused on getting users into the funnel.
[15:06] Step 3: Five Minute Magic Moment
In five minutes, you can give your customer a lot of information about your product. Within five minutes, you should be able to give them something fantastic, beautiful, or magical. For example, on a photo sharing app, in five minutes you can create an awesome photo album you can share.
[15:45] Step 4: Grit Score
The grit score measures how gritty your customer has to be to understand the product, keep using it, and convert from a free user to a paid user. I measure the grit score from 1 to 10. A low grit score is good, meaning customers don’t need to be very gritty to understand the product.
[19:27] Let’s talk about an example of great FTUX—from Lemonade Insurance.
I loved the Lemonade Insurance landing page and the entire experience. The landing page made it obvious that they were talking to me, a millennial who is purchasing home insurance for the first time and has heard things that scared me off before. Other insurance companies ask you to spend 15 or 20 minutes putting in information, and then they tell you that they’ll call you. Lemonade asked for a 90-second questionnaire, and I didn’t have to talk to anyone. The one minute magic moment was answering the questions and getting my initial quote, which was just $150. Then, in the five minute magic moment, I could add and subtract different values like pet insurance or the cost of staying in a hotel if my home had a fire. They had only asked for the information they needed to provide an accurate quote, and then they collected more information by allowing me to make choices based on my situation. As a user, I felt agency. Answering their questions was easy and made me feel empowered. To get someone to go from a free prospective customer to purchasing the product, you need to empower them, and you can only do that through first time user experience. The grit score was 1 out of 10, because I was engaged in just 90 seconds and got fantastic results in five minutes.
[25:41] Anything else you’d like to share about FTUX?
Any hiccup in the customer journey is felt really deeply. If you lose a customer after their first experience, you’re not going to get them back. For a customer to give you five minutes of their time, you have to have given them value in the first one minute; and for them to give you one minute, you have to have given them value in the first 10 seconds. If you have low conversion, it means people weren’t spending five minutes, one minute, or 10 seconds with your product.
Making great First Time UX doesn’t depend on company size or funding. Two engineers can make FTUX even better than 500 engineers.
Action Guide: Put the information Elizabeth shared into action now. Click here to download the Action Guide.
- Check out Elizabeth’s website, Product Mindset
- Check out Elizabeth’s YouTube channel, Product Sins, including the video about Lemonade Insurance
- Connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn
“Don’t be ordinary.” – Elizabeth Ferrao’s dad
Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.