YourVersion Sign-Up Process Works

YourVersion is a newly launched web application from the Techcrunch50 conference. YourVersion is a discovery engine that looks to provide you with good content from all over (blogs, multimedia sites, social sites, Twitter, etc.) in an easy-to-use, aggregated way. It also has a toolbar for bookmarking (and categorizing) content, plus sharing. Tracking all the content you’re interested in online is a huge challenge; there’s just too much content and not enough time. So this is generally a huge problem that a lot of companies are working on.

Whether YourVersion will succeed or not remains to be seen. But what’s interesting (and a good sign) is their sign-up process.

The initial sign-up process and subsequent next steps in many web apps is done very poorly. It’s something I recently complained about in a blog post, Web Apps Don’t Motivate New Users Enough.

The key problem isn’t just the sign-up process and getting into an application but what you do immediately after. What hooks you to play around, test out and ultimately / hopefully, get hooked on the app?

If you follow Joshua Porter’s recent presentation – Designing for Social Traction – you’ll see that YouVersion is doing a lot of things right.

Click images below for larger versions:

1. YourVersion’s Home Page

YourVersion Homepage

The home page of the site could use a bit of work, but generally it’s OK. I don’t like the use of the word, revolutionary, but having the BuzzTracker and Twitter integration gives the site a real-time feel, which is important since that’s a key aspect of the site.

Having the video on the home page is a nice touch as well, to give people a deeper (but still quick) view of things.

2. Welcome to the YourVersion Beta

Welcome to YourVersion Beta

There’s nothing incredibly magical about this page, but it’s simple and it works. The Facebook Connect option makes a ton of sense. I’d be curious to know how many people use that to get in versus the sign-up form.

I like the title of the page, Welcome to the YourVersion Beta. It makes me feel like I’m already participating. And the immediate feedback as I fill in form fields is a nice touch as well.

Again, there’s nothing revolutionary here – and I think they would benefit from telling me what step I’m on in the process, or how quickly I can get into things – but it’s a simple, clean and fast sign-up process.

3. Add Your Interests

YourVersion - Add Interests

This is the key step in the process. If people abandon here YourVersion is screwed. That’s probably not going to be an issue for the next little while as they ride the Techcrunch buzz, but over time this is the spot where they’ll need to measure conversion to the next step.

But I think they do a good job here. The process has been very quick and welcoming to-date, so I feel like I’m already participating and I want to fill in some interests. I do it quickly and move on, and this is where YourVersion does another smart thing:

more-interests

They change what I’m shown on the right side, suggesting some popular interests. I like this step because it suggests some things that they’re likely very good at finding content for, and at least for the early adopters I’d bet there’s at least 1 or 2 interests that people will check off in there. (Again, that would be a great thing for them to test.)

4. YourVersion Toolbar

YourVersion Toolbar

I’m now committed to the process, having provided my interests. I’m now motivated – and that’s key for the sign-up process. In my mind I’m already experimenting with the application and eager to see more.

I can skip the toolbar, but downloading it isn’t that painful an experience, so I do it. I even have to restart Firefox but I’m committed, so I go through the process.

5. Registration Complete!

registration-complete

The registration process is complete, and YourVersion does another smart thing by giving me the option to view the video. I’m more than likely going to just jump right into “start discovering” but I might pop open the video anyway for future reference.

It’s also a very smart move that I don’t have to verify my email address to get in. I can start discovering right away, and verify the email address after the fact. Having to jump into email to verify is a buzz kill.

6. YourVersion Discovery Page

YourVersion Discovery

Here’s what I see immediately after getting into the application. The video is again there – a great way to teach me how to use the app more thoroughly. Two links are highlighted in the right sidebar – one is for a survey. This is a great move: getting people to complete a survey as soon as possible helps collect a lot of valuable data about people’s expectations (as they were signing up), what they’d like to see, etc.

The sign-up / initial workflow into YourVersion isn’t ultra fast – there are a fair number of steps, especially with the installation of the toolbar. But they engage the user quickly and keep the pages very basic. The information is clear and I get more and more curious about the application as I go through the process. It’s quite clear what the application does and what I can (and should) do after signing up.

The sign-up process into a web app is critical. Equally as important (if not more important because of how easy it is to sign-up for most web apps these days) is what you ask the user to do immediately thereafter. For YourVersion it’s really the step of adding your interests (since just prior to that you completed the “standard” sign-up form.) From that point forward they’re working to get you motivated and engaged with their product even if you haven’t discovered anything yet.

September 14, 2009 Posted in Startups by

  • http://adityakothadiya.com aditya

    Well, I don't like services using Facebook Connect to increase their sign-up and asking for your email address and other details right on the second page. One of the reasons I'm using FB Connect is because I don't want to give my email address. I can give it once I understand why they need my email. Without explaining the benefit of giving my email address, they are asking it right on the 2nd page.

    For me, experience was fail. I quit the signup process on the second page.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention YourVersion: The Sign-Up Process and Initial Experience with the Application -- Topsy.com

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  • http://www.golf247.co.uk Nimesh

    Nice article to read
    Informative and useful one
    thanks for the great stuff

  • http://adityakothadiya.com Aditya Kothadiya

    Well, I don't like services using Facebook Connect to increase their sign-up and asking for your email address and other details right on the second page. One of the reasons I'm using FB Connect is because I don't want to give my email address. I can give it once I understand why they need my email. Without explaining the benefit of giving my email address, they are asking it right on the 2nd page.

    For me, experience was fail. I quit the signup process on the second page.

  • http://www.sitedewebcam.com/ Webcam

    Awesome ! Thanks for the explanations

  • Pingback: YourVersion: The Sign-Up Process and Initial Experience with the … – The Facebook News

  • cheapgpssystems

    I'll have to check “YourVersion” out…looks interesting.

    Josh

  • cheapgpssystems

    I'll have to check “YourVersion” out…looks interesting.

    Josh

  • philippebodart

    Firstly i have to thank you for the screen shots which were of great help.Nice post it is worth reading ,i would read further posts in this column in the future .

  • Lucas

    Hi, very cool. I will make a try.

    Tell me something. How this startup is planning to earn money? Advertising Pay-per-Click?

    Great post

  • Lasse

    Hi, very cool. I will make a try.

    Tell me something. How this startup is planning to earn money? Advertising Pay-per-Click?

    Great post

  • Pingback: YourVersion Sign-Up Process Works – The Facebook News

  • http://www.easymud.com/ online auctions

    Great work of achievement.Thanks for sharing this one.

  • http://www.ozgunmuzik.org/ ozan

    Great work of achievement.Thanks for sharing this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/designsbymikel Mikel Lyman

    Intreresting- I went through the setup process. However not really sure where they are getting their incoming information. For example I used jewelry as an interest and it only gave me 8 things. I am not sure if I see the use of going back when it seems a little easier to just use a seach engine or my favorites.

  • http://www.facebook.com/designsbymikel Mikel Lyman

    Intreresting- I went through the setup process. However not really sure where they are getting their incoming information. For example I used jewelry as an interest and it only gave me 8 things. I am not sure if I see the use of going back when it seems a little easier to just use a seach engine or my favorites.

  • http://www.yourversion.com Dan Olsen

    Ben,

    Thank you so much for your great post! I am very impressed (and honored) by your in-depth analysis of YourVersion's new user flow! You hit the nail on the head so many times…it's like you were here with us when we were designing & improving the pages :-)

    Here are my responses/thoughts (#s match yours):
    1. Home page: totally agree it could use some work. We were scrambling to get the site ready for its public debut at TechCrunch50 (before that our home page just said “request an invite”). We'll be giving the home page some TLC soon. Thanks for noticing the real-time elements and the video.
    2. Facebook Connect has been popular with users. Based on your usage question, I just ran the #s and almost 20% of our signups since going public were through Facebook Connect (versus about 80% for our normal registration form). On the immediate form field feedback: we've gotten lots of positive comments on that in usability testing. It also gives users affirmation that they're making progress. I like the page title, too :-) I agree with your best-practice suggestion to tell users “you are in step x of y”. I plan to add that after we have finalized the number of steps in the new user flow (we're about to streamline the toolbar portion).
    3. I agree this is the key step in the process. We will be monitoring and improving this step.
    4. Thanks for downloading the Firefox toolbar even though it's optional; I hope you find it useful to share and bookmark any page as you browse the web.
    5. There are definitely different types of users: after many user tests, I'd say it's about 60% “start discovering” and 40% “watch video”. Not requiring email verification was a deliberate design decision. I let the user do as much as they can without verifying their email address. It's only required before we allow you to share a page via email.
    6. I'm a big believer in user feedback, hence the survey link. And the video is the best way for users to get instant help on how to use the product.

    Summary: I agree the flow isn't ultra fast, and I plan to make it faster, but I agree with your conclusion that it's engaging and clear enough to get the job done. As I mentioned, we will be streamlining the toolbar part (which by the way, only appears for Firefox users). We will also be doing other creative things to reduce the overall “friction” of converting a prospect to a registered user, so stay tuned.

    Thanks again for such a thoughtful and well-written post. It feels great to have our work appreciated by a talented third party.

    Hope you're enjoying YourVersion. Happy Discovering!

    Dan Olsen
    CEO and Founder, YourVersion

    p.s. In case you're interested, I've given several presentations on Web product management/development/UI design posted at http://olsensolutions.com/speaking

  • http://www.yourversion.com Dan Olsen

    Hi Aditya,

    Thanks for trying to sign up and for taking the time to provide feedback. I understand your reluctance to give out your email address, especially if a company hasn't made it clear why they are asking for it.

    Based on your helpful feedback, we have modified that second page to let Facebook Connect users know that the reason we ask for an email address is because our product has a feature that allows you to share pages via email.

    At YourVersion, we respect our users' privacy, which is why we have a link to our privacy policy from that second page. Our privacy policy explains that we do not share user email addresses with third parties and also has a link to our Opt Out page where users can opt out of receiving email communications if they so choose.

    Thanks for your valuable feedback that will help future users.

  • http://www.yourversion.com Dan Olsen

    Hi Mikel,

    Thank you for signing up for YourVersion and for providing feedback. I wanted to offer 2 suggestions that might help you get more out of YourVersion:

    1. YourVersion works best the more specific you are with your interests. Is there a more specific jewelry-related topic that you are most interested in? (for example: gold jewelry, jewelry making, diamond shopping, etc.) If so, please add the more specific phrase as an interest. If you find that you like the results for that interest better, you can delete jewelry by dragging it to the trash can. We have seen from our user testing that there can be a little bit of a learning curve for a user to “fine-tune” their interests, but after trying out a few, most users quickly find interests that yield good results.

    2. YourVersion will fetch a certain number of stories by default, but you can have it fetch more stories by clicking on the specific content channel tabs. First click on “jewelry” (or the more specific interest from step 1) and then click on each of these tabs: News, Blogs, Webpages, Twitter, Videos, and Products, to see all the stories. I would expect a topic like jewelry would likely have the best results in Blogs and webpages.

    I hope these tips are helpful. Once you find some pages you like, YourVersion makes it easy to bookmark or share those pages via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    Dan Olsen
    CEO and Founder, YourVersion

  • http://www.musicmaza.com/celebrities.html Bollywood Actress Profile

    ah ok i was not aware of that…thanks for posting!

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Benjamin Yoskovitz

    Dan – Thank you for replying and best of luck with YourVersion. I've been using it a bit, actually for a specific side project – so that I can keep all bookmarks, research, etc. in one place for that project without meddling with my other bookmarking tools that I use for other work, personal interests, etc.

    I'm curious to see if this approach helps me – different bookmarking tools for different major themes / projects — we'll see.

  • http://www.yourversion.com Dan Olsen

    Ben,

    Thank you so much for your great post! I am very impressed (and honored) by your in-depth analysis of YourVersion's new user flow! You hit the nail on the head so many times…it's like you were here with us when we were designing & improving the pages :-)

    Here are my responses/thoughts (#s match yours):
    1. Home page: totally agree it could use some work. We were scrambling to get the site ready for its public debut at TechCrunch50 (before that our home page just said “request an invite”). We'll be giving the home page some TLC soon. Thanks for noticing the real-time elements and the video.
    2. Facebook Connect has been popular with users. Based on your usage question, I just ran the #s and almost 20% of our signups since going public were through Facebook Connect (versus about 80% for our normal registration form). On the immediate form field feedback: we've gotten lots of positive comments on that in usability testing. It also gives users affirmation that they're making progress. I like the page title, too :-) I agree with your best-practice suggestion to tell users “you are in step x of y”. I plan to add that after we have finalized the number of steps in the new user flow (we're about to streamline the toolbar portion).
    3. I agree this is the key step in the process. We will be monitoring and improving this step.
    4. Thanks for downloading the Firefox toolbar even though it's optional; I hope you find it useful to share and bookmark any page as you browse the web.
    5. There are definitely different types of users: after many user tests, I'd say it's about 60% “start discovering” and 40% “watch video”. Not requiring email verification was a deliberate design decision. I let the user do as much as they can without verifying their email address. It's only required before we allow you to share a page via email.
    6. I'm a big believer in user feedback, hence the survey link. And the video is the best way for users to get instant help on how to use the product.

    Summary: I agree the flow isn't ultra fast, and I plan to make it faster, but I agree with your conclusion that it's engaging and clear enough to get the job done. As I mentioned, we will be streamlining the toolbar part (which by the way, only appears for Firefox users). We will also be doing other creative things to reduce the overall “friction” of converting a prospect to a registered user, so stay tuned.

    Thanks again for such a thoughtful and well-written post. It feels great to have our work appreciated by a talented third party.

    Hope you're enjoying YourVersion. Happy Discovering!

    Dan Olsen
    CEO and Founder, YourVersion

    p.s. In case you're interested, I've given several presentations on Web product management/development/UI design posted at http://olsensolutions.com/speaking

  • http://www.yourversion.com Dan Olsen

    Hi Aditya,

    Thanks for trying to sign up and for taking the time to provide feedback. I understand your reluctance to give out your email address, especially if a company hasn't made it clear why they are asking for it.

    Based on your helpful feedback, we have modified that second page to let Facebook Connect users know that the reason we ask for an email address is because our product has a feature that allows you to share pages via email.

    At YourVersion, we respect our users' privacy, which is why we have a link to our privacy policy from that second page. Our privacy policy explains that we do not share user email addresses with third parties and also has a link to our Opt Out page where users can opt out of receiving email communications if they so choose.

    Thanks for your valuable feedback that will help future users.

  • http://www.yourversion.com Dan Olsen

    Hi Mikel,

    Thank you for signing up for YourVersion and for providing feedback. I wanted to offer 2 suggestions that might help you get more out of YourVersion:

    1. YourVersion works best the more specific you are with your interests. Is there a more specific jewelry-related topic that you are most interested in? (for example: gold jewelry, jewelry making, diamond shopping, etc.) If so, please add the more specific phrase as an interest. If you find that you like the results for that interest better, you can delete jewelry by dragging it to the trash can. We have seen from our user testing that there can be a little bit of a learning curve for a user to “fine-tune” their interests, but after trying out a few, most users quickly find interests that yield good results.

    2. YourVersion will fetch a certain number of stories by default, but you can have it fetch more stories by clicking on the specific content channel tabs. First click on “jewelry” (or the more specific interest from step 1) and then click on each of these tabs: News, Blogs, Webpages, Twitter, Videos, and Products, to see all the stories. I would expect a topic like jewelry would likely have the best results in Blogs and webpages.

    I hope these tips are helpful. Once you find some pages you like, YourVersion makes it easy to bookmark or share those pages via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    Dan Olsen
    CEO and Founder, YourVersion

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Benjamin Yoskovitz

    Dan – Thank you for replying and best of luck with YourVersion. I've been using it a bit, actually for a specific side project – so that I can keep all bookmarks, research, etc. in one place for that project without meddling with my other bookmarking tools that I use for other work, personal interests, etc.

    I'm curious to see if this approach helps me – different bookmarking tools for different major themes / projects — we'll see.

  • Pingback: TC50: YourVersion Wins People’s Choice Award In The DemoPit

  • Pingback: TechCrunch50 Wrap-Up. Congrats To All The Startups Who Made It.

  • http://adityakothadiya.com Aditya Kothadiya

    Thanks Dan for such a quick action! I really appreciate it. I'll try to give YourVersion one more signup chance.

  • http://adityakothadiya.com Aditya Kothadiya

    Thanks Dan for such a quick action! I really appreciate it. I'll try to give YourVersion one more signup chance.

  • http://www.ajsquare.com/products/emailmarketing-software.php Email Marketing Solution

    Interesting. I like with the sign-up process and your blog post….Thank you.

  • http://www.weblinkbuilders.com/ Link Building

    Dig the app and post. Cheers, am going to start using.

  • unique_gift_ideas

    Thanks for reviewing this service and giving a step-by-step of the sign up process. This seems to simply aggregate information for you that you are collecting in feeds and searches.

  • unique_gift_ideas

    Thanks for reviewing this service and giving a step-by-step of the sign up process. This seems to simply aggregate information for you that you are collecting in feeds and searches.

  • jerryvintagetshirts

    Hi there! I liked this post very much. I like to read this type of post. It makes me feel good. It is really very interesting and informative article. I loved reading it. Thanks for sharing such a nice post. Keep on sharing such a nice post. Best regards for ahead….

  • http://www.careertargetph.com Career Target

    I have to check the version?

  • http://www.blogkaan.com/ Blogkaan – Bir blog hayali.

    Wow ! Excellent writing. i will read full of them. Thanks a lot.
    Note : i like your template. it's very cool :)

  • http://www.blogkaan.com/ Blogkaan – Bir blog hayali.

    Wow ! Excellent writing. i will read full of them. Thanks a lot.
    Note : i like your template. it's very cool :)

  • http://www.blogkaan.com/ Blogkaan – Bir blog hayali.

    Wow ! Excellent writing. i will read full of them. Thanks a lot.
    Note : i like your template. it's very cool :)

Ben Yoskovitz
I'm VP Product at Codified (makers of VarageSale).

I'm also a Founding Partner at Year One Labs, an early stage accelerator in Montreal. Previously I founded Standout Jobs (and sold it).

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