Building a successful web application is not easy. And one of the areas I find particularly lacking in many new web apps is the experience immediately after signing up. Thankfully, signing up for web applications has gotten a lot simpler and faster with authentication through Twitter or Facebook, but it’s not even the standard sign-up process (where you fill in a form, wait for a confirmation email, click the link and then login) that’s really problematic.
It’s the experience immediately after.
Web applications are popping up daily. They’re a dime a dozen. And like any good “early adopter” I’m game to try new things. But I find my engagement with new web applications is dismal. A big part of that is because I’m not motivated or excited enough by the post-sign up experience.
How many times have you signed up for a web application only to be confronted with a “My Profile” type link that asks you to fill out more basic information? Upload a photo, perhaps? And again, Facebook Connect and Twitter oauth can eliminate some of this, but most web applications are all the same in that way. You sign-up and you’re … *yawn*
It’s hard enough to get people to convert through a sign-up process only to lose them ten seconds later because they’re left unmotivated and uninspired. When building a web app think about that very first experience that a user has after they sign-up. Can you give them something to do that’s entertaining / engaging? Can you hook them in a unique way? Can you make them say, “Hhhm…that’s cool. Let me dig into this more.”