"Where are we losing users during onboarding? And why?"


NOTE: The following case study is a user journey map based on publicly available information and original user research conducted by PhD Insights. Tally is not a client of PhD Insights.

User Journey Mapping

User journey maps or customer journey maps are used to understand the experience of a user as they interact with a company. They highlight the behavior a user engages in, but, most importantly, they illustrate the emotional experience of the user. Journey mapping is useful for identifying painpoints and areas of friction that can be eliminated.

Phd Insights created a user journey map for Tally, a mobile app. Tally is the fastest and most convenient way to manage multiple credit cards. Users scan their credit cards and Tally will optimize their payments and find savings. After sign up, Tally analyzes their credit cards and credit history. That allows Tally to optimize their card payments and maximize savings. 

The User Journey Map

Jonathon came across Tally online and was interested in how Tally could remove the hassle of managing several credit cards. He is a tech-lover and was drawn to the prospect of making his finances simpler through Tally. This is his journey.

Companies often make the mistake of assuming that potential users will understand what their product does. Here we can see that is not always the case.


Opportunities to Improve Onboarding

Here, we see that Jonathon eventually gives up. We don't blame him. The user journey map revealed key opportunities for the Tally product manager to consider.

Opportunity: Make it easier to download the app from desktop

Jonathon didn't realize Tally was an app when he came across it on his computer. Tally should clarify that it's an app somewhere on the landing page. Moreover, it should be easier to download the app when coming from desktop. Tally should identify when visitors are on desktop. Instead of directing them to a page with no download option (as is the case currently), Tally could invite desktop users to send a download link to their mobile phone. This will keep them from having to manually search for the Tally app in the app store. Moreover, the user can choose to access that download link later on, in case they lose interest in downloading Tally in the moment.

Opportunity: Motivate the user to complete each onboarding step

Jonathon had lots of questions throughout the onboarding process. "Am I applying for credit?" "Which account do they want me to login to?" "Why should I add more than one credit card?" Best practices suggest justifying each request. That way, Jonathon could understand why they need him to complete each step.

Instead, Jonathon had to go back to the desktop website to view Tally's FAQs, a step most new users would never take. Unspecific requests like "Next, we'll link accounts" should become "Next, we'll link accounts. Tally can only help streamline payments for accounts you link." This helps users understand how Tally will use that information. Tally can also use this technique to address common user concerns: the "How's your credit" screen should add "This will not impact your credit."

Tally could also add an unobtrusive info (i) button to onboarding screens. This will be more appropriate for longer pieces of text, as Tally already does with the screen about promotional credit card rates. This will allow the product manager to include additional information without clogging up the screen.

Opportunity: Make the user feel like a success sooner

Tally has an amazing animation that appears after Jonathon's account is successfully linked. It made him feel delighted! Tally is in the unfortunate situation of needing to have a pretty lengthy onboarding process (more on that next). When that's the case, it becomes even more important to communicate to the user that they're on the right track. Tally could congratulate the user once they create their Tally account, once they enter their address, or once they upload their first credit card. That's already a lot of steps. Tally's user deserves a little pat on the back.

Opportunity: Onboard more users by leveraging sunk costs

People are notoriously bad at being objective about a task once they've spent time and energy on it. As we discuss elsewhere, once someone has successfully completed part of a task, they are motivated to finish it. Tally can capitalize on this tendency. As mentioned earlier, Tally's service necessitates lots of information from their users. So, it becomes even more important to motivate them.

The user may not have to complete all tasks right away. Tally could allow users to simply create an account and scan one credit card to access the app. Once in the app, Tally could both congratulate them (as discussed above) and provide them next steps. "Link your account" may appear when they enter the app. (Of course, they would also motivate this request: "Tally can only help streamline payments for accounts you link.") A user who has already successfully "completed" the onboarding will be more motivate to finish what they've started. 

Through user journey mapping, Tally can identify problems with their onboarding process and increase their user acquisition rate.

User Journey Mapping Works

At PhD Insights, we help companies make better products for better retention. View our services to learn how we leverage user surveys to improve product strategy.


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