Design Iterations: Easy Onboarding

Behind the scenes of Edupack's onboarding form.

Edupack caters to every Higher Ed stakeholder. From I.T. admins to professors and students, approved campus users can publish content without design or coding expertise. At our February Braintrust meeting, Matt presented the following onboarding design iterations.

How are we designing the easiest onboarding in Higher Ed? Answer: Iterate, iterate, iterate…

Our First Iteration

Our first iteration was built around a simple form collecting key pieces of information. The user entered their desired domain, keywords, and selected a “type” of site. Once complete, the user moved to add content from a library of pre-defined blocks.

This raised further questions, such as:

  1. How do we make the pattern library scalable? With space in the sidebar limited, a large number of patterns would be difficult to navigate.
  2. How would a user add functionality to the site?
  3. “Site Type” was confusing to a user. Users who had no knowledge of different site types needed to see what each site type meant.

Take Two

To clarify “site types,” we gave visual examples of different site types.

We added the ability for users to start with a blank canvas. This gives experienced users total control over what content they add.

More questions arose:

  1. Is there a better way to add new pages?
  2. How are relationships between pages created?
  3. How do we deal with endlessly expanding site types?

Take Three

Users often know what pages their sites have. Instead of asking users to fit their content into a page, we decided to offer different patterns of content on each page. A page-by-page setup motivated a sitemap step. The sitemap gives non-experienced users a visual understanding of how their website pages are connected:

The visual sitemap inspired us to visualize other aspects that are confusing in a WordPress site setup, namely the features that a user wants to activate.

Instead of asking users who may not have any WordPress experience to choose plugins, our onboarding form asks users what features they want to add:

Different plugins would be activated behind the scenes, depending on what features a user wanted. Thinking of a site’s features vs. plugins means that network admins should receive fewer requests for plugins that do the same thing as other plugins.

Next steps…

Our onboarding system is now being developed. We’ll soon have a working version installed with all our Braintrust users.