Tumblr – great at onboarding = good user experience?

Tumblr User Journey

This article describes Onboarding and how important it is, and gives the Blogware Tumblr as a good example of being great at Onboarding. 

Onboarding is a rather cringey way of saying users’ first impressions are good and they ‘get on board’ using the website straightaway. Personally I prefer ‘keep it simple, stupid’ so am not a fan of terms like Onboarding, we’re not getting on a plane. Cringey lingo asside, the article is very interesting and thought-provoking.

In the online world where first impressions count for everything and websites like Blogger.com, WordPress.com – and Tumblr – have seconds to create a fantastic first impression and minutes to get the user ‘onboard’ and using the product. It’s common sense that this is as important to Blogware as any other website or online tool.

However, although important, as successful Onboarding means happy users are using the product and Tumblr may steal greater market share initially from new starter Bloggers, I wonder if this good start to the relationship continues? As with most customer experience, it comes down to the users,  where they are at in their lifecycle of using the product, their motives and what their goals and expectations are. The experience of using the product must meet users’ expectations or it is very easy to switch to another service. Tumblr may be great for people who want blogging to be as straightforward as Twitter, if Tumblrs meet this user profile then the relationship will be a long and happy one. However for the majority of Bloggers who try Tumblr I believe the initial honeymoon may quickly fade when they realise they can’t do half the things they really want to do, the early happy feelings from a great Onboarding may quickly pall, to be replaced by frustration, demotivation and disillusion. Blogware which is great at Onboarding but then not keeping users onboard and sticking with them is likely to see users very quickly and easily switching to other service providers. Onboarding gets them in the door, but then the users need to find enough to stick around.

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