Learning Experience Leader

66 // Value Paths, Orientation, and the UX of Onboarding to New Products with Samuel Hulick

July 13, 2021 Greg Williams
Learning Experience Leader
66 // Value Paths, Orientation, and the UX of Onboarding to New Products with Samuel Hulick
Show Notes Transcript

Samuel is the person behind UserOnboard.com, which provides tips and tricks for user onboarding in the form of critiques of popular web app onboarding examples. Samuel has worked with UX and User Onboarding for companies like Spotify, Audible, Intuit, and Khan Academy, and a host of others. He's also working on something new at ValuePaths.com, a growth framework for reliably and sustainably generating revenue. 

Today we talk about: 

  • Overview of Samuel’s Value Path concept and how it relates to learning design
  • The messy process of converting raw materials into a determined outcome 
  • How can we create an ecosystem to help people succeed beyond their expectations
  • Orienting people towards the goal of your learning product will help them achieve

Resources:

Join the conversation on the LX Leader LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/learning-experience-leader-podcast 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/lxleader)
Greg Williams:

Well, Samuel, I'm so excited to have you here on the show today. Thank you so much for your time. It's a genuine pleasure to be here. All right. Well, for those who haven't had the fortune of going to your website and enjoying some of the work that you have up there, I'm curious if you explain just a little bit about what your current work looks like?

Samuel Hulick:

Sure, well, my current attention is split between two different things. One is a website called user on board that has been around for several years, in which I provided public evaluations of popular web apps onboarding experiences, and broke them down screen by screen and annotated them with slides pointing out where maybe they could be leading users to confusion and what possible alternatives or better approaches that they might take. So that's one big thing. And then another big area of focus for me, especially lately, is a project I'm working on called value paths, which is, well, after working in user onboarding, for as long as I have, I started to recognize patterns around why people adopt products and what it is that they're ultimately looking for. And so I'm looking to create a methodology or framework to help designers better accommodate that that need.

Greg Williams:

That's lovely. And for you listeners, I'll include links to these resources that we're talking about. And one of the resources that is available through your website is an E book and something in there that you mentioned, has me thinking about what you're saying in terms of where you're putting your attention, and also how folks might get tripped up path. I wonder if you could talk a little bit more about that and how it relates to this idea of a value path?

Samuel Hulick:

Sure. Well, I think the common theme is really just valuing the signups who are coming your way. A lot of companies, those who I work with, or those who have gone through their onboarding experience as a user, and can kind of read between the lines as far as how it was made. And things along those lines tend to focus their onboarding experiences around taking signups on a tour of the company's favorite features of its product. And then kind of just hope that things work out and that like the the tour that they had people go on was enough to inspire them to proceed and pursue whatever it is that brought them to the to the product to begin with. And I don't think that that's a particularly effective strategy after having studied for studied it for as long as I have. And I think that a lot of the reason for that is that by and large software companies often see Significantly undervalue the potential of someone who's coming to their product to sign up both the potential from the standpoint of the company receiving value in the form of lifetime revenue from the subscription or whatever pricing model that the company has in place, but also from the standpoint of the value produced for the user by the user, ultimately, achieving the outcomes that brought them that that made the product being relevant to begin with. And so I tend to think that when a somebody is just beginning to start using a product or two to are, they're trying to bring that product into their life, that's a sensitive time, that where where churn or them just bouncing and leaving ghosting on the product are much more likely than if they have received value from it and continue to receive value from it and have incorporated it into their lives. And I just tend to think RF tend to find that companies are tremendously focused on particular metrics like MRR or arr. But often have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to how those signups that they're getting actually translate into MRR. And so for a number of reasons, it just is an area that that appears to me to be significantly overlooked in terms of potential not only for the company, but also of course, for their, their user base or their ostensibly serving.

Greg Williams:

I think this is really interesting from a lot of angles. And for listeners, as I'm hearing Samuel, talk about this, what I'm translating in my head to this, and some of you might be wondering, like, wait, why? Why are you bringing this guy on here to talk about these things here? I think it's totally relevant. It's in my mind, when you're talking about onboarding users to a new product. It's this, it's a shift of behavior, maybe of a mindset, it's, it's a change, that person is changing, right? And change and for either one's identity, or their behavior change, in my mind is a big part of the definition of what learning means. And when you're talking about MRR, Arr, like monthly recurring revenue or annual recurring revenue, those are indicators of someone who's fully changed, at least according to the business, right? Like this person is now ours, right? Is that an accurate assumption of how they're viewed metric,

Samuel Hulick:

Yeah, especially in the world of software, or SaaS, where so much of revenue is generated via subscription, you might be investing, like from an executive financial level, you are investing internal resources in the form of money, like for adspend, or your marketing teams budget, you're also internal resources of just having people using the product, reaching out to customer support, so on and so forth. And so to just get somebody to be willing to try to incorporate your product into their life, it really requires an investment upfront from the company that they hope to burn back over time. But the investment that they make up front in acquiring that subscriber is still, quote, unquote, in the red after the subscriber has paid their first installment because they ultimately need to pay month after month after month after month in order for the subscription revenue model to work. And so, when I talk about MRR Arr, the general idea is that whenever somebody signs out, there's a potential that they could become a customer, and that the potential that they could stick around for a long time for exactly the reasons that you just mentioned, as far as they have some knee that came to that came up in their lives, that requires that or maybe it doesn't require but that presents an opportunity for a different and hopefully better way of doing something that they're trying to do. And to be able to deliver on that, to me is the most reliable way to secure someone's loyalty as a customer over the long term. And when a lot of what I focus on with onboarding is the first few minutes of that experience or or the first couple of days of adopting a product. But when you zoom out and look at it from a learning design standpoint, there's not only a significant amount that the user needs to learn about the capabilities of the product. But there's also probably a significant amount that the user needs to learn about the ins and outs of what they're trying to do. So like if I use TurboTax. Part of my cognitive load is learning how to operate the TurboTax tax center. face, but another part of my cognitive load, and one that's much more relevant to me as a user is figuring out how to get my taxes filed on time. And so the idea of aligning your own internal user experience to be coordinated as much as possible with the bigger reason that is bringing someone to your product to begin with, is is one of the central ideas of value paths and, and how I came to realize that that that was a bigger problem than just the products welcome Tour, which is what a lot of people equate onboarding with.

Greg Williams:

I love it. And long time ago, kind of near the beginning of this podcast, I did an interview with a fellow named Matthew Daniel and we, we talked about the idea of what if your learning program you were creating was a product someone had to pay for, right? Like you think of some compliance trainings, or some other sort of required things, or even ones that we don't, but we kind of do because we have to, it's like a new manager training or something like that. The day is kind of gone, when you just have to do it, because of will take your elearning, right, because there's so many alternatives, so many competitors for attention, so many alternate products, that could satisfy the goals that is trying to be met. And so when I hear you talking about customers onboarding, to a new product, I'm translating that into learners, being convinced that they're going to buy in to your piece of learning, whether it's a micro learning or a video, or, you know, a seven day session or something like that. And I love what you're talking about these value paths as being you use the example of pancakes in the video that I'll link, what you have what you want, and finding the connection between the two. And I'm wondering if you can share a little bit more about, about that analogy, and how that shakes out when you're working with some of your clients.

Samuel Hulick:

Sure, so in the case of the pancakes analogy, the the general idea is, as you as you just alluded to, to to distinguish between what you currently have, and what you're hoping to have, and I don't just mean that in like a physical possessions kind of way, but I mean, more like the the conditions of your circumstance or the situation that you're in. And so pancakes is just a tangible sort of way of of illustrating the idea. But if you have pancake mix, then you need to go through a series of operations or processes that convert the pancake mix into pancakes. And so the reason I use this example is to distinguish between the outcome which would be theory, you know, depending on what your level of your scope of focus is, maybe your goal is to have warm a stack of warm pancakes on a plate that you can hand to your child for breakfast or something like that. So that would be the the the character will have the attributes of the outcome situation. But you still need to take a number of steps to convert the materials that you have immediately on hand, which would be a stove, pancake mix, water from the kitchen sink, maybe an egg or whatever, if that's required, syrup, a griddle, spatula, so on and so forth. You have all of these different ingredients that are hopefully available, immediately available to you that you can through one step after another after another recombine and repurpose until it results in the preferred outcome situation, which is you having a plate of warm pancakes to hand to your kid? Does that make sense?

Greg Williams:

Yeah, I think what was helpful too, as you talked about, like, you know, you could turn your phone into pancakes by using Uber Eats or, like, there's lots of different ways of looking at this. And it comes back to what I think you were describing before of taking the time to truly understand what folks want and like those that you're servicing, but also what the organization wants, and trying to then find a way for all the arrows to point to that and not to frustrate people like you've done, you've shown how that happens sometimes in in onboarding seems to be a common, a common thing, but is that murky middle, like it's really easy to know what we have and where we want to go. But there also isn't a lot of internal resources really dedicated to figuring out how to smooth the path in between.

Samuel Hulick:

Yeah, and that's why I have such an emphasis of connecting it to revenue, because that's something that virtually any business wants to increase. And so as much as our organizations, and I don't mean to say this, in a in a diminishing way at all, but you Even if our organizations exist to change the world and put a dent in the universe and help alleviate the suffering of humanity, they still need revenue in order to operate and to grow and to be able to provide that impact. And so for that reason, I think that when you look at what the company's preferred outcome situations are a lot of times that that outcome that they're pursuing is bigger, longer lasting amounts of money coming in from their customers, and to be able to draw a correlation between the success of their customers from the business's lens of revenue, while also being able to assess the success of their customers in terms of whether or not they're accomplishing the outcomes that they themselves are pursuing, I think is really the name of the game. I think that there's a, a I think that the, the common paradigm that that software is conceived of and designed with and built within is the idea of creating what you might call a a good in, like an economic sense, like creating a product, like a thing that you can then sell access to, you can sell people access to the thing, you can have gold access for $25 a month, or platinum access for $50 a month or whatever, these are the different subscription plans. And to me, that's a really unhelpful way of looking at it, I think that that's got a lot of trappings leftover from the industrial model, where you would create a factory that turned out one thing like Model T cars, and you just tried to be as operationally efficient at making more and more Model T cars. On the assembly line, where here we're really not trying to create or perfect products, what we're really looking at is the fact that people my personal major stance is that every time somebody uses an app, it's because they're trying to do something with it. And the more that our products can be aware of the thing that they're trying to do. And the more that our design attention can be focused on identifying and assisting with what people are trying to do, the more likely that it is that our software companies will perform better. Whereas if we try to make a lot of decisions based off of how do we make a more appealing product that we can sell access to? I think that that leads to a lot of common issues in the industry like feature bloat, and just pride and crappy user experiences and, and certainly things like having user onboarding, being an afterthought, rather than a main focus and a clear driver of what's most important to the business as well.

Greg Williams:

And your book, you talk about referencing Mario Brothers Fire Flower versus throwing fireballs, and I feel like that's relevant to what you're describing here. I'm wondering if you could talk more about that example.

Samuel Hulick:

Sure. So when I was a kid, back in the eight bit, Nas Mario days, the original one, if the if mario encountered different items like a mushroom, he would grow bigger, or a fire a flower that had like this glowing red blossom on it, then he would be able to throw fireballs and kill his enemies with projectiles instead of having to run up and jump on them. It was way way, it's a way better way to go through the game, when you get a fire flower, you're like, oh, cool, sets you up to just have a much more successful game experience while the while that effect lasts. And so the parallel to software design, or maybe also, instructional design or educational design is that it's not so much about the attributes of the thing that creates the effect, in this case, the attributes of the of the flower with the glowing red blossom and the green leaves. That's not really what's interesting about the fire flower. What's interesting is what it lets that person do in this case, Mario becoming a super mario fireball throwing person. And so in a similar way, especially, you know, my view on this has been really inspired by jobs to be done in general, but also the work of Kathy Sierra, in particular, the idea of saying, okay, instead of focusing on the attributes of the fire flower, let's focus on the attributes of why people want to be throwing fireballs, how we can more effectively help them start throwing fireballs, so on and so forth, because that's ultimately the the end that people are pursuing and the product is the means that gets them there. And so trying to make a better means Doesn't make as much sense as paying attention to which ends or which user outcomes are what most reliably drives your business outcomes.

Greg Williams:

What do you feel like organizations or clients you've worked with? struggle with when it comes to this? Or maybe they don't? Do they just see it and like, okay, and they change. I, part of me doubts that. But

Samuel Hulick:

yeah, I think that the biggest struggle organizationally, beyond just like the paradigmatic, we're creating an appealing thing to sell access to, rather than we're in the business of generating success, and our users lives like that. That's a pretty different, fundamentally different organizing principle for your attention and output. So that's, that's one main thing. But if you wanted to start doing projects that were more like that, one of the immediate organizational roadblocks that you'll hit is the fact that for the user, they might be going from marketing's landing pages, to growth, activation wizard to products dashboard, and then getting kicked over to customer successes, Knowledge Center, or things along those lines, where all of those things need to line up sort of like we were talking about making pancakes before where you go from, you have the the pancake mix, and then you need to whisk it together in a bowl and turn it into batter. And then you need to pour the batter on the griddle. And then you need to flip the pancake to cook the other side. And there's a whole process that turns pancake mix into pancakes. There's a whole process that turns whatever state your users are in when they arrive into whatever state that you are presumably facilitating their arrival in, in a transformational kind of way. From the user's perspective, there's no reason to be like, Oh, of course, you don't remember my email address, because I entered that in a marketing landing page. And now you're asking me to reach out to customer support or something like that. They don't think in terms of your organizational silos, and your organizational silos were set up to create a cool thing that you sell access to, rather than to actually produce valuable outcomes in the lives of your users and drive your business that way.

Greg Williams:

Have you seen successful organizations that have figured this out? I know you've identified a lot of patterns. But is there anything that comes to mind that helps you that you've seen that helps folks truly see that they need to, as you've described, earning engagement of their audience by trying to make them better people rather than just by making a better product?

Samuel Hulick:

Sure. It's, it's, it's difficult at times to tell from the user's Vantage, what's exactly happening behind the scenes. And so sometimes things work out quite well for me as a user. And I don't know how much of that was designed for versus happenstance. But one company who I the the user onboarding evaluations that I mentioned at the beginning, I call those tear downs on on the user on board website. And I did a teardown for Duolingo several years ago. And there's that's still an experience that I point people to in in saying this is a really good embodiment of synchronizing and choreographing the requests that you're making of the user and the progress that they are making toward what they're looking to do. So in Duolingo case, that's to learn another language. And I get a strong sense mode, really just gut but based off of what I know about their approach, that Duolingo realizes that the more effective their product is at producing competent language speakers, the more likely they are to generate predictable recurring revenue. And so I think instead of trying to make a really cool language learning app, they are instead focusing on what really actually unlocks and drives language learning. And and my assumption is that a lot of that is baked into the product. But I couldn't say for sure, other than just saying, I get a strong, strong whiff of it when I when I encounter their their materials. Oh, yeah, I'm

Greg Williams:

glad you mentioned that, because I think I think of their podcasts they launched. I think it's been a couple years now, where I don't, I don't know if it drives any revenue, but it's just focused on practicing the, your second language that you're learning or your, the language that you're focused on. And you can listen to like part of the story in your own language, and then you can practice the other language and I thought that was a really interesting add on to an app that didn't necessarily seem to point to like direct revenue or like a new feature of the product or like the 75th button on your DVD player. You know, promote that, like feature bloat like you're talking about, it seems like a really good value add to help people on their way.

Samuel Hulick:

It's I'm also very much of the opinion that the product itself is really only one lever to use when it comes to learning, like we've already talked about. You know, content marketing, when done well can be very educational and can be very oriented around helping people start the path to the ultimate outcome that they're pursuing, in app, copy, help or copy, even error messages, lifecycle, emails, knowledge centers, so on and so forth. podcast, as you mentioned, there are a lot of different ways to think about how can we make help? How can we create an ecosystem in which people find themselves becoming more successful and attaining more progress than they, then they may be expected coming into this? and virtually any software company has that opportunity?

Greg Williams:

Yeah, I think you're tapping into what people truly want is a great way to get at the motivation that's going to help them something you talk about beyond just motivation, you know, people want to get to direction, you know, they want to get to the top of the mountain, or they want to, you know, achieve the end of the value path as you've promised them in marketing. But you've also talked about the importance of orientation. So saying, hey, look, the mountains actually over here, or the path on the mountain is right here. And that's a big part of that very early stage of onboarding, if I'm not mistaken, and helping them find those quick wins out of the gate, can you talk a little bit more about that element of orientation beyond motivation? Sure,

Samuel Hulick:

I think that the the name of the game really is to identify a highly motivational outcome that that you won't have tremendous issue in reaching people when they're at that initial stage. If you can be on their radar, when they're about to embark on some sort of project or change in their lives or their behavior, or, you know, whatever that kind of catch all need it when the need arises, essentially, what you ultimately want to be doing is providing them with full 360 degree guidance in how to move forward toward that thing. And this is a point that I really like to emphasize because your company, like let's just say, let's say like we're a dating app, like Tinder, or something like that, our company should be geared around helping people successfully go on dates. This is actually kind of a not the best example. Because a lot of dating software, it relies on subscription revenue. And if you if your data is successful enough, you you are unlikely to continue using the service. So there's a little bit of a mismatch and incentives there. But that notwithstanding, the idea is if I want to go on a date, I can think well, maybe I could just go, you know, try to look cute at the grocery store. Or I could reach out to the people who are friends who I know and ask if they know anybody who's there's a million different ways to go on a date. But you're when you download Tinder, you're hoping that the Tinder way of getting to that top of the mountain is going to be the best the best path for you to take. And when we talk about orientation, there are so many opportunities for a company, I I kind of regret using Tinder at this point. But but just to continue with the example. There are a lot of opportunities for Tinder to be able to provide people with the kind of guidance that they need to be able to successfully pull off what they're trying to do. There's a lot that like, even if you, let's say using Tinder as an example, you need to create an account, you need to write a bio introduction about yourself. You need to upload photos and have any kind of idea of what sort of photos would be appealing to the kind of people who you're seeking. You need to go out and connect with people, you need to then be able to like chat them up and get them to say yes, that they want to go on a date, then they have to go through the process of scheduling it and picking a place to meet and where all of these are like the same as the steps that it takes to turn pancake mix into pancakes. And Tinder as a product might be known as the thing that lets you swipe left or right to match up with people. But the job that they're in is to help people go on dates. And there are so many different ways that picking out the kind of outfit that you want to go out to use or knowing like good like first, you know, innocent lines to put out there to win somebody over or all kinds of different things that they It'd be helping you with that their individual users might not be sophisticated enough to know. Because if they were sophisticated enough to know it, they probably wouldn't be needing to use Tinder. So if you're a Tinder, if you're the company Tinder, I would be looking to have my employees have my organizational culture. focus around how we can be how we can facilitate good dates happening as much as possible. Rather than thinking about how we can, if we roll out dark mode, is that going to really move numbers or whatever. Because really, when you think about it, whether you're Tinder with dating, or an invoicing company, or Spotify, or any number of different software companies, you are living and breathing, the space that you're in 24 seven, and you're a whole team, or a whole organization or department focused on this particular thing. And so if I sign up for an invoicing software, I should hope that they are more familiar with the ins and outs of invoicing than I am, because this is maybe I'm signing up for the software, because this is the first time that I've had to send an invoice before in my life. So when we talk about orientation, the idea being that you should be I guess what you would consider domain experts and looking to sprinkle that expertise in generously, especially when the the situational need for it arises. And and again, that just goes far beyond, you know, whatever could be captured in a wireframe or an interface.

Greg Williams:

Mm hmm. Yeah, I think there's a lot of I'm thinking specifically of higher education, I think it could it could apply to like an executive leadership training or something like that of, you know, people aren't. There's always exceptions, but I don't think a lot of people are like, Oh, I'm going to sign up for my MBA, or this, that or the other because I really want to, you know, write essays late on Friday night, or I want to, you know, I want to check out that 10 page syllabus or whatever it's like, maybe they don't even know why it's like, I don't know what I'm doing with my life. So I'm going to go to law school, or whatever, right? Which is a different kind of problem than some software products, where it's very clear, like I want to date tonight, right? Or, I would like, some Mexican food on my desk. Next, next hour, it's more of an ambiguous kind of goal, some of these learning products and these learning goals. I mean, I guess with Duolingo, you have a language you're trying to learn. But it seems like there's some onus on your product. And like you said, you're offering to kind of be the expert at what you're setting people up for kind of what what are we orienting you too. And that if you say, if you use broad things, like we're setting up for general academic success, or other types of things, it makes it a little challenging for the user, or in this case, the learner to commit to like, okay, that is the mountain I want to climb. And it seems like the more specific you can be about the value path you are providing, the more you sort of blow the fog away to help people know if this is the right mountain for them or not. And you're less concerned with how many people are signing up for the mountain and actually getting people to the top?

Samuel Hulick:

Yeah, and also just being really clear and coordinating with them that where you're where what your assistance is set up to help them get to is where they actually want to get to as well. I don't I don't, I'm going out on another limb. I don't know if it's gonna be a good metaphor or not. But I just recently took did a yard project of digging and installing a Frog Pond in our backyard. Oh, wow. And that required a lot of I mean, I guess it didn't require it. But I like to overthink everything. And so I invested a lot of time in learning about, like permaculture practices, and how to create like a positive ecosystem for frogs, and what they like to eat and what kind of water you know, levels of water they like and so on and so forth. And also had to learn a bunch of mechanical things about what the, how many millimeters thick the liner should be, so that it doesn't get punctured by sharp rocks. 10 years later, just all kinds of arcane knowledge about pond digging and installation, that I had no reason to learn until it became a project in my life and therefore became relevant. And I think that a lot of times, and I can even speak from my own experience here. When I wrote the elements of user onboarding, which is the ebook you refer to earlier. I started by saying, Okay, this is something that I am really passionate about, I've learned a lot about, and I'm probably a lot further ahead on this topic than the average person who's new to onboarding. And so I'm going to take everything that's in my head and try to categorize it and turn that into like a table of contents and make sure that I touch on all The topics that are most screamingly relevant to me or something like that. And I did that as the first draft of the book or the outline. And I realized that like, the Table of Contents didn't really make a lot of sense. Like where, where one chapter didn't really tee up the next chapter, it was more of just a continued rambling of different things that I thought were important. And I think that that could have been still a valuable book for people. But I'm really glad that I actually took that outline and tore it up and started over and thought about, if somebody buys this book, what are the basic assumptions that I have in place of what I hope happens in their life? What are how are they currently approaching onboarding? And how would I recommend that they approach onboarding instead? And instead of just talking about those topics, I did my best to think of how how to go from pancake mix to a plate full of pancakes of thinking like, what is this? What are the ideas that what are the concepts that need to be unlocked in their heads, and in which order for them to be able to actually pull off that behavior change, and not just say, Oh, this was a cool, thought provoking book, but like, I actually took these ideas, put them into practice, and have directly benefited from them. And that was just a world of difference when it came to the table of contents or the outline. And so that's kind of that's the kind of example that I would I would point to there.

Greg Williams:

For those who maybe are new to this idea of either onboarding, or value pass. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions that someone could take today to begin crafting, a more valuable for lack of a better word value path in the design work that they're doing?

Unknown:

Sure,

Samuel Hulick:

well, first of all, I would, I would strongly encourage someone to do so. And I would applaud their efforts, a lot of times, in order to, to embark on that kind of thing, you have to go off of your organizational script, where the day to day tends to not focus on that kind of thing. So just to even start off on it, I would, I would love to to applaud. But the place where I would recommend getting started would be I guess, I guess he is the Frog Pond analogy one more time. I there were particular learning resources that were that I that I came across in my research for how to go about this project. And some of them were had more of a landscaping perspective. And others had more of like a ecosystem, permaculture kind of perspective, and, or construction or different things along those lines. And what I found interesting was that, sort of like when what we were just mentioning, with the book, there's a difference between saying, I know a lot about user onboarding. And so here's a giant brain dump of knowledge that you can shove into your head. versus if I was if I hypothetically had a pond construction education business. The The first thing that I would do, which this is back to the question of where do you start, the first thing that I would do would be to get an understanding of what the concrete outcomes are, that are bringing people to my materials to begin with, like what well, or I do the same thing with user onboarding, for example, where people sign up for the newsletter, and I generally have a question for them, which is just like, what's, why is user onboarding relevant your life right now? And after having sent that question out for years, some pretty clear patterns emerge. And I can be like, Okay, this is one of the people who they're redoing the branding. And they just want to make sure that the onboarding reflects that or another scenario would be somebody who's working to bring their conversion numbers up. And they've tried a bunch of experiments, and nothing has worked so far, or things along those lines, where I can kind of categorize them by the thing that they're trying to do or, or in jobs to be done in terminology, the the nature of the job or the category of the job. And that would be, I think, a great place to start to just get an understanding of the proportionality of if I have, I feel so weird. I never in my life that I think I would speculate what I was on education business, but if I if I did, I would want to generally know like, Okay, are we talking like, if it turned out that 80% of the people were backyard pond enthusiasts versus 80% of the people being industrial reservoir excavators, then that would be a really strong signal to me that I should be shaping my educational materials to serve one outcome or the other. Not that you want to under serve anybody who's coming to you, but at the same time you you need to triage and decide where you're going to be placing most of your effort and I would be placing most of my effort and design Attention around helping the picking a really, really juicy outcome that's representative of a large number of my customer base. And looking to just really own that from beginning to end, sort of like in the Tinder sense where, okay, we can offer people to create profiles and to upload photos and to swipe left and right. But other than that, it's pretty much on you to figure out how to actually go on the date. Whereas there would be a number of different ways that you can help people achieve what they're looking to do more effectively, that transcend just the Tinder and Tinder interface. And those would be the levers that I would be most focused on. So long as I knew exactly what the category of outcome was. Because like intenders case, if you are surveying your your new users or your new customers, and 80% of them are looking for a one night stand, versus 80% of them are looking for their soulmate to settle down with and have a large family with like, the the pancake making stages that they would go through would would be very different, because that would be resulting in a very different outcome.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, yeah, I think the intention and finding out that the intention of the user base in lining that up is is huge, to be able to craft that statement and build the mountain and identify the top that you're taking people to. I love it. And while you might feel like you're stretching your metaphors and your examples, I feel like that is a major strength you have actually is coming up with, you know, analogies and metaphors that make your points memorable, and it really enjoyable to read interviews as well. So I'm glad that we could come up with some fresh ones here. I appreciate the kind words and thank you for saying so. What haven't I asked you about that you feel is just really important for people to understand about the topic, specifically onboarding, in this case in value paths.

Samuel Hulick:

One point that we briefly surface that we didn't spend a lot of time on, was the distinction that I was alluding to earlier between onboarding as in welcome tour, versus onboarding as in process for getting somebody to a successful outcome. Those are just very, very different things and the scope of the welcome tour, onboarding as in welcomed tour, a lot of a lot of times when clients come to me or learners come to me after, you know, getting the book or something along those lines, will have questions that are pretty surface level like, should I use tilted tours? Or a to do list? Or how long should my intro video be? Or things along those lines, where To my mind, like let's say you were implementing a to do list that included a progress bar that let people know how far they were progressing through the through the items that you laid out for them, and let them know when they got to 100%? To me the questions of like, should the progress bar have rounded corners or rectangular corners? or What color? Should the should it fill up as as you go along? Those questions are later stage. And a lot of the answers to those questions should be derived from even bigger questions. So like in the case of the to do list with the progress bar, what constitutes 100%? What What does that What does complete mean exactly 100%, of what or 100% of getting to where exactly, and of the items that you're putting in your product in your to do list that helps people fill up the progress bar? how meaningful are those actions really, a lot of times working with companies I will see even when they use design patterns that I generally recommend like in a vacuum, I would generally advise against using tooltip tours. And I would generally advise for using something more passive and longer lasting like a to do list. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the things that you're getting the users to do in the to do lists are inherently valuable. They're really only as valuable as they correlate to the user achieving what they're trying to do, and the business achieving what they're trying to do. And ultimately, what you're really looking to do when you are designing an onboarding experience is not to think of what screens should we show people in which order, but really, what is the choreography of actions that the user needs to take to turn their pancake mix into their pancakes and to generate our revenue in that process. If that, if that makes sense at all, totally.

Greg Williams:

I think that's a beautiful summary of a lot of the ideas that we talked about. And I'm really excited to share this out with folks. And again, appreciate the time and energy that you gave here to me and to the guests. So thanks again so much appreciate your time.

Samuel Hulick:

Absolutely, genuinely, it's a it's a pleasure to be here. And I really appreciate the topics that you're covering.