OnBoarding new users to Illustrator

The project was kicked off as a part of efforts for improving New User Retention numbers with Adobe's flagship desktop publishing tools
The 90 day Retention

There is a clear cut opportunity to reduce drop off number of new and trial users that would lead to huge impact on CC subscriptions.
From the experience POV, Adobe design tool offering can be a little intimidating initially due to its complex surface. Users have to invest time, and focus, and constantly stay motivated to successfully realizing the value in the immense power of the professional design tooling.

Aim of the project was to create a framework for onboarding users to Adobe desktop products which streamlines the process of discovery, learning, success and adoption of the core capabilities of the product giving the users a kick start to stay invested and reap the benefits of the world's best desktop design content creation tools.

#AdobeLife of a New User
As a starting point, it was helpful to clearly define what were the goals for the experience and for the business, and understand the personas which will benefit the most from this. The powerful capabilities of the Adobe desktop applications and its ability to cater to such varied set of workflows sometimes can lead the design process in different tangents. So having a clear clear focus area really defined how we moved forward with solving this problem for our users.
Onboarding Goals
Quick Success
Business Goals
Conversion - Free to Paid
Conversion - Upgrade
New / Trial Users
Non - Upgraders
Existing CC
It was also helpful to outline some of the key problems that the users face within the products which were roadblocks between discovery and success. Instead of limiting the framework to just new users we wanted to use this for onboarding existing users to new high value features that adobe was investing into. Some of the recent really big features had seen low usage numbers. With an intent of building a framework that can cater to existing users in discovery, it was a good practice to highlight what all problems identified personas face while working through the Desktop Products.
New / Trial Problems
Discovering Core Features
Unable to achieve immediate success.
Tutorials are too tedious to follow.
Not enough motivation to continue.
Non Upgraders Problems
Not able to recognise the value of CC ecosystem.
Difficulty identifying the use of new capabilities in existing workflows.
Clear distinction between previous versions and CC.
Not enough motivation to continue.
Optimism to existing feature set too subtle to make an impact on perception.
Existing CC Users Problems
Not able to recognise the value of CC ecosystem.
Difficulty identifying the use of new capabilities in existing workflows.

New User Life Cycle

The whole design process was pretty much driven around the Life Cycle of a Users on Adobe Product. The experience of the product for a new user could easily be broken down into phases that provided a good structure to tackle problem in a pragmatic way.

Using this approach also helped in defining user journey model later in the design process.

Mapping Goals to the life cycle phases provided more clarity and defined area to work within. More over its just a good practice to be always aware of the final goals and not lose focus during the design process.

Mapping Emotions

Extending the lifecycle with emotion mapping later helped us with defining a better content strategy and onboarding patterns to be used at what part of user journey. We defined the current emotions, root cause for the negative sentiments and the desired emotion, and how it can be achieved at that point in the user life cycle.

User Journey

Final Outcome of the initial design process was a set of User Journey maps with defined focus areas, prioritized based on severity of the problem, and a set of OnBoarding patterns best suited for tackling the issue at a particular stage in the User Journey.

OnBoarding patterns mapped on the user journey

Design and Development
Learning Content within the Application
From the design research phase we identified and build a hypothesis that bring the learning content within the application can increase the overall engagement, by reducing the gap between the content and user.
So I started working on ways of bring the learn content to the user in delightful and non obtrusive way. I started defining a experience of using a panel within the application that will hold learning content which communicates to the native application and reveals content in a more natural way.
  • First Step was to define the core workflows for which the learn content should be provided. Based on a conversion prediction model built by the analytics team, we had a list of high value user action that increases the probability of conversion. So our learn content projects highlighted those using a real world design projects.
  • The learn content will come as little packages that could hold different types of content and would reuse the existing professional content that we had on and created for the old welcome screen experience.
  • Next step was to simply deliver this content package within the application in the new panel.
  • It was important to define trigger points for the user get to the new content in a natural way in the user journey. In this case, the start screen is shown as an example gateway for the new user.
  • In this case, a Get Started / Whats new panel.
  • Important pillar of the concept was to build a capability of delivering new content to the right users dynamically. By capturing the usage patterns within the application, targeting the right content to the right users would create a lot of value.
  • New content could reveal as Soft messages by intercepting relevant workflows.
  • The final and most important detail was the new capability where in the learn content could cue coachmarks within the application. User interaction with learn content and the app would work cohesively reducing user effort to achieve to success.

Help Panel - Core Capabilities

  • Help Projects broken down into smaller chunks for access.
  • Short precise content with guided coachmarks in the App UI.
  • Place prepared content from the help panel to the artboard to speed up things.
  • Engaging content like short videos, animated GIFs, interactive HTML5 content for easy consumption.

Defining the entry point for the help panel

  • Start Screen is a good entry point for starter projects for New Users.
  • What's New Panel for highlight new capabilities and help content about it.
  • In App Messages (Project Butler) directing users to Help Panel.
  • Capturing the Exit Intent to show new or pending starter projects.
  • Soft messages triggered based on a defined sequence of actions.

Final Deliverables