Jump starting growth by simplifying signups

23, Mar 2020

I reviewed the beta version of an app recently; as part of the signup process, I was asked to fill fields  like prefix, first name, last name, email, phone, gender, address, state, company, designation and other fields; this left me  thinking "do you care for my birth certificate, license as well as my SSN too?” all because I want to try out an app / solution you’ve built ? It shouldn’t be this difficult.

Switching the narrative around however, changes this experience; if you choose instead to reward users very early in the engagement process for every action they take even without asking for anything in return it will have a different effect on the final number of sign ups and success of your solution.

This principle was put to test recently in the proof of concept we designed for sign up methods as part of the UX design of a bespoke CMS called Mudsuite. We had the challenge to create a tool for photographer to build a mobile app (from their phones); the way we could achieve this is to leverage Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) while exploring an idea to build mobile applications for small businesses on the fly.  

Album Mobile App (PWA)

We came up with a simple flow that allows users go through the process below


This was beautiful and it worked effectively for existing users on the platform, so we decided to test with a few new users by launching a simple facebook campaign; to my surprise no one used it.

This bothered me for the next few days; existing users that we worked with used this feature and created personal apps and albums returning to use this new feature regularly but we simply couldn’t get new signups with it. This meant we needed to change the narrative and redesign the flow (User Experience).

We went back to the board and started examining this from the user’s perspective, asking questions like - What did we promise to deliver to them to get them engaged? Observing what they liked and why they liked it; We soon realized upon assessment what we could have done better within this process. Our promise was to build a photo album app in 3 minutes or less but there was a 9 step process users had to go through before you could create an album; really, no one had the time to sit through that to complete it; we had to redesign the flow working only with the last 3 steps as the initial process (as shown in the diagram above).

We shortened the process to 3 steps.

  • Add the pictures,
  • Choose an icon
  • Leave your email & name (and you will receive the link to the app in your email

Even within this 3 step process, we carefully crafted rewards into the steps that encouraged the user every step of the way while signing up; All you need to do is add your  photographs, then you get the option to choose one of them as an icon (this alone is a form of reward / indication to the user that “something cool is happening” which encourages them to continue) as they proceed to the ultimate goal of creating their mobile app.The next step prompts you to name your app which lets you input something personal as the name of your new mobile app then you get an email with the details of the app you’ve just created.

Once this was done, we ran a test campaign and got the first 10 users in less than 3 hours; from zero where we came from, this meant “Success” which led to the next set of challenges to work on.

In this age, all a user wants to do is have a simple tool that achieves their objective with little or no effort /expertise and this is what we set out to do by improving the experience in building simple photo album apps thereby validating a number of theories that we’ve gathered.

The complete Photo album tool is available here http://create.mudsuite.com as part of a project we  started to simplify web development & management for small businesses in underserved regions. Mudsuite currently powers this website,  my personal portfolio and a few other websites for select clients.


Journey to the first 200,000 users (Numberplates)...

Continuing from the previous article where I started this story. The numbers of  plates that were created continued to rise on the...

Journey to the first 200,000 users (Numberplates)

How we engaged the first 200,000. users in a developing country on a shoestring budget Building a solution  (or service) has enormous challenges...

Gathering feedback for user research and testing...

My recent work on a Proof Of Concept with remote users across the Atlantic   You have to be sensitive to your users at the  level of a...

Jump starting growth by simplifying signups

I reviewed the beta version of an app recently; as part of the signup process, I was asked to fill fields  like prefix, first name, last...

How Adufe is starting a controversy

There has been a debate with a few friends of mine and it’s brewed a controversy which makes me wonder just how easy it is to misjudge...

Mistakes we made, some things we got wrong while...

How we learnt  not to make any assumptions and talk to actual users before developing or doing  anything, it just might save a lot of time...

How Femi Ade makes over NGN100,000 monthly with...

As a photographer, it can be quite challenging to convince new clients on why they should use a professional photographer or pay for your services in...

Build a free Mobile app to showcase your...

Create a free  photobook mobile app in 60 seconds  to showcase your work like a physical photo album in style. ...

Feature Project (Orange Books)

GTBank well known for its innovative products and services had the idea to leverage technology in teaching and training its staff with a simple and...

Website development & Online Marketing Explained...

You want to build a website with the hope that this will be the magic lamp of online business, something that will catalyze the steady...

Feature Project (Ndani Stylebook)

The goal is to build a mobile application that  allows you to see what a clothing item would look like on you while shopping on the SME Market...

SSL!… What is SSL about ?

You do everything on the internet: from looking for information, doing business to selling and buying items for your personal use or otherwise. When...

What is the cost of building a Website (What price...

The cost of building a website is “Free” I know a lot of people will criticize me for saying this but yes, it can be free, though...

2 things you need to fulfill before building a...

Why is building my website so much trouble and chaos filled?Why is it so expensive and draining me ?These are the questions we hear frequently from...

5 Reasons Why You Need a Website for Your...

Do I need a website? This is a question we as photographers surprisingly struggle with. Well, the simple answer is Yes!. For any photographer...

How To Keep track Of Profit and reduce Loss In...

Small businesses will thrive better if business owners actually kept their records well. Lots of SMEs fold up barely months after opening...

7 Ways To Prepare Your Boutique Business For Your...

As a boutique owner, have you ever thought of a day where your boutique business will have to run without you? I’m talking about you having to...