Onboarding Tutorial

Promoting the onboarding experience for the new users to learn and engage
Project Overview
Graviti is a cutting-edge SaaS platform that streamlines the management of unstructured datasets in the machine learning process for AI developers. Despite attracting a significant number of new users, we have struggled with low conversion rates. To address this challenge, we have developed an immersive onboarding experience that enhances the user experience, educates and engages new users, and ultimately convinces them to stay with our product. We successfully increase the conversion by 6%.
Roles & Responsibility
  • User research
  • Wireframe
  • Hi-fi prototype
Project Context
  • Spring 2021
  • Internship @Graviti


Graviti is an online data management platform that help AI developer to manage their unstructured dataset used in machine learning.  We have done a great job in attracting new users by building up an open dataset community, but we found the returning user rate is low. Therefore, we wanted to figure out why and how we could improve.


01 Research - survey & interview

Users churned because they don't really understand what service we provide

I sent out a survey to the registered users by emails and texts, and ask them if they are willing to take a user interview with incentives. We got more than 300 responses and around 10 people who are willing to do the interview online.


Insight 1

The users registered on our platform to explore or download the open dataset. They left because they don't need the online data management right now, and feel lazy to upload the data from local or other resources.

Insight 2

Some users have difficulty getting started and don't know what the product actually provide.

Therefore, we decide to create an onboarding tutorial for the new users.

01 Research - Competitive analysis

There are 3 types of onboarding experience for the SaaS product

I did competitive research on the on boarding process from a wide range of product, especially SaaS product. I categorized them into 3 different types, and analyzed the features of each type to figure out which method can be the best for us.

Walk Through Cards:

  • It shows automatically when users first land on the page.
  • It is usually a one-time walk through.

Individual Tutorial Section

  • Put in an individual section.
  • Users can choose any step to go through and review anytime afterwards.
  • Some directly guide the users to complete the step.

Creating Example Project

  • It might ask the users to complete some basic info.
  • The way to show how it works depend on what service they provide.

02 Ideation

Design exploration based on the findings from researcher

Based on the findings in the research, I listed out the pros and cons for the potential methods.

02 Ideation

Feedback session to reconfirm the goal and decide design direction

In order to determine which direction we go with, I held a feedback session with the product managers and other designers. We first reconfirm our goals for the on boarding tutorial:

  • Introduce the whole product to users clearly.
  • Encourage users to Engage in our platform.
  • Guide the users to get familiar with some important functionalities.

Therefore, we chose to combine the individual tutorial and guidance card to achieve these goals.

02 Ideation

Decide the tasks and workflow for the onboarding

I collaborated with the product manager to created user flow and determine the task we want to include in the tutorial:

How users enter the onboarding tutorial and how they explore each step are the important touch points. Therefore, I needed to settle down 3 design challenges:

Design challenge 1 - How to encourage users to enter the on boarding tutorial?

  • Show the tutorial section automatically when user first land on the dashboard.
  • Put the entrance button at an obvious location

Design challenge 2 - How do we introduce the feature clearly to users?

I had 2 design proposals, and chose the solution 2.

Only shows the title in tutorial, and show detailed information in the corresponding card

  • Users' eyes will jump between different areas constantly
  • The card might distract their attention of the specific button.

Explains in the tutorial section and indicates where the location is via a simple sentence

  • Their primary focus is on the tutorial section.
  • They will also be remind of where the location is.

Design challenge 3 - How do we encourage users to engage in each functionality?

  • Explore button: users will be directly led to the page about this specific function, for example, to create a dataset.
  • Progress bar: users can get a sense of where they are in the process and have a higher intention to finish this.

03 Iteraction

Usability test and feedback

After the first version of the prototype, we had a requirement review session and did usability test with the product manager, and the engineering team.

1. The position of the entrance button.

Cost to change the original template of the dashboard.  
There is already a button of explore open dataset, and it is also in the tutorial which makes the structure confusing.

In case the users may not notice,  I added animation to the button:

2. Adding the "Help Doc" button.

Users are comfortable with these kinds of documents, and even found it easier to find the things they want.

Hi-Fi Prototype

We evaluated this section by collecting feedbacks from clients and trace the data of the users.
Most users are satisfied with the new functionality and the percentage of returning users raised after its launching.

04 Reflection

We successfully increase the returning users by ~6%

After the launch of the onboarding experience, our returning users increased from 5% to 11%.

What I would do differently

Reflected back on my journey, it was a miss for me because we didn't do usability testing with real users in the process and I had to rely on my intuitions to make some of the design decisions.

As the pictures above, is there another format of the tutorial besides the two versions I presented that users would prefer? I am not quite sure how our users would actually react to it. It would be helpful if we can do usability testing on these 2 versions and see which one can better inform users the features we have.

Understanding the users is the first priority.

It is hard to be empathetic sometimes,  because the designers are not target users at all, therefore, communicate with your target users as much as possible, especially when you have colleague who can be the target users.