User Onboarding Optimization


 Project Summary

  • Project Name: User Onboarding Optimization
  • Target Audience: Manage Service Providers
  • Project Goal: Optimizing the onboarding process for Manage Service Providers to setup OpenDNS’s internet security platform across their global networks.
  • Steps: Heuristic evaluation, Restructuring the onboarding task flow, Creating an interactive prototype based on the new task flow, User testing
  • My Role: Information architect, User experience designer

Why optimization of the existing user onboarding guide was necessary


In this project I was handed a finished feature already available to the users. Collected data through Mixpanel indicated a significant drop in activity on the third step of the “Wizard”. In the meantime, the number of support tickets related to the set up of the service had increased dramatically suggesting a problem with OpenDNS’s onboarding guide.


Heuristic evaluation


In order to better understand the problem, first I set up the service for myself using the existing onboarding guide. I didn’t have much insight into the set up process, so I was able to pretend to be a real user, and understand the product and its shortcomings from their perspective.


  1. The onboarding guide contained complex and hard to follow sentences for simple instructions
  2. Less than three minutes into using the process, I got lost not knowing where I was, and what I needed to do
  3. I managed to complete the installation not knowing whether I had missed a step or  whether the completed steps were done with any success 


Based on the above observations, I organized my hypothesis in three categories:

  • Poor information architecture
  • Poor system feedback
  • Poor copy writing

Restructuring The Task Flow

After a meeting with the product manager and a couple of engineers, I got a solid understanding of how this installation works.

The first thing I did was laying out the task flow for the existing onboarding guide. This is how it looked like:




Looking at the layout and comparing it with what I had just learnt about the set up process , I realised that the well known linear wizard model does not fit this guide. Users may want to go back or skip steps based on their network type.

It occurred to me that minor tweaks to the IA structure will significantly simplify the flow. See below:



Prototype & Testing


Once the new IA and flow was signed off by stakeholders, I created a low fidelity interactive wireframe for user testing.

To define the success of the new flow, I considered traditional behavioral metrics of user experience such as efficiency, effectiveness and error rate. I used remote moderated usability testing in order to evaluate the success of the new onborading guide.

The testing results were positive. After the second round of iteration and testing I felt confident handing the prototype off to the engineers for implementation.


The implementation has not yet been completed. Once the guide is live we will  use Totango in order to assess user’s success throughout the set up process. We will also use “in product surveys” in order to collect user input.