There are little things you can do to help your users help your business (using Post.news as an example)
Each time your users come to your site or product, whether as brand new visitors or many-times-returning account holders, are you encouraging (and enabling!) them to do one more thing…and is that one thing going to help you?
Let’s take Post.News as an example. I’m all in on the concept (listen to founder Noam Bardin on the Pivot Podcast). My interpretation? It’s a non-toxic Twitter replacement with a strong focus on sharing excellent news and information articles, even if they are behind paywalls. The whole model is cool and it’s built on the ability to users to tip other users and to pay for article access directly on the platform. It could also revolutionize the way that publishers are paid for great work.
Post is getting huge numbers of new users signing up for the waitlist and then getting on to the site. And…they’re getting a lot of ‘is this thing on?’ posts. Why? Because people are psyched to be there, want to show their support…and aren’t exactly sure what to do. Sure, they can read the feed (not super exciting yet as the team is still building the code), dig around to find help articles, poke around in their profiles, comment, and maybe post something.
But what does the Post team want users to do, and why? How can users morph the enthusiasm that brought them to the waitlist and translate that into a few actions that will help the Post team make Post amazing? There’s some content in posts and articles, but these are hard to find in the UI and feed. And that makes sense. They clearly have (and are continuing to build) a killer, experienced product team and engineering crew — and these amazing people are dealing with a firehose of interest using a drinking-straw worth of resources.
I imagine that the Post team absolutely does know what it would love new (and returning) users to do. I’m guessing the list includes basics (build your profile, read stuff, find people to follow, comment) and also some not-basic things — like:
- posting articles you’ve loved (even if they are old)
- posting articles that are currently behind paywalls
- trying out the tipping model
Getting users to ‘just do one more thing’ without building new features
Here’s Post.news’ current UI at the top of their feed:
Step 1: Figure out what you want them to do
Step 2: Tell them exactly what you want them to do (with access to more details if needed)
Step 3: Keep it fresh
Yup, it’s a bandaid. Who cares.
If you’re lucky enough to have an idea as good as Post.news, and you’ve got a bunch of people coming in to see what you have to offer, speak up. Tell them what you’re about, why they should care, and what they can and should do.
How to achieve “just do one more thing”
It’s pretty easy actually. Just stop believing that “create a simple UI” equals “strip the UI of everything you can.” Figure out what information would help users do what you want them to do and put that information front and center.
Remember that hiding details or complexity doesn’t make user interfaces simpler. It just hides the details and complexity. Helpful details aren’t there to help. And complexity doesn’t go away.
“What do we want users to do after they finish doing whatever they are doing now / want to do” is a great question to ask yourself, followed by “are we helping and enabling users to just do one more thing.” Use these questions to make sure you’ve thought through end-to-end user journeys and assess your own UIs — even long after you are the hottest startup on the block.
Tell your users what you want them to do. They might just be willing to do it!