Hyperlapse for iPhone first time user experience

The good bits:
• Unlike Instagram’s core app, Hyperlapse does not force the new user to create an account or sign in. The app uses a free sample approach to introduce the new user to Hyperlapse functionality and allows him to save the results directly to his camera reel. It only prompts him to sign up if he attempts to share his work via Instagram.
• The app progressively prompts the user for access to his camera, microphone, and photos at meaningful moments, instead of bombarding him with these prompts at first launch.

To be improved:
• The intro tour seems superfluous, given the app’s focus on letting a new user jump in and try things. It is difficult to read the text or see progress indicators because of background video. The value of the tour is not in describing the app’s features, but in showcasing what Hyperlapses actually are. I might recommend instead, then, that the app encourage new users to explore a gallery of pre-made Hyperlapses and give them the option of creating their own.
• The popover describing the “Record” button might be avoided simply by labeling that button more clearly or using standardized iconography.

Yik Yak for iPhone first time user experience

The good bits:

  • Yik Yak is one of the few social networking experiences that does not require a new user to create an account to view or share content—it provides immediate exposure as a free sample. As a result, the new user is immediately able to jump into the product, instead of spending his first few moments reading an intro tour or signing up for yet another account with his personal information.
  • The app clearly indicates why it needs a new user’s location data, and shows this reasoning before prompting with the standard iOS location services prompt.

To be improved:

  • This app is an example of why, at times, guided interaction is the best way to handle first time user experiences. While the app does well in letting users jump right into things, it doesn’t provide enough initial help to get the new user started on a successful path. If there are no “Yaks” in the new user’s area (which you can see by the second screen, which appears empty), the user is faced with a completely blank slate. This is a missed opportunity to educate the user on what Yaks are, or how to be the first to create one in his area.

Waze for Android first time user experience

The good bits:

  • For folks familiar with past versions of Waze, the app’s new first run experience has much improved. It used to be that new users needed to watch a video/swipe through an animated intro tour before they could access the map. But now, the new user gets quickly placed into map mode. The videos and feature content are still there, but accessible instead through an introductory message from the map and through it’s help/about section. 
  • The app provides modeless, inline tips for users to read at the bottom of the map screen, instead of interrupting them with modal popovers or an intro tour.

To be improved:

  • As first impressions go, the new user may be put off by the 2 “messy” screens seen on first run. Aside from the sometimes-unpredictable manual location selector (I triggered this despite having location services turned on), the required end user license agreement can come across as especially daunting. The EULA not only raises questions early on about privacy, but gets in the way of that quick entry into map mode. 
  • The introduction to the user’s avatar on first launch via the “Meet your Wazer” popup may be unnecessary, and can certainly be confusing. This is because it appears out of context from what the new user sees next. When she enters the map for the first time, this pink Wazer icon is not shown. Instead, the new user is represented as a blue arrow. There’s no clear link between that “Meet your Wazer” dialog and the user’s actual avatar. The dialog seems to suffer a problem that also plagues intro tours: describing features that are not yet relevant to the new user, which can ultimately confuse instead of inspire.

Beats Music for iPhone first time user experience

The good bits:

  • Beats Music learns about the user’s music preferences through a highly interactive music taste selector, after he signs up for an account. The explicit customization comes in 2 steps: first, the user selects the music genres he likes and hates; then, he gets to choose specific artists he likes or hates from those genres. The interface for this selection is fluid and more artists can be populated at any time. During the process, the user can clearly see at the top of the screen how many more selections he has to make in order to finish building his taste profile.
  • Thanks to this bit of customization, the new user immediately sees content that is relevant to him. This personal focus helps ensure engagement and attention.
  • The app then introduces the new user to various sections through the use of inline cues and hints.

To be improved:

  • Although Beats advertises a 14 day free trial, it is not truly free. The user still needs to create an account to make use of it. Beats should consider that information is a form of currency, and that it is asking for the new user to entrust the app with his information before he’s been given any value. It is especially misleading that the button labelled “Get started” opens up a panel with icons representing registration options. The app could consider providing the 14 day free trial to those even without an account required, and should make it clear why an account is needed to customize music tastes.

Timeful for iPhone first time user experience

The good bits:

  • Timely’s intro tour is simple and clearly shows the UI instead of using abstract imagery

To be improved:

  • The forced intro tour doesn’t have a clear skip action; the forward arrow is disabled while animations play.
  •  The app forces a user to create an account before he can move forward. This can be a hard sell for a user who already has a calendar on his phone. The app could consider demoing its capabilities by simply asking to access the calendar first, letting the user try it out before he has to worry about tethering his calendar data to an external account.

SongCloud for iPhone first time user experience

The good bits:

  • SongCloud shows an intro tour but allows users to quickly get started via an omnipresent action at the bottom of the screen
  • There is no prompt to sign up before the new user can start streaming music. The new user can immediately start experiencing the value of the product. This is a great use of the free sample pattern.
  • The initial view of the app is well-focused; instead of a complicated list of stations, it focuses the user on exploring trending music.
  • Sign up prompts are limited to when a user tries to access functionality such as sharing or saving to a playlist.

To be improved:

  • The intro tour in the beginning spends its energy trying to describe UI functionality, when this kind of explanation might be best used in a user guided tour context where hints appear to the user as explores the interface.
  • It would be interesting for SongCloud to add a layer of personalization for the new user by asking her about her music interests before going straight to trending music.

iHeart Radio for Android first time user experience

The good bits:

  • The app does not require a user to sign in/sign up in order to start listening to stations.
  • The app uses your zip code to create a starting list of radio stations
  • Unobtrusive tooltips are used to point out the most frequently utilized next-step actions such as adding a station to a favorites list, and creating a station preset. 
  • Instead of asking up front, the app lets the user explore the stations she can see at the outset, and then she has the option of manually selecting music categories to improve her recommendations.

To be improved:

  • Although the app does provide a sampling of stations for the new user to listen to and peruse, the number of actions that result in a prompt to sign in or sign up feels restrictive and extremely frequent. iHeart Radio may want to consider allowing some functionality, such as favoriting a station, to be stored locally on the device.
  • The app might consider moving up the button to “Improve recommendations” for first time users, who may not scroll far enough to discover that functionality. It could be moved lower in the list for existing users.

StubHub Music for iPhone first time user experience

The good bits:

  • The app doesn’t block users with an intro tour or a forced sign-up wall. Instead, the app provides an immediately relevant & focused initial experience by scanning the new user’s music library and displaying events for the artists he has on his phone.
  • For actions like saving an event for future reference, the app displays a reminder banner to inform the new user where the saved event can be found.
  • If the new user does not have a playlist to scan on his device, the app also requests location access which can still help provide an experience focused on events in his local area.

BrainWars for iPhone first time user experience

The good bits:

  • Similar to QuizUp, BrainWars lets you challenge friends—or a random opponent—to a game. But where QuizUp forces a new user to log in before she can try it, BrainWars gives her the option to skip registration and get right to the game. Users who skip registration are given the option of challenging a random opponent selected from a worldwide audience. This does a great job of selling the new user on the types of games and challenges that can be played, so she may be more likely to sign in with Facebook in order to invite her friends.
  • The app makes use of occasional hints to teach users not only about the interface, but also about each of the individual games that can be played.

To be improved:

  • When the new user selects “Challenge” and enters her first game, it is not initially clear what needs to be done while the timer at the top of the screen counts down. I would suggest that the app focus this moment on just the task at hand—the need to select the type of game—by removing extraneous components like the emoticon selector at the bottom. These could be gradually re-introduced after the first game is played.