I’m involved in a community website-building project, and our team is using Trello as a collaboration tool. I’ve never used Trello before, so when I signed up, I thought it would be fun to record my onboarding experience on the app.
Here’s the full recording below:
Oh my, I’m cringing as I re-watch this. It seems so obvious now how this app is supposed to work! But I guess that’s a lesson to remember:
What may seem obvious to an experienced user (or product designer) may be a complete mystery to a beginner.
What I liked about Trello’s onboarding:
- The instructions were woven into the interface itself, rather than displaying as a pop-up or overlay
- Instead of just pointing out features, the “Welcome Board” showed me what to do by getting me to interact with the app. This makes me more likely to remember what features are available and where to find them.
- There was some flexibility to deviate from the onboarding guide and discover features on my own. I could easily return to the “Welcome Board” to continue the more structured exploration.
Where I ran into trouble:
- I was off to a good start, but somewhere along the way, I got confused as to the nature of and relationship between “boards,” “lists,” and “cards.” Eventually, I figured out that they are nested levels of organization: cards fit within lists, which fit within boards. But at first, I thought lists were actually boards, and my bird brain quickly forgot what cards were.
- I must have skimmed the sidebar instructions too quickly, because as soon as I read that I could change the background color, I tried to right-click on the background to no avail. The option was there in the sidebar all along. In my defense, though, I would have had to read the whole paragraph for context to know that. *Sigh* first world problems…
- I got sidetracked exploring the “Labels” function and was totally confused about what they were for. I guess anything with lots of colors is bound to grab my curiosity and distract me.
I’ll see how I get along using Trello in a practical, “real-world” project, instead of just goofing around. Another plus about Trello’s onboarding is that it ends with a list of further resources, which I can access anytime. To be honest, I’m just excited about color–coding a bunch of notes at this point.