How to create the “Aha” moment to convert users

, if doing right, can increase dramatically the conversion rate. However, ask yourself, how often do you experience the flow, without wondering about where the “skip” button is.

From my point of view, an onboarding has to be useful and joyful for users. That means, it’s not about how you want to brag about the . It’s not about what we want to get from users. It’s the opposite.

It’s about what users want to see and get.

In general, onboarding can be categorized into 4 types(by CXL):

Benefit-focused: Explains the 2–3 core benefits and how to achieve that benefit via the site / product / app.

Function-focused: Explains the 2–3 core functions of the site / product / app and how to use them.

Doing-focused: Walks the user through the first or most common actions.

Account-focused: Walks the user through the account / profile creation process, including finding and adding friends or interests.

Recently I worked on the onboarding for Returns Center, where a mixture of them was applied.

In this article, I would like to focus on my experience of designing the Doing-Focused onboarding.

Why Doing-Focused onboarding?

In product, users don’t start “using” the product right away. They test the product, decide if they want to use it or not and then gradually explore more potentials to fit their business needs. It’s hard to define the exact moment when users are truly onboard.

Moreover, a B2B product most likely serves users of the 2 extremes simultaneously:

  • self-help users who need a simple solution;
  • enterprise users who need highly customizable advanced features.

I’ve received complaints in app store reviews as more features were developed, about how they missed the lite product. At the same time, there were also features as the dealbreakers when negotiating with enterprise users.

To balance both types of users, the goal of the onboarding is to ensure the product is ready to test with minimal user input, while keeping advanced features available. This makes the Doing-Focus onboarding most applicable.

Start with a testable hypothesis

Good design should be testable.

Before getting down, it was helpful for me to have a testable hypothesis to connect the goal, solution and evidence:

We believe that having an onboarding guide

For retailers

Will simplify the setup process and create the “Aha” moment to offer retailers an incentive to convert

To test the hypothesis, I would compare the conversion rate and the number of negative reviews about complexity before and after we release the onboarding.

I would know the hypothesis is valid when observed X% increase in conversion rate, and X% drop in negative reviews about complexity.

Find the path to the first “Aha” moment

From what I talked about, it was pretty obvious that, the “Aha” moment I would like to deliver was when the product is ready to test.

In order to create it with minimal user efforts, I have considered 2 types of configurations, which will also be applicable for most products:

  • Blockers, without which the system will not be able to function
  • Openers, which attract users to try in the first place


To know what the blockers are, it’s effective to arrange a prioritization exercise with people who are familiar with the system. They can be both team members and expert users.

Unlike the traditional prioritization exercise, this exercise to rank the configurations for users to know or change to be able to use the system.

I simply wrote down all configurations down to each field, in different cards for people to rank and share the reasons.

After this exercise, I was able to identify if blockers existed and what they are.

In addition, I have a list in priority to proceed to the next part.

The result of prioritization exercise


For openers, users data and feedback are the most direct evidence.

I collected the usage of the configurations among all users, including paid users and trial users. To accelerate the process, I made use of the list I got above and compare the data of the top 20 configurations only.

What to do with them?

Having these lists, the only thing I needed to do was to define how many to include in the onboarding.

My recommendation is to include all the blockers and pick 1–2 openers which bring the most distinct effect.

Design the best fit experience to deliver

Knowing what content I had to deliver, the rest was to design how to present the experience. In terms of design patterns, there are also different ways of presentation. I would recommend this link to get inspired about the pros and cons of them.

For Returns Center, I would like to address the top concerns of the blockers. Hence I used a walkthrough to make sure users pay enough attention.

Maximise the happiness with microcopy, illustrations and animation

If you are lucky enough to have a UX copywriter, illustrator or animator in the team, make use of them to celebrate the success with the users.

Unfortunately, there weren’t any in my team.

Just to show you how magical can these be, I put slack’s illustration as a comparison. (Illustration from

Monitor and learn from the metrics

The experiment does not finish at the moment it was released. The success metrics set in the hypothesis was measured continuously.

Sometimes it does not do as well as we expect. We learn and improve our design.

Sometimes the hypothesis fails. It’s ok to pull it back when it has a counter effect. That’s why we need the hypothesis from the beginning, to analyze the effect of what we have designed and guide us to take the right actions.

Helpful resources

I found some very helpful resources to learn from the best products during my design process. If you are tired of creating accounts again and again, they will save you a lot of hassle.

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