IFTTT – 2014 version

IFTTT for Android first time user experience

IFTTT allows users to create “If This, Then That” combinations that allow them to use one service or device to trigger actions via other services or devices. A complete trigger/action set is called a recipe.

The good bits:

  • After the intro tour, IFTTT suggests a sample recipe that will send the user a daily email digest of more recipes. This is an interesting way to open up a second communication channel with the user, to get them fresh and free samples, while avoiding sounding like a pushy newsletter signup.
  • Also after the intro tour, the app does not take the user to an empty slate or ask them to create their own IFTTT from scratch. Instead, it provides a pre-populated timeline of items that the user has unlocked, with each point on the timeline serving as browse path for exploring various recipes.  The app emphasizes existing recipes over brand new ones to help users learn how they work.

To be improved:

  • The intro tour is lengthy and provides no skip action. The 2nd, 3rd and 5th panels are the most helpful because they represent how actual recipes look in-app, but the rest are abstract.
  • The intro tour and starting timeline may come across as daunting and foreign to new users because they introduce lot of product-centric language very quickly (for example, recipes, channels, and the concept of unlocking channels). Instead, these areas should focus on demonstrating the power of recipes/channels before diving into their nomenclature. If the app presented the 5th intro tour panel or a sample IFTTT earlier on, the new user could more easily see what he can do with the product and why he should care. Once the value is established the app could dive into the structure of things. 
  • The app forces signup before a user can explore any recipes. It’s not made very clear why an IFTTT account is even necessary, since each channel requires a separate login.
  • I would challenge the makers of IFTTT to provide recipes a user can try or create before potentially deterring him with a sign-in prompt. Make it a fun and interactive introductory experience to pique the user’s curiosity. The daily email recipe, for example, could be done without an IFTTT account if the app leveraged the account tied to the user’s phone.