Peach mobile app first time user experience

The good bits:

  • Peach uses a variation of a playthrough tutorial to teach the new user about the key parts of interacting in their space. This tutorial takes place within the full product area, but, by providing explicit guidance, gradually exposes them to the components of the app.  It starts by asking the new user to type “Hello!” and ends by asking them to choose a more complex feature to try.  Only at the end of this playthrough, when the new user has been introduced to the basics, does it prompt them to add friends.
  • One of the most powerful onboarding elements of Peach is the autosuggest box that appears at the top of the keyboard–it doesn’t need the user to type a full magic word to see a suggestion.  It begins showing shortcuts to contextual actions as user types. It’s a form of a user-guided tutorial because it moves at the user’s pace, giving them a sense of self-discovery as they uncover hidden features in the app, without getting in their way. For example: typing “help” will suggest a link to show a cheat sheet of shortcut commands; typing a word that starts with “m” reveals that you can post your motion activity (ie, “4,566 steps today”) for your friends to see.
  • When the text field is empty, the tips box collapses into a small lightbulb icon. When tapped, it reveals a series of prompts to give ideas on what to post.  So no matter what the user state, on-demand help is easily accessible.
  • The app makes good use of runtime permissions prompts, waiting until the new user has explicitly asked to access some feature (like posting a photo) before asking them for a permission (like to access the camera).

To be improved:

  • The app forces the new user to create an account before he or she can explore. The tutorial could easily be done before asking the user for an account, especially since the user isn’t even linked up with friends yet.
  • While the conversational playthrough tutorial is a nice touch, conversation is a medium that people expect to be versatile.  A new user may want to answer the prompts of the tutorial persona in different ways, or skip the tutorial all together, but no matter what the new user says, the app persona seems to stick to the same script. There is no cancel action communicated.
  • Also, because the tutorial interface is presented in a conversational manner, it may establish the wrong interaction model for the new user. The tutorial makes it seem like the app is a chat-like interface, but in reality it’s telling the user how to post to their own personal space (saying things like “This is your space. Posting to it is a lot like texting” doesn’t help). This means the new user may be confused when they finally connect to a real friend and find that they can’t message with them in the same manner that they were interacting with the tutorial persona in their personal space.  It can be hard to know the difference.
  • The link for “List magic words” opens a general help web page but does not auto-scroll to the portion about the magic words.  This action should either be brought into the context of the app (via an in-app web browser) or anchor-linked to the right part of the screen.

Many thanks to @karlnieb for letting me use screenshots from his posts