Protoshare is a web-based tool for creating app and website prototypes. The above screens show my first time experience in signing up for, and using, a free trial.

The good bits:
The sign-up form was simple; it required only 3 pieces of information and used inline messaging to ensure all the fields were filled out correctly.

Instead of sending me to my email inbox to activate my account, Protoshare displayed activation progress on the page after I tapped “Create Account”. There were also a video and webinar schedule I could view while I waited. 

Upon my first sign-in, a “Getting Started” overlay popped up with another video and a few help links. After dismissing this I saw that there was a sample project (“My First Project”). I opened it and found a few sample pages and dummy content ready to be explored.

Protoshare also provides a lot of ways for their customers to get in touch with their support staff. In the tool there is a highly visible “Online Support” status button in the title bar area, and I was also sent a welcome email with an invitation to view a “Getting Started” webinar.

To be improved:
While Protoshare offers a sample project after signing up, I would have loved to sample the product without needing an account at all. Since it’s a web-based tool, it is possible to allow potential customers to play around in a limited-functionality interface.

I had a lot of trouble accessing the “While you wait” video content as well as the “Getting Started” video from the overlay, which made the sample content and online support all the more necessary for me.

The second “Getting Started” overlay I was shown upon entering the sample project was repetitive and not very helpful. It is similar to the product tour pattern from mobile apps in that it only lightly touched on key features but without enough context or details to provide real learning.