The good bits:

  • The app uses a free sample approach to give newcomers the commitment-free option to try out the product. Users are offered a 1-week free trial, which is registered via the App Store but will not automatically charge users when it expires. This makes the product much more approachable and accessible than apps that require users to sign up or provide credit card details with the threat of auto-renewal.
  • On the list creation dialog, the app includes an inline cue animation that cycles through examples of different kinds of lists people can use the product to curate. This is a nice inline educational element that reinforces the purpose of the product, while not getting in the way of users who just want to create a new list as quickly as possible.
  • iCloud sync is suggested, but not required. If a user declines during the setup flow, they are only prompted when they try to launch actions specifically tied to iCloud sync.
  • The help content that supports this product is well-done. For example, the links in the empty states of the list screens that let users learn what a list is and what an item is are helpful.

To be improved:

There are many permission and consent prompts during the first run experience, which can lead to drop-off, and the strategy behind why some are prominent and others are not isn’t made clear.

  • For example, iCloud sync is encouraged in a full-screen prompt during the setup flow, but isn’t required to use the product, despite the immediate “are you sure?” dialog that shows if you decline. The setup flow also includes a prompt to get mailings from the app developer, but there’s no sense of why this should be as prominent as the iCloud sync prompt.
  • Meanwhile, outside of the setup flow, there is a 3-option prompt for location, camera, and photo library access when the user tries to create their first list. It’s not entirely clear why these are all required, especially location permission. There are plenty of opportunities for the app to ask for these things in the context of creating and adding list items using different actions, later, and this could very much create a dead end for users.
  • This indicates the app needs to do more than an animation on the registration screen to help users understand why Magpie is a different type of list app that requires photos and locations. In fact, bubbling some of the details up from the “What is a list?” and “What is an item?” help pages to the empty states of each of those sections could help solve this problem.