Growth & Marketing

October 25, 2020

January 5, 2021

Analyzing 5 great signup examples for the best onboarding flow

Table of contents

Sign-up processes are crucial to ensure great user acquisition numbers. So what better than analyzing the best onboarding processes in the market? Here you have 5 different signup flows, from different sectors, to illustrate some of the best practices in registration forms. Take a look and get inspired!

1. Canva: A dynamic, profile-oriented form

The Canva registration process first displays a form with the possibilities of signing in with Google or Facebook, or with email. 

When we choose the second option, a second step is presented where we need to fill three fields — name, email and password. Here we are informed about the passwords requirements. 

Here, two different onboarding options are presented, depending on the email address we entered. Email addresses with a company domain are displayed with the following screen, where users are prompted to enter information about the team, such as name and logo. 

Right after this, the new user is suggested to try the Canva Pro free trial. 

Then, users can invite other members to join Canva and work together.

Finally, a last step is shown to encourage users to subscribe to Canva’s email marketing actions. 

But, if the email entered is a private one, users will see the following screen, where they can choose a profile type: 

In this case, users won’t see the team profiling step or the Canva Pro step. Instead, they will only see the invitation step and the email marketing step. 

What we love about the Canva signup flow

Password strength. While setting passwords is overwhelming for users, favoring password strength is a recommendable practice in the long term. Nonetheless, the company suffered from a password breach in May 2019, affecting around 137 million users, according to Canva’s own sources. To avoid these issues, a passwordless signup could be implemented, to eliminate storing passwords and risking a password theft.

✅Dynamic forms. Canva smartly chooses to display different forms to company emails and private emails. Dynamic forms help personalize the experience and better address users and potential buyers.

Profile building. Right after creating an account, users are prompted to choose a user profile. We’re sure this information comes in handy to suggest different types of templates to each user persona, which benefits both the company and the user. 

User generation and activation. In order to start using Canva, new users are suggested to invite others to use Canva jointly. This is a way to ensure user activation, as well as user generation, in case the invited users are not Canva users yet.

2. Netflix: Credit card verification and IP oriented

The Netflix signup flow has become more sophisticated over the years, and it includes now several verification processes, including nationality verification and credit card verification, as well as a phone verification.

Netflix onboarding includes only the necessary fields (name and credit card), organized in one column, so the filling up process is as simple and clear as possible.

This onboarding flow includes an interesting credit card verification process. Invalid credit card numbers are automatically recognized, and users will get a message right after they finished filling in the field, but before submitting the form.

Yet, when entering a valid credit card number, this flow will scan the first numbers on the credit card, check if they match the IP on use, and discard it when not matching. This process displays a different message for users, as you can see below:

In this case, the credit card number is valid, but doesn’t match the subscription plan for the country. Hence, an error message is displayed to avoid fraudulent payments.

What we love about the Netflix signup flow

Personalized types of verification. Every business is unique and has unique needs. That is why we love the Netflix registration process, because it includes particular verification systems that build a robust security system. In this flow, phone, email and credit card are verified in a way that fraud is impossible to commit. 

✅ UX. Forms including checkout processes tend to be longer, since it is needed to enter more data to reach the end. The Netflix signup and checkout process includes only three steps, being as short as it can get. In this case, the faster the better.

3. Stripe: A secure and smooth registration process

The Stripe onboarding flow displays a single-step form with only three fields — email, full name and password.

After entering this basic information, users are prompted to verify their email address. 

This email includes a magic link that will automatically authenticate and log in the user. This way, users don’t have to enter their credentials again, and they can start using the platform right away.

What we love about the Stripe signup flow

Email verification (later on). Email verification can be a mandatory condition to sign up or an optional action that may take place later on. In this case, the Stripe signup flow allows users to verify their email address later on, so the user experience is not hurt. 

Automatic login. Logging in users right after they enter their email and password is possible and advisable so users can start using your service right away. Plus, this skips unnecessary steps and helps UX.

4. Notion: Letting the users choose how to register

Notion starts with their signup flow with a simple registration form that displays the option of signing in with a social media account or with email.

After choosing the second, an additional field is displayed so the user can enter a temporary code sent to their email. 

The email sent includes both a temporary code and a magic link. Both systems allow user verification in different ways.

After entering the code or clicking the magic link, users can start updating their profile with basic information and are prompted to set a password.

Then, users can access their workspace, or create a new one. 

What we love about the Notion signup flow

User verification. The user’s email address needs to be verified in order to create an account in Notion. This method adds an extra layer of security and it is carried out before the user fills in more fields, which helps user experience.

User experience. A form with a unique step is displayed so submitters don’t need to take a long path to create an account. This is a great example of an initial single-step form, even for email verification processes. Instead of displaying an additional step to enter the temporary code, this field is displayed in the same step. 

✅The gift of choice. Both magic links and one-time codes are great methods for email verification and user authentication. So, why give up on one of them? Notion gives the user the opportunity to choose, by sending users both options in the same email. Plus, users can also create an account with Google or Apple.

✅ User activation. Notion represents another example where user activation is executed right after the account is created. One can create a workspace and start using Notion right away.

5. Pitch: Enrolling users with immediate activation

In the Pitch onboarding flow, users are given the possibility of signing in with their Google social media account, or with their email and password. In order to choose the second option, an additional click with the following additional step is necessary.

When choosing to sign up with email and password, users are taken to the consequent step. 

After entering their email address, users need to verify it in order to access their Pitch account. 

After doing so, the account in Pitch is successfully created and users are taken to the login page, where they need to enter their email address and password once again.

After the registration process is complete, a product onboarding takes place. We are suggested to create a workspace, so we can work jointly with other Pitch users.

After creating a workspace, we can now invite other people to join Pitch and work with us in the created workspace.

To ensure user activation, users are lastly asked to opt for email marketing from Pitch. 

What we love about the Pitch signup flow

Email verification. Email address verification takes place after filling in the email address and it is indispensable to complete the onboarding process.

Optional social login. Displaying one-click options such as social login is a good idea in terms of user experience. Let your users choose to improve conversion rates to the fullest.

User activation. Once the registration process is complete, the signups user can continue directly to a product onboarding. Users are prompted to create a workspace and start using Pitch. This is a way of ensuring user activation by educating users about the product and its advantages.

What can be improved

Login form after signup. Users need to fill an additional form to login, right after their email is verified. Automatic login after signup is a recommendable practice, otherwise users have to repeat the action of entering their email and password in the same process. 

UX. While the onboarding process is quite short, it takes some steps to reach the end of it. Some of these steps can be deleted to shorten the way.

As you can see, every online company is different. Each of the 5 businesses we have seen tackle different issues and pursue different objectives. The key point is their onboarding forms are created in a way to address both, being completely unique

There isn’t a magic recipe for a perfect signup flow — you need to know the pains and needs of your own onboarding to tailor the perfect flow but there are guides and recommendations that will help you define and build the best onboarding flow for your product based on the type of user who uses it.

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