One of the hardest parts of creating a new “thing” for people to use is helping the users understand what exactly your “thing” does and how its used. This is especially true when your new product or service is more complicated than something like a toaster. Everyone knows how a toaster works because they’re accustomed to such a device. If they don’t, it’s easy enough to figure out that something goes in, it gets hot, and then it comes out.
But when we are designing new technologies, web sites, web services, and software, some of the intuitive nature of the “thing” slips away. Without having something tangible to touch and play with in the physical, it makes it difficult and sometimes frustrating for the unaccustomed individual to jump right in.
With that said, we’ve introduced two new features that will hopefully help new users get the most out of their personal profiles.
New User Guide
When you first create an account, you’ve always been asked about things like when you were born and what your gender is. But now we’ve added something that should help understanding the rest of your profile a little better.
Otherwise, click to start the guide and you’ll be ushered through a series of prompts which point out some interesting and useful areas of your profile. Of course, you can always just click “End Guide” whenever you’re bored or comfortable with taking it from there.
Profile Setup Progression
While the above helper guide points out interesting parts of your profile, there’s still the lack of understanding what you should do with your profile. To help people understand and immediately take action on the most important parts of their profile, we’ve added a progression bar to the top of the profile.
By default, every profile has been “created”. As such, every user will be at least 25% complete with their progression as long as they have created their profile. Links are given to perform actions like changing your profile image, your banner, and your profile details. Each time the user clicks to complete the action, the progression bar ticks up accordingly.
When all actions are completed, you’ll see an appropriate message with the ability to return and look at the tasks or dismiss the panel forever (until you clearr your browser history or cookies).