Checklist Best Practices

Whether you're new to Appcues, or a seasoned veteran, you're probably curious about a few things. What's the best way to set up a successful onboarding experience? How can your users keep track of their progress? Should it be hands-on or hands-off, or somewhere in-between?

With our Checklist, we've looked back at our experience of watching our customers build hundreds of onboarding flows for their products, and designed something that's predictable, delightful, and effective for helping users learn any product.

Want a deep dive into checklists? Check out our checklist pro webinar here!

Checklist Best Practices

There are a few things you should do to ensure you're ready to setup a successful Checklist experience: 

  • Map the landscape. Take a look at your product with your team, and determine your activation goal, and the major actions users have to take to achieve it.
  • List it out. Take the the top 3 – 5 actions new users should do in your app to reach your goal. We don't recommend more than five (okay, maybe six) items per checklist—the larger the number of tasks, the less likely it will be for users to complete them all, or even attempt to begin. Keep it as simple as possible for your product.
  • Prompt the user to learn by doing! It’s more impactful and builds user confidence. Think about how an item on the checklist can be used to engage the user in performing an action. While reading about a product feature is helpful, trying it out is even more valuable. Remember, each checklist item can either link to a new page within your platform, or trigger a new flow to further explain a feature and how to use it.
  • Track the actions. Consider the actions users must take to complete the tasks above. In order for Appcues to know when to check off the item, you'll want to send an event or update a user property to correspond with the action. We encourage you to send Appcues live user data over simply checking the item via a page view or flow completion because it will motivate users to actually complete the action vs going through the motions.
    • For example, do you hope they will 'Create a New Project' as step 3 in your Checklist? Consider sending in a 'created project' Event, or a 'number_of_projects' User Property.
  • Congratulate users as they progress through the checklist and when they complete all tasks! Learning a new platform can be a lot to take in. Offering words of encouragement keeps users engaged and lets them know that you appreciate them taking the time to explore your product.

Need help getting your checklist set up? Please reach out to success@appcues.com and we're happy to help!

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