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gearo onboarding experience

Company overview

My Role is Germany’s & Austria’s largest sharing economy rental market place for imaging equipment such as cameras, lenses & drones. The marketplace is a completely custom-built platform both design and code-wise.

• 20k+ verified Users
• 25k+ equipment-ads (worth €40 mio. )
• ~400 transactions/month.
• Co-Founder (Biz-Dev, Fundraising, Talent Akquisition, Campaign creation & execution etc...)
• Concept
• Prototyping
• Implementation Management
• Dev Team Management
• Refinements
• Testing / QA
• UX / UI Design
• Data analytics

Short summary

This project aimed to improve the onboarding experience and the conversion rate for, a large sharing economy rental marketplace for imaging equipment in Germany and Austria. The issue was that new users were not successfully converting to customers, with a significant drop of 72% in verification and completion of profile information and only 11% of all registered users making a transaction. Through surveys and analytics, I found that users had issues with accessibility, overwhelming amount of data and trust issues.

My approach to solve this problem was to conduct pattern research, creating a design template for a consistent style and conducting a design sprint for faster development. I was able to identify the root causes of the issues and then implemented solutions such as giving the user full control, reducing cognitive load and providing moments of success in the process, giving explanations and reassurances on sensitive data and providing progress tracking.

As a result, I was able to increase the conversion rate of new users to paying customers by 29%.

| Situation

New users are not successfully converted to customers

Despite the constant growth rate of registered users on gearo, I noticed a significant drop of 72% when it comes to verification and completion of profile information.
This results in a total of only 11% of all registered users making a transaction!

Due to the very expensive equipment rented on gearo, the complete verification of your profile is a mandatory step to be able to rent equipment from other users. This requires uploading your ID or passport in addition to entering sensitive data such as your name, cell phone number, and banking information.
Through surveys and analytics software, I found that users had a lot of issues with this process, including three key problems:

Keyproblem 1:


On mobile, users needed to navigate through the menu-button to find the input-fields that might be incomplete.

Keyproblem 2:

Overwhelming amount of data

All needed input-fields were displayed at the same time, which seemed like a painful and time-consuming task to complete.

Keyproblem 3:


Since there was no explanation as to why sensitive data was needed and what it would be used for, the website did not appear trustworthy - a major problem for a platform whose business model is based on trust.

At what point is the required data collected?

The platform consists of numerous microservices that have been iteratively designed and added throughout the development of the platform, each serving different user needs. In this case the user-onboarding should be integrated right after the initial registration as it serves as the first personal interactive experience between user and platform.
So how do I start?

| Approach

Pattern Research

To get a better understanding of the proven current mental models used in collecting meaningful data, I conducted research on about 15 other platforms.
I noticed which patterns were frustrating, and which were successful, clear and trustworthy.

Design Sprint

I created a design template that gave me the ability to design at a faster pace with a consistent style. This allowed the front-end department to create a modular template and we could develop quickly.
Since we had about 25 new signups a day, the best way to validate our assumptions was in a real-world environment. This way I could get valid market feedback as soon as possible.

| Solution

How the key-problems are addressed

1. Improved Accessibility – Giving the user full control

To make it as easy and seemless as possible for the user to verify his account, the onboarding session starts directly after the sign-up. The user has the possibility to skip this for now through the button „Mache ich später“ which enables him to further use and explore the website and its offers.
In case the user skipped the onboarding it automatically continues where he left, whenever he indicates an action where verification is required, like renting out own equipment or renting someone elses.

2. Cognitive reduction & moments of success

To reduce cognitive load and make the onboarding process seem easy and fast, the user only has to enter one or two pieces of information per screen. By combining the moments of success of checking off screen after screen with a progress bar at the top, the user constantly knows that he is in control and can easily assume the time it takes to complete the process.

3. Building trust

Adding an explanation of why the specific data is needed and what it is used for in a short and easy to understand paragraph makes the user feel guided and secure.

| Conclusion

Verifying assumptions

To confirm our assumptions, I continued to track the proportion of signed-up users, fully verified users and users, that were converting after the release of the feature.

The results exceeded our expectations:
31% improvement in drop-off rates and an 29% increase in transactions.
As a positive side-effect, customer-complaints by new users decreased to almost 0% since they were now guided throughout the process. 

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