Evernote Onboarding


Evernote is a productivity company focused on providing people with a "second brain" where they can store and access notes and artifacts.

The Project

In 2017 Evernote was seeing some increasing drop off during the onboarding phase. To address this the growth team set out to explore experiments to improve engagement rates.

The Problem

Improve user retention metrics as well as allow users to better discover key features.

My Role & The Team

Lead designer alongside 1 PM, 1 designer and 5 engineers from 2017-2018


The previous iOS onboarding experience revolved around an education carousel that mentioned everything one could do in Evernote.

Initial user research and data showed this had high drop-offs and confusion. Especially around the first two pages

User sentiment

Along with auditing and grabbing data on the existing flow we also conducted 6 user research sessions to further gain perspective. For these participants we targeted people who never used Evernote before and primarily take notes on their phone.

Few key insights we got from these sessions were things like:
- The formatting options are better then the competitors but may be hidden
- There are a few key usability issues that are leading to frustration and dropoff.
- Evernote is appearing to complicated and as a result leading to dropoff.
- Features hoping to find are not being presented promptly, for example reminders or the camera.


Improving the authentication experience

One of the first areas started to improve was the authentication experience. We wanted to simplify the visual design and also look at to where we can add a little more delight.

In this example shown you will see we started to explore a carousel idea that introduces value props early on.

Exploring various education experiences

Outlining "in note" journey maps

After playing extensively with various concepts and journey maps, collectively felt best to pick one approach for now and test as a new baseline. Given the tooltip approaches lightweight behavior, we felt it was the best direction to go with as a baseline.

Exploring various education experiences

Accomplishments & Learnings

Goals achieved

3% lift in newly active users 
2% lift in 2nd day retention
Introduced a more flexible and lightweight education framework that can easily be scaled from

Lessons learned

Onboarding is one of the touchiest things you can work on. Make sure you do as much research as possible to understand audience, pitfalls, and much more.

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