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Canva is an online platform that makes graphic design accessible for everyone. It offers drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics.
The idea for Canva came from watching non-designers trying to use traditional design tools. After years of development, the Canva team had built the first version of their product in late 2014.
The inevitable challenge with launching a product for the first time is not having seen how people would actually use it. So they engaged UserTesting to conduct some exploratory research and discover where they could make improvements. The insights were extremely useful. The Canva team learned just how intimidating graphic design was for many people: users were scared to click much, and when they did, they struggled to know what to do next. Many struggled to create something they loved and left feeling dejected.
The feedback was unanimous: “I’m not creative enough; it’s too hard.” It wasn’t quite the fun journey Canva was hoping users would experience. It became quickly apparent that it wasn’t just the tools themselves that were preventing people from creating great designs, but also people’s own belief that they can’t design. Users’ hesitancy to jump in and explore the platform’s potential had to be overcome.
The Canva team didn’t just need to create an intuitive, easy-to-use graphic design program; they needed to empower people who weren’t graphic designers to believe they could design.
Giving the users a great experience in the first few moments was critical to Canva taking off. They needed to change their users’ beliefs about their own design abilities and make users feel happy and confident to click around and explore.
Based on what they learned, the Canva team optimized their onboarding experience—paying particular attention to their users’ emotional journey—in order to dispel people’s beliefs that they didn’t have the talent, skills, or creative ability to design.
They created a short introductory video to help new users visualize how easy it is to use Canva and to eliminate the preconceived notion that design products are hard to learn. They also created a series of interactive challenges to help users experience small wins, build their creative confidence, and convince them that Canva was easy to learn and fun to explore.
Their redesigned onboarding process has saved hundreds of thousands of people from struggling to use their product. Within a few minutes of using Canva, people feel confident with their abilities, understand how Canva works, and then spread the word—a feat that helped Canva grow to more than 10 million users in just over two years.
The insights gathered through UserTesting inspired the Canva team to redesign the onboarding experience. The team created interactive challenges and a short introductory video to show their users how easy it was to use the platform and boost their confidence in their ability to create beautiful designs. These improvements to the user experience played an important role in helping customer onboarding as the company grew to more than 10 million users in just a few months.
"UserTesting helped us understand what our users needed on both a UX and emotional level."