We recently worked with FitQuid, creating the UX and UI for an app which helps people to get active and earn rewards based on consistent engagement. One of the biggest challenges we encountered was how to design the onboarding process.

We wanted it to be seriously smooth, with users downloading the app, entering only the essential information and starting to explore as quickly as possible.

We went back and forth times over what should and shouldn’t be included in the flow, narrowing it down to the minimum data points needed to provide value. Then we threw an unexpected question into the mix:

“Do we really need user accounts?”

From the business’s perspective, there’s always a benefit to gathering users’ personal details – it’s by far the easiest way to understand how they use a product, for one.

However, people can be understandably reluctant to hand over their data until they’re sure something is really what they’re looking for.

So, why make them do it?

Look at the meteoric success of TikTok for example, where you can scroll videos to your heart’s content the moment you download it – no account required.

FitQuid homepage with steps and calories visual
FitQuid 'Hiking Challenges' screen
A photo of a woman meditating with text reading 'Meditate daily for an average of 15 minutes'

Getting users engaged straight away meant they’d begin earning rewards in the app in no time, which in turn would boost their engagement.

Since the app was already on their phone we already had the ability to send them notifications (obviously only if they allowed it, and sparingly at that!) without the need for an account.

The only time creating a user account really became necessary was when they wanted to redeem a reward or when they wanted to upgrade their profile to unlock more features.

A photo of the FitQuid account homescreen

By the time the user was at this point, they’d already become fans; there would be no question that they’d be happy to pass over their personal info.

We all decided that the risk of not having user data immediately was worth the benefit of immediate engagement and a much quicker onboarding process.

Questioning the things you’ve assumed you need – right up to the ‘vital’ parts – can be a powerful element of scoping your product.