What Can We Learn From ClickUp User Onboarding

While going through the registration and onboarding somehow the song of Inner circle started to play in my head - "bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do when they come for you...". Because they came. This is absolutely the best onboarding experience I've ever had. Moreover, this is the best project management tool I've ever used. From that moment I'm using it daily and I would pay for using it if they would ask me to do so.

First thing first. ClickUp was founded at 2016 by Zeb Evans and Alex Yurkowsky. They are based in San Francisco but have a relatively small and pretty distributed team (according to LinkedIn). I found this project management tool about a month ago (June 2018) when looked for new interesting products to review. For over a month I couldn't finish this review. On the one hand, the experience was so good I wanted to keep testing it and make a full review using different devices and checking of all the UX things. On the other hand, the experience was so good I didn't want to find bugs and be upset about it. Eventually, I didn't. Maybe someday.

In this post, I would love to guide you through ClickUp's registration and onboarding flows. This is a short review mainly focusing on registration, first impression and getting to the "aha" moment. I'm not checking errors prevention and recovering from errors, onboarding emails sequences and so on. The goal is to see how ClickUp is dealing with one of the biggest issues every SaaS company is facing and what we can learn from it.



Cognitive walkthrough

Here is the list of steps I need to take to sign up and create my first task.

  1. Click on a "sing up free" button

  2. Enter email and click "Get ClickUp"

  3. Enter my full name

  4. Choose password

  5. Click on the "Play with ClickUp" button

  6. Go to gmail

  7. Open email

  8. Copy verification code

  9. Go back to ClickUp page and past the code

  10. Click on "Let's do it"

  11. Upload avatar and/or click on "I'm happy so far" button

  12. Choose colour and/or click on "I'm happy so far" button

  13. Integrate (don't cover this one) or click on "No, thanks" button

  14. Select team size (selected "Me & others")

  15. Change team name and/or click "Next"

  16. Enter teammates emails and click "I'm done"

  17. Choose team's avatar colour and/or click on "I'm happy so far" button

  18. Click on "Let's do it"

  19. Change work space name and/or click "Next"

  20. Select features and/or click on "Looks good" button

  21. Select statuses style

  22. Integrate (don't cover this one) or click on "No, thanks" button

  23. Import tasks (don't cover this one) or click on "No, thanks" button

  24. Click on the "Play with ClickUp" button

  25. Click on "+NEW TASK" button

  26. Add and save the task

As a user, my goal is to see, as quickly as possible, how ClickUp can help my team to manage projects more effectively. But ClickUp is one of those products that succeeded in making it fun. So, I forgot what was my goal and was all in playing with the product.

Let's take a look at the process.

Sign up

Have to say that the homepage is not impressive. It looks good but in a very standard way. It talks a lot about features and that they are number one. I don't really care. Didn't even read it. Everything changed when I clicked on the sign up button. It's something different and very smart. Suddenly there is almost nothing on the page. Just a short motivation message saying those magic words "free" and "in seconds" and an arrow pointing to the email field.

From the first glance, those are very standard sign up screens. But the devil is in the details. The button on the first screen says "Play with ClickUp". I'm not signing up or saving something. It says "play" and as a result doesn't sound like a big deal.

Lovely email verification screen. One thing I would suggest here is to add the verification code to the email subject. That would avoid from me to open the email.

Profile setup

There is only two way to make a good form - make it short or make it fun. That what TypeForm did in 2012. They reinvented forms and made long forms fun and engaging. At each step, you're wondering "what are they going to ask me next?". Now imagine TypeForm that looks better, more engaging and fun. It's hard, I know. But that's exactly what guys at ClickUp did and it works like magic. I don't care how much time it will take and how many questions they are going to ask me. Because I'm not trying to skip it, I'm playing with the it and having fun.

Look at those buttons - "Let's do it!", "I'm happy so far", "No, thanks". Not just "next" or "continue". They really thought about the texts, and it does the job.

Team setup

I've recently made a review of Monday. I love this product and the team behind it, but there was one thing that freaked me out - I chose that I'm a team of one, but I've got "invite teammates" screen anyway. Why?

Most companies ask you how big is your team for internal usage. And it always feels like they will care more about bigger companies. There is nothing for me in this question. They just want to know.

That's not ClickUp does it. Very visual checkbox asks me if "it's just me" or "me & others". Depending on my answer, I'll go through an appropriate flow. I don't have to select my team name if I have no team.

Work space setup

Even though the form does explain what they mean by saying "space", it is something that I don't know how to deal with at the moment and how my decision will affect me. As a result, it's a bit confusing. But since they predefined it, I clicked enter and kept going. I would suggest rethinking this step.

Next screens not just giving you the option to choose the features you want, but it shows what you can do. Now you know that you can set priority, add time tracking, tags and estimations. That's smart.


ClickUp also shows that it has integrations with GutHub, Slack and others via Zapier. It's good, but honestly, don't think it an appropriate timing. "No, thanks" button saved the situation. Anyway would suggest rethinking this step.

But what is really impressive is an ability to import my tasks from Asana, Trello, Jira or Todoist. That (once again) so obvious thing that almost no one is doing. There is a huge chance I'm already using something. Of course, I cannot migrate without migrating all the data. I remember talking with Tony Russo (Polydone founder & CEO) about that problem. I'm shocked most products don't have this feature.

The product

It starts with an example project and tasks. The goal of those tasks is not just to show non-empty state, but to show features like tags, assignments, due dates and so on. When you click on a task, you'll see a short (7 steps) onboarding.


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What can we learn from ClickUp sign up and onboarding flows? The list is too long. Big companies better rethink how they are dealing with the problem and start working hard on their onboarding. Because ClickUp is here and this is the best experience I've ever had.