Designing Onboarding to Build Trust in School Communities

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Heard is a communication platform for parents and teachers in the K-8 school community. They needed an onboarding experience that would build trust with parents sharing private information about their children on the internet.


Mental Roadblocks

We interviewed over 30 parents to uncover issues they had with the platform. Our main insights included:

  • Email invite did not provide enough information for parents to engage
  • Concern over sharing their child's information during sign up
  • Unclear about how Heard differed from other communication tools (i.e.- Facebook groups).

First Impressions

We explored several routes to build trust with parents on the platform. Ultimately, we decided to redesign the onboarding experience, as this was the first impression.

I sketched potential onboarding user journeys that addressed the above concerns. The one that proved to show the most success in testing is shown below.

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We created the additional screens from the task flow above to address the three primary concerns we uncovered in research.

Provide Clarity

I updated the copy in the email invite sent from teachers. The new copy clearly states the teacher, child, and school. The new template also includes branding and informs the user on the activities the platform supports.

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Build Trust

We designed two screens (invited and uninvited). The new screens emphasize that the information parents share will only be seen by their private groups and provide context for why we request certain information.

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Highlight Positioning

We introduced screens that highlighted key features and benefits. I included copy to re-iterate that parents are in control of what information is shared. We kept the text brief and included illustrations for additional branding.

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In our validation testing, we found that parents were much more confident in completing the sign up process because they knew their information was secure. Our additional screens showed parents that Heard provided them with a more intimate community than other social media platforms.

Parents who onboarded and were active on the platform found it easier to stay up to date and engaged in their child's school community.