Creating a better onboarding experience for new team members

Creating a better onboarding experience for new team members
Dropbox Paper, November 2018 - January 2019
This project was a growth initiative looking to better increase team user activation amongst team members. The team involved two web engineers, a writer, a researcher, a product manager, and another designer. We all worked together to scope out the data, high level flow, visual design, and copy of this feature.

This design was tested leading to an increase in team user activation of 15% and increased retention of 20% and was ultimately shipped to the public.




New users in Paper teams have trouble discovering the value of Paper because they’re not able to find team content of high relevance. We believe that prompting existing team members to invite new users to relevant paper docs will lead to higher activation and better onboarding experience.

User problems

Activated users
  • Collaboration - We don’t know when people in our team is joining Paper
  • Sharing - We don’t know which docs and folders new team members can access
  • Social - How do I convince new users about the collaborative value of Paper

New users
  • Discovery - We can’t find any team content in Paper
  • Getting started - We don’t know where to begin or which docs to start with
  • Awareness - We don’t know who’s using Paper in our team


tl;dr A significant percentage of users sign up on teams where there is at least one team doc (62%).  There are opportunities to guide new users towards these docs in order to make them more discoverable.

How many 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc team users are signing up for teams? 
Most people signing up for Paper on teams are not the first user (72%), in fact 40% are the 5th or greater.  This provides a lot of evidence that there is a lot more we can do to optimize  NUX experiences for 2nd+ users.
1st User
2nd User
3rd User
4th User
5th+ User
How many existing signups come to teams with one or more public team docs? 
62% of team signups happen into teams where there are at least one doc in a Paper team folder.

Are users who join teams with more existing discoverable content more likely to activate? 
Yes, the activation rate increases by nearly 400% going from a zero team docs to a single team doc.  It increases another 50%, going from 1 to 5 public shared docs.  This activation ramp is far more drastic than going from the first user on a team to the fifth user on a team (4%→10%).
Public Shared Docs upon Signup

How often do users experience discoverable content upon signing up? 
Only 18% of docs created are added to folders.  Of these, only 25% are added to Paper team folders (5% of docs).  This means 95% of docs are non-viewable by a new user signing up for a Paper team.