Proper onboarding is just a small tweak away

Product: Narrative

Hello Team,

When we share great content from Narrative on Facebook, Twitter, etc... and some of our followers come to read the content on Narrative, if they try to upvote or comment, see the signup form, and give up, they are unlikely to try again next time.  The decision - that their desire to vote or comment is not worth the time of a potentially lengthy sign up - will tend to endure.  We are squandering the social networks of our active users.  This is not a renewable resource.  Every time someone new comes here and decides not to sign up, we're frittering that resource away.

I propose a very simple change to the sign up flow that should significantly increase the conversion rate (leading to more sign ups and more interaction on our content).


a) If the action that lands someone on the sign up form is an attempt to vote or comment, display a form that is focused on new signups, rather than on existing users. 

The current form is a sign in form, with a tiny link at the bottom that says "Not a member, Register now!".  Invert the use of real estate on the form.  Rather than devoting 90% of it to signing in, and 10% of it to signing up, devote 90% of it to signing up with specific language for new users.

Yes, some old users who are logged out will reach this repurposed page because they tried to vote while signed out, but they will be much more likely to push forwards with the sign in from the small link, than someone who has never used Narrative before is likely to sign up if not properly greeted.

b)  The copy for this signup form should be along the lines of:

"Choose your Narrative name, and join the conversation!"
Perhaps with subtext of "On Narrative, your upvotes and comments reward the content you love, and Narrative rewards you for your quality content"
Anything that efficiently accomplishes the goals of:
  • - being welcoming/inviting
  • - giving the impression the sign up is very simple and quick
  • - reminding them why it is worth doing
We are currently doing NONE of these things.
As a second step, it would be good to also have a welcoming, upbeat graphic on this page, but this is not a roadblock for the initial improvement release.
c) The other option is to redesign the form into two columns: one for new users, and the other for existing users.  Equal share of real estate, rather than 90/10, and placing the signup column first.
Please reconsider the blanket decision to do no small updates until you have reassessed the entire platform. 
The Community is painfully aware of the many small updates that are needed regardless of how the platform might change, and your decision to not address any of those over this long stretch of time can lend itself to very negative interpretations.  It leads to the suspicion that you expect you might stop developing the platform entirely, which pours cold water on the significant efforts some of us are still making to contribute to the platform.  This suspicion is exacerbated by the sense we all had that you had understood how important communication was with the Community, especially during this period of change - if despite that understanding you choose to not communicate, and not update: the message received is that the ship may be going down.
Thank you for your time.
Original Post

Activity Stream

Amen, amen, and amen.

My current lack of activity on the platform is borne of deep depression (I'm not going to hurt myself, just so no one worries about that) and my psychiatrist's instructions to only spend energy on things that rejuvenate my soul. Narrative is soul-sucking these days, and I only come to read specific links on Discord that look interesting. Looking at the Home Feed is fucking depressing, and I've stopped voting on everything in my feed to curate since doing so resulted in me dropping two rep points literally overnight, when it's taken months to gain even a single point. New visitors must think this is just a big joke.

Listen to @Malkazoid, because he knows what he's talking about.

Excellent suggestion, @Malkazoid. That form is likely to be hit by newcomers, so it makes much sense to prioritize new users. That form is what separates a reader from being a member, so it's not a detail.

And, of course, we have to hope that they land on the promoted link only and they soon register, because if they look around before registering...

Excellent suggestion @Malkazoid

It's baffling no team members  are actively on here giving updates and assuring the members that "better days ahead".

Lack of communication, assurance, updates on platform among other things here are forcing me out, cancelling my investment and moving Publications elsewhere. (already deleted Audi Mag).

The only logical explanation to me  is it's over." Because seeing this flushed down the toilet would cause me to be on this platform 24/7 to right all the wrongs.

Looks like December will be "the month of change ", unless over the next weeks MAJOR CHANGES ARE MADE.

@MOLLY O posted 11/14/2019 about the assessment.  No updates since. 21 days.

Silence must mean The Assessment concluded, bail from Narrative!

Thanks again for posting suggestion!


I have had similar feedback from the California Writers Club members who have gone to read some of my fiction...they'd like to vote, but are not wanting to go through any lengthy vetting process and the pop up is not very inviting or informative.  Most folks do not want "yet another membership".  If we welcomed them and made it easier for them to know how much is involved, some (not all) would convert.  

Another important side note to consider adding to the registration form is to assure new members that no personal information is required.

People these days tend to become more wary sharing their name and address on random websites. Narrative could benefit from advertising its privacy compliances some more.

Colleen Ryer posted:

Making sign-up opportunities super inviting  - great suggestion @makazoid Just wondering - aren't the CAG calls monthly?

Hi @Colleen Ryer - yes, CAG calls were meant to be monthly, but the Team cancelled the November call in an announcement they made a while back.  There is a report on the missing call queued up for publication on The NRVE! - I'll link to it here for you when it is published.

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