Onboarding Towards Success

Company: Magento
Role: Sr. UX Designer (Design Lead)
Responsibilities: research, design, advocacy, and a healthy dose of product management
Duration: Jan 2017 - Nov 2017

With the Launch of Magento Commerce Cloud, Magento began offering a Cloud based Platform as a Service (PaaS) for developing and hosting their on-premise software. For the first time in the company’s history Magento was directly exposed and responsible for the successful launch of a store on their platform, a role that traditionally was entirely owned by third party agencies. Magento has just a couple of clients on the product, when I was assigned to lead the user experience of the product.

Initial Research

The goal of the initial research was to map and understand the Magento Cloud Onboarding experience from Merchant and Partner perspectives. The research sub-goals were:

Notes were summarized in a single userstory.
A report was created and presented to a number of executive stakeholders.
I also created a one-pager for wider distirbution and easy digestion. The document created reccomendations withhigh level evaluation of effort required for each solution.


Based on the research I conducted, I created a design proposal which identified opportunities of high impact yet low technical cost.
It is important to note, that at this point there was no product manager assigned to the project and I was fulfilling both duties at the same time. My main stakeholder at the time was the Cloud Director of Operations.

Proposal Focus

  1. Contextual and timely delivery of onboarding information.
  2. Removing of time-consuming manual operations (Installing ECE, collecting client technical information).
  3. Creating a continuous onboarding flow tracking client success until the project is launched.

Technical Considerations/Requirements

  1. Develop a virtual container for easy setup of developer local environment.
  2. Create an SSO between Magento account system and the white label PaaS service.
  3. Automatically provision the core platform code, as part of provisioning a PaaS Project.
Design proposal presentation

Proposed Onboarding Workflow

The proposal captured the entire customer flow, from lead generation to site launch.

Overview flow diagram.

Lead Generation and Sales

The proposed flow outlined the need for a progressive lead generation. For example providing Merchants with a quote in exchange for more lead qualifying information vs. a low friction process of signing up for a webinar.
NOTE: In the following months we ended up developing an automated trial experience, which as a sales person pointed out generated leads “hotter than hot”.

Proposed lead generation diagram.

Project Provisioning

Part of the proposal was ensuring automatic provisioning of the Magento platform code upon sign up. This was rarely an issue for experienced developers (the go to feedback for most of the product managers) but a big pain point for developers new to the platform.

Proposed automatic provisioning diagram.

Role Specific Onboarding

A key part of the onboarding workflow was creating role specific onboarding for all personas involved in the process: developers, merchants, and internal roles.

Proposed onboarding flow diagram.

Vision Prototype

It is hard to get an executive buy-in for a feature only based on user experience and usability gains. To ensure a buy-in we build our recommendation into a vision prototype to show both an ambitious direction as well as future business opportunities. The vision was well received. The company CEO also even presented the prototype to the partner board.

Main developer view
Main client view
Post-launch maintenance.

Product Planning and Team Building

After an executive buy-in we received the resources to hire a product manager and began forming a development team. Once the team was complete we were able to enter a proper Agile process. To this point I was managing most of the project planning, knowledge base, research, and goals.

Whiteboard planning/ideation session

Iterations and Prototypes

Wit the new team we went through a number of new design iterations and experiments that we were now testing with users.

Early design mimicking the Google Account Management dashboard. It had to be scrapped after it did not test well with users.
Merchant onboarding during the trial process V1.
Creating an experience for non-technical users, especially for a very technical product was a difficult challenge. Some of the iterations we somewhat "experimental".

Stage One Release

After we reached a point of confidence we set on a final design that we were ready to release to users. We decided to build on a new contemporary tech stack that would allow us to scale for future growth of the application.

Final design for Stage 1
Final design for Stage 1
Final design for Stage 1
Final design for Stage 1

Next Steps

We are using the current feature as a foundation to build an enterprise level service experience. Some of the key areas of development are: better role specific experience. Increase tools for both customers and internal teams. Expand complexity of account permission model (allow users to build teams, assign roles and access). We have identified key metrics that we are measuring and drawing conclusions from.

Thank you,

I am looking forward to being in touch:

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