Wattpad’s friendly and inclusive onboarding modals

August 19, 2019
User onboarding


Wattpad is a social storytelling platform where writers can self-publish stories, and where readers from around the world can find user-generated content in the genres of their choice. 

wattpad marketing website screenshot that says: hi, we're wattpad. the world's most-loved social storytelling platform

The platform onboards new users to the community with a short and simple onboarding flow that gives Wattpad the information it needs to provide a personalized, tailored experience to each user.

Let’s take a look. 

Collecting declared data for personalization

Wattpad starts by asking users whether they’d like to read, write, or do both. This declared data helps Wattpad personalize the rest of the user experience to make it more relevant for each user. (Bonus points for clear and obvious active states like the blue outline around the selection below):

user onboarding welcome modal and multiple onboarding options for a personalized UX

Next, users are asked for a little more detail, depending on the answer they gave in the previous step. Saying that you want to write, for instance, prompts a multiple-choice question about your writing skill level, style, and preferences.

onboarding modal asking users to self select which description best applies to their writing skill level
user onboarding modal asking users to provide declared data about their proficiency

Inclusive introductions

Wattpad then takes a moment to welcome new users with a minimalistic modal window that asks them to choose their preferred pronoun. This simple question lets users know that everyone is welcome to share their stories on the platform. Inclusivity equals good UX.

welcome modal window asking for preferred pronoun with a clear active state

Finally, users are given the opportunity to browse through popular stories—providing inspiration to aspiring writers, while also encouraging them to participate in the other side of the social platform. What would make this even better: A clear CTA to start writing for users who chose the "I like to write" option in step 1.

end of user onboarding flow from wattpad asking users to browse or search stories

Why this is really good UX

  • Wattpad’s onboarding sequence doesn’t feel like data collection—but that’s exactly what it is. With a few simple, friendly questions, Wattpad collects the information they need to offer a more personalized user experience later on.
  • Users aren’t overwhelmed by a lengthy questionnaire—Wattpad asks each question one at a time and uses minimalist design, concise copy, and plenty of white space to further reduce cognitive load and make the experience feel casual.
  • Bold active states when an option is selected give clear and obvious feedback and let users know that their actions have meaning.

Why this really good UX really matters

  • A 2018 survey by Gladly found that 58% of people said personalization mattered more than speed when it came to customer service. The same principle applies to products—users expect the apps they use to provide relevant experiences. Wattpad delivers on this user expectation by using declared data collected during onboarding to create a personalized experience.
  • Being inclusive isn’t just good manners—it’s good UX, and it’s good for business. Designing for diversity means that your product will be a good fit for a wider range of users. Asking users for their preferred pronoun may feel like a small detail, but it can make a huge difference.