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Currently in the process of desgining a mobile app in the 'mental wellness' space. Features include;

  • Journalling (w/geotagging)
  • Mood tracking
  • Affirmations recording
  • To Do
  • Goal setting/tracking

My question is...What is your preference with regards any type of app, which makes you sign up first before you can use it? As well as how do see that idea of signing up first pertaining to my aforementioned app.

I understand with certain apps such as social media platforms, the whole value prop is predicated on the user creating a profile.

My initial thoughts on it regarding my app, were forcing sign up makes things simpler and for a more streamlined, cohesive and succinct/concise user flow and user experience, however my concern was whether this will deter some people from signing up altogether and what that % of people would be. My assumption is that, so long as the app store/play store, our website, and other places our app is promoted/highlighted, can convey the value prop significantly enough then I would like to think the % drop off at sign-up would be low.

The sign-up I guess is only really a requirement should a user wish to upgrade to a paid membership/subscription plan which includes amongst other things the ability to be able to sync data across devices as opposed to only being able to store data locally/client side/on device on the free plan and track progress. Therefore the other route I had considered, was allowing people to initially skip sign-up, but coming up with a pop-up message to highlight the benefit/pros of signing up.

I would appreciate your thoughts and any constructive advice you could offer.

Many Thanks

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A few years ago the company I worked at did a usability study of an app to test this exact question.

In one test it was required that users provide their name, email address, and a few other metrics before they could gain access to the app.

In the second test, we gave the user a try-before-you-buy experience first, exposing them to a very small sample of the app so they could test drive it, so to speak. If they tried to open or use any features beyond the sample, they were prompted/strongly encouraged to sign-up.

The conversion rate on the second test far exceeded the first test by 57%. Customers repeatedly commented that loved the fact that they could explore the app before committing to providing any personal data.

Of course, you'd need to do your own testing to know what your app's conversion rate would be but if you don't have the luxury of doing that type of test, I would strongly suggest not forcing users to sign up.

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