As a product leader, you know the innate value behind your app, but how are you ensuring that your users recognize that value? It takes critical thinking and strategy to lead users to what is called an “aha moment”.

An aha moment is when your user identifies and understands the value of your product or feature. It might sound like, "So THAT'S how it works!". An aha moment is a sudden insight, comprehension, or realization that connects your product and its usefulness.

This experience doesn't only feel magical for the user, but it positively impacts companies too. A user who reaches the aha moment is more likely to be retained and have a higher lifetime value. As a result, knowing how to get your users to the aha moment is the secret sauce to any well-designed and impactful user onboarding flow.

Aha Moment Example

aha moment example founder

I recently signed up for Typeform, an online survey tool, to send surveys that would allow me to learn about our users’ experience. I decided to try Typeform because I thought it would make it fast & easy to send surveys.

When I signed up all I had to do was enter an email and password at which point I was immediately able to start building my first survey. The first small aha moment I reached was when I found a survey template that matched what I was looking for, and I was able to quickly personalize the survey to fit my requirements.

I found value in being able to create a good survey in a fraction of the time that it would’ve taken me to create it on my own. Next, I sent the surveys to my users & waited for their responses.

The big aha moment came when I logged back into Typeform a week later and found valuable data & insights from the survey results. Receiving helpful survey responses was the big aha moment because it proved to me through first-hand experience that Typeform is a fast and effective way to get feedback.

Once I reached the aha moment of gaining valuable insights from my first survey, I shared the results with my team. Typeform utilizes a freemium model, and I quickly hit the limit of surveys I could send. Lastly, I upgraded to a free account and made it all the way through Typeform’s onboarding flow from signup to upgrade.

Identifying big and small aha moments

It's important to note that there can be multiple aha moments in your product. Sometimes, users must reach smaller aha moments (like when I was able to send my first Typeform survey minutes after signing up) to be able to make it to the big aha moment (like me receiving valuable responses to my survey).

Small aha moments illustrate enough value to your user to motivate them to keep moving toward the big aha moment, which typically links to conversion metrics. For example, in a freemium model, users could decide to upgrade to the paid version, or in a paid model, they could decide to renew their contract for the next month.

One famous big aha moment is Facebook’s 7 friends in 10 days philosophy. Facebook's aha moment occurs when users add 7 friends in 10 days. In a little over a week, Facebook users should understand the value of their platform, and Facebook’s aha moment became measurable. The early product and growth team at Facebook then optimized the onboarding experience for getting users to the aha moment of 7 friends as soon as possible.

How to get users there fast

Helping users reach their aha moment quickly is essential since users will only continue to invest in your product if they find it useful. Slack found that for users to begin seeing value from Slack, they have to first invite other team members. Then when a team sends 2,000 messages, they’ve really tried the product and 93% stick around as customers. For a 50 person team, they tend to hit the 2,000 messages mark in their first day, and new Slack users typically invite their team during their first log in. If users don't immediately see your products' value, they will simply move on to the next option.

Here's how to get users to their aha moment quickly:

  • Limit friction and steps before reaching the aha moment, and ensure the journey from signup to “aha” is as short as possible. If you require users to add too much information or go through too many steps, they're likely to get fatigued and stop before recognizing your product's value.

  • Place the aha moment early in a user's journey, preferably during their first login and onboarding tour. If you can wait to ask them to complete additional steps after they experience your product's value, they're more likely to stick around.  

  • Implement product tours to assist in streamlined user onboarding. Interactive product tours can show, not just tell, your users where and how they can find value from your product.

Different users might have different aha moments

Your user base may have different "aha" moments if the user experience and feature set is tailored to different users or permission levels.

To continue with the Typeform example, after I sent my first survey, I invited my Head of Product to the account so that he could view the results. For me, the founder & first person creating a Typeform account, I first had to reach the mini aha moment of sending the survey before I could get to the big aha moment of seeing the survey results. However, when I invited our Head of Product, all he had to do was join the account in order to reach the big aha moment of seeing the survey results. It would have prolonged his time to reach the aha moment if Typeform had prompted him to create a survey first, when all he needed to do was view the survey results.

aha moment example head of product

Although the aha moment was the same for both of us, we got there through two entirely different onboarding experiences. It’s important to know how the path to reaching the aha moment might differ between user segments so that you can customize the onboarding experience accordingly.

 At Lou we make the process of providing customized onboarding experiences to different user segments fast and code free. 

  • With one click, Lou's out-of-the-box segmentation groups users into these four buckets: all users, new users, returning users, and power users.

  • Or set up custom segments to personalize onboarding to any segment of users you'd like: admin users, users from company A, users in a particular location, etc.

Tracking user actions that lead to aha moments

Just like Facebook tracks every time its users add 7 friends, you'll want to track user actions that lead to aha moments to help improve your onboarding flow. 

Once you understand the user journey that leads to the aha moment, it’s important to track if and when users are reaching each step. This entire user journey to reaching the aha moment ideally should all happen within your new user onboarding flow.

In my Typeform example, they would need to track if and when the user: creates account, chooses template, customizes template, sends survey (mini aha moment), and checks survey results in dashboard (aha moment).

If you’re not tracking these milestones already, you can set up event tracking through most analytics providers like Mixpanel, Amplitude, Heap, etc. Or use Lou’s code-free goal feature to track user actions like a button click or page visit. The process takes only a few seconds and Lou can be integrated with most analytics platforms so that all of your data ends up in the same place. You’ll be able to view how effective your onboarding and training experiences are at helping your users reach their aha moments. Plus, you can quickly tell if users who took your product tours get to these moments faster than users who didn't have any in-app guidance.

Aha moments create long-term user engagement and satisfaction

Helping your users find value in your product is an incredible feat, but the work doesn't stop there. Improving your user experience requires experimentation, analysis, and the power of pivoting. Make sure to test & iterate your user onboarding process—or consider using a third-party tool like Lou that allows you to deploy in-app tours and announcements to guide users towards the aha moment with zero code required.

Ready to help your customers reach the aha moments within your product? Start creating great user experiences with Lou.