In this onboarding teardown we're taking a look at Polly, the instant engagement app for Slack and Microsoft Teams. As a self-serve platform with an unpaid free trial, the new user onboarding experience is crucial. Here's how Polly onboards new users:


To begin, Polly has a clear and easy signup flow that lets new users create a free trial right from Polly’s landing page - bonus points for not requiring a credit card. The entire signup process is 5 steps, and once completed, Polly drops new users onto the platform with the Results page open. 


As you can see, this page is blank with the exception of a call to action to ‘try creating a polly’. A polly is a survey that's sent directly to a team or team members through slack.

New users could be more effectively welcomed to the Polly platform by seeing example pollys on the ‘results’ page when they’re first dropped here as opposed to a blank screen. Notion and Trello do this very well by giving new users example Notion documents or Trello boards before expecting new users to build their own. 

The first step of Polly’s onboarding process could further be improved by adding a short description of what a polly is before asking new users to create one. Since Polly allows users to sign up for free from their website, it’s likely that many people create an account before becoming familiar with Polly’s terminology. 

Once the new user clicks to ‘create a polly’, they are brought to this modal where the new user is expected to create a polly from scratch. 


This is an ambitious first task for a new user, especially for a user who’s on an unpaid trail (like I was here). This modal requires new users to decide what they want to create a polly for (with seemingly unlimited options), to write out the questions from scratch, and decide who they should send the polly to, all within their first minute or two on the Polly platform.

Polly’s blog has a getting started guide that suggests new users begin by sending ‘out a fun, casual poll to their entire organization as a test run’. If that’s the first action Polly wants their users to take, it would be helpful to prompt new users to create one of those fun, casual polls the first time a user tries to create a polly. By guiding new users through creating a simple polly just for fun, it sets new users up for small easy wins within their first log in. Little wins like these, create positive momentum that gives new users confidence to keep exploring a platform.  

Another simple first task for new Polly users could be to start from one of Polly’s many templates. New users can access templates from this pop up modal in the image above, but the templates button is in faded grey which suggests that it is not the suggested action.  If a user does find the templates button in the ‘create a polly’ modal or in the navbar, they once again land on a blank page.


However, this page does offer a description of what templates are and gives the user the option to read about templates in Polly’s documentation or they can watch a video. Both of these options redirect users away from the platform and into documentation or Youtube. It’s best to keep users in-platform and focused on the first couple of key activities they need to complete (like creating a polly) rather than directing users out-of-platform. Additionally, the template’s description is written in grey text in a grey box, and with the call to action ‘get templates’ in bright blue, it’s likely users will skip reading it. 

Instead, users could receive the information about templates first with a clip of the video that they could play right on this screen without having to navigate away to youtube. Like this:


Once the user clicks to ‘get templates’ a modal pops up with a list of templates to choose from or categories to explore.


After the user selects a template, they’re given a helpful overview of what the template is used for and the questions it includes. 


The user then has to click ‘add to my library’ which places that template on the ‘templates’ page underneath the pop up modal. After clicking the template again, the modal reopens with the selected template in an editor. 

There’s then 4 steps: Create, Configure, Schedule, and Audience









These steps are well described in each modal, and it’s clear what the new user should do at this point. This would be a fairly easy first task for a new user as opposed to creating a polly from scratch. 

It would be hard to write about the new user onboarding experience to Polly without mentioning the sparkly ‘new’ tag on top of the ‘remote essentials’ button. Remote essentials are a timely feature from Polly that helps remote teams communicate through standups, WFH pulse, employee awards, and more. I’m excited for our team at Lou to try these out. From a UX perspective, however, no matter how many times I click the remote teams button and use the new features, I can’t make the sparkly ‘new’ tag go away. It’s quite eye catching, and as a result distracting. It serves a purpose for getting the new feature noticed, but since it constantly moves, it may hurt engagement by being a bit annoying.


Instead, I’d recommend replacing this sparkly ‘new’ tag with a blinking hotspot that goes away once the user has acknowledged they see the new feature by clicking on it. 


In conclusion, Polly has a great sign up flow, and the process for creating a polly from a template is simple and easy to follow. Instead of dropping new users into a blank page that recommends they build a polly from scratch, I would recommend creating a more welcoming first experience with a clear first goal for new users to complete. Like this:

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This video shows what Polly's new user onboarding experience would look like if they welcomed new users to the platform, included helpful videos right on the page where a user would need them, and guided new users through creating their first polly from a simple template.

By implementing a guided first time user experience, Polly could expect to see more pollys successfully created and sent on a user's first visit.