Every now and then we do some "reality tests" on our platform: get out and grab some real users, sit down with them, create an event and sell some tickets. It helps to keep our feet on the ground.
It is worrisome that for some time we have known that our first-time users used to get lost easily. We have worked really hard to make event management as easy as possible, but in the end there is only so much one can do. As much as we wanted to tackle this, there was always something more urgent in the pipeline: lowering our fees 55%, making our landing pages awesome or making charts of ticket sales. There were good reasons to be neglecting. Well, no more.
We have introduced onboarding hints, a set of pages and tooltips on every step to help new users keep on track while creating their first event. These messages can be disabled to avoid getting in the way of experienced users.
The results have been jaw-dropping. While testing, one of our test users created his first event and completed his first ticket purchase in under three minutes. His only question was: "Already?".