User Onboarding — Western Digital


  • Internship at Western Digital on the My Cloud Home team
  • MCH Stays connected to a router at home, contents can be accessed from anywhere
  • Worked on mobile app UI, UX, and research
  • Customers complete setup by following the Quick Install Guide (QIG)
  • Walks through hardware setup, then invites them to download mobile app
  • PMs had the following assumptions about the existing onboarding experience:

    • People will think the onboarding takes too long or requires too many steps.
    • People will be confused by the Quick Install Guide (QIG) because it has no labels or written directions.
    • People won't know to do after they finish setup or when the onboarding process is complete. ("What now?")

The Challenge

  • Test those assumptions
  • Offer viable solutions and design deliverables
  • Support decisions with qualitative and quantitative data

My Role

  • Create and run remote usability studies
  • Brainstorm and design new iterations for both screen and physical mediums
  • Collaborate with PMs and engineers to align on product goals and vision
  • Watch and annotate usability test videos
  • Analyze qualitative and quantitative data
  • Present findings and make product recommendations
  • Generate report of the study and project

Phase 1

This exploratory research was conducted to assess the following:

  • Can people successfully set up their My Cloud device?
  • Where in the flow do people experience confusion or uncertainty?
  • Do people understand the QIG?
  • What will people do after they finish setting up their device?

This phase served as preliminary insights that informed the changes I made to the QIG and the onboarding flow.

Package Contents

QIG — Front


QIG — Back


Phase 1 Research Findings

After each moderated session, I asked participants to rate their experience based on several criteria on a 5-point scale. Here's what I found:

Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3 Participant 4
Difficulty of setting up device? [1 - Very Difficult to 5- Very Easy] 4 3 n/a* 4
Confidence of setting up device? [1 – Not at all confident to 5- Very Confident] 5 4.5 n/a* 5
Length of time to set up device? [1 - It took too long to 5 - It took the perfect amount of time] 5 5 n/a* 5

*Participant 3 could not proceed past the “Get Mobile App” screen because of a bug that prevented them from logging in. 


"People will think the onboarding takes too long or requires too many steps."

Safety Instructions

  • Has the words "Instruction Manual" in its title, which is inaccurate and misleading.


  • Step 4 made the least sense
  • Fell into one of two camps
    • They either went to the app store to search for the My Cloud app
    • They would visit the support website (the QIG has failed)

Phase 2


Will people have a better understanding of how to set up their device, how to download the app, and what to do after they sign in when using the new QIG versus the existing QIG? When using the new flow versus the existing flow?


  • Added text labels for each step to eliminate doubt
  • Modified the smartphone illustration (some participants said it looked more like a tablet)
  • Modified browser to look more familiar
  • Less real estate dedicated to the support website and legal text in order to deemphasize the help option

Existing QIG

  • Pictures only
  • Large space dedicated to support website url

Manufacturing Limitations

  • Close to release date so the design for QIG had been finalized
  • Make a case for improvements in the next generation of the device


The new QIG was 26.32% more helpful

Criteria Mean Rating in Existing QIG Mean Rating in New QIG Rating Change
Confidence in knowing how to set up device after looking at the card. [Not at all confident to Very Confident] 3.8 4.7 0.9
Helpfulness of the card to understanding of how to set up device. [Not at all helpful to Very Helpful] 3.8 4.8 1.0

"People will be confused by the Quick Install Guide (QIG) because it has no labels or written directions."


Device Discovery

After signing up for a My Cloud Home account, the browser site will begin searching for the user's device on the wifi network. When the device is successfully found, this is the flow they go through:

  • If device cannot be found on the wifi network, we troubleshoot the problem and attempt to look for the device again 
  • If the device still cannot be found, users may enter the device code manually

Existing Flow

  • Negatively-phrased copy that highlight the error in subtle ways

New Flow

  • Positively phrased copy

  • Deemphasize the failure and frame the situation positively

  • Turned troubleshooting steps into questions that users can answer by tapping through the buttons

  • Added the secondary option "The light is not on" because problem can only be resolved with a call to customer support

The following changes were made to the copy:

Type Existing New Justification
Page Title We Couldn’t Find Your Device Let’s Find Your Device Deemphasizes the error/the fact that this is a fallback option
Page Title Checking Your Device Let’s Find Your Device No need for title change between these two pages.
Body Since We’re Having Trouble Finding Your Device… To Help Us Find Your Device… Deemphasizes the error/the fact that this is a fallback option
Body …make sure your device… …is your device…? Phrases instructions into a question so people can answer by tapping the button (see next row)
Button Next Yes/Yes, Find My Device (secondary link: The light is not on) Buttons turn into responses to the questions presented. Option now available when light is not on.

Phase 2 Research Findings

The new flow was 23.68% easier to use

Criteria Mean Rating in Existing Flow Mean Rating in New Flow Rating Change
Easiness in setting up the device. [Very Difficult to Very Easy] 4.3 4.8 0.5
How closely the process matched expectations. [Not at all what I expected to Exactly what I expected] 4.1 4.8 0.7
The amount of time it took to create an account and download the mobile app. [It took too long to It took the right amount of time] 4.3 4.9 0.6

Addresses PM concern: "People will think the onboarding takes too long or requires too many steps."


"People won't know to do after they finish setup or when the onboarding process is complete. ('What now?')"

  • Key Takeaway: People will know what to do after onboarding, and no further action is required in this area.

Additional Insights

  • Of the twelve people that exited the flow early, six of them dropped off at the “Get the Mobile App” screen

  • Possible reasons (needs further testing to confirm):

    • Page looks too much like an ad (ad blindness)

    • Lack of an obvious link or button that affords tapping

  • Alternate option: Redirect to the App Store after a certain number of seconds










Change Justification
• Remove “Instruction Manual” from the title of the Safety Instructions sheet • All users in moderated tests were either confused or annoyed by the sheet due to its misleading title
• Add text labels to the QIG instructions for our next generation product
• If possible, improve illustrations
• Onboarding was 23.68% easier to complete and QIG was 26.32% more helpful, according to participant ratings
• After signup, redirect people to the App Store instead of simply providing a button • Half of all participants who did not complete onboarding dropped off at “Get the Mobile App” screen
• Framing fallback states positively by tweaking copy • Not enough participants made the distinction between fallback flow and intended flow, but they rated the new design as closer to their expectations than the existing one
• Insights are uncertain without more data and A/B tests