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Ecosia’s motivational onboarding

Ecosia is an alternative search engine that uses its profits from ad revenue to plant trees across the world. It’s a direct competitor to Google and positions itself as the green alternative to the more ubiquitous search engine.

Because most people choose to switch to Ecosia for altruistic reasons, Ecosia’s onboarding focuses heavily on keeping people motivated when making the switch. They do this by reinforcing the idea that using Ecosia will be easy and that your choice is making the planet a better place.

When you download the Ecosia extension for Chrome, you’re greeted with a screen geared toward motivating new users to take that next step and search with Ecosia. It includes:

  • A header that cheers you on (“Congratulations!”)
  • Two reasons that using this search engine will help others (restore the planet and empower communities)
  • Instructions on how to make Ecosia your default search engine

Once you hit “Start searching,” your next location is their homepage, where you’re greeted with a familiar-looking search engine search bar and a constantly increasing count of how many trees Ecosia has planted.

Finally, on the search page itself, You get a banner that’ll take you to a tree-planting update from Ecosia and a counter in the top-right corner that tells you how many times you’ve helped plant a tree by searching on Ecosia.

What makes this really good UX:

  • Ecosia doesn’t waste time teaching in their onboarding (they assume most people know how to use a search engine). Instead, they focus on motivating their users to make the change from Google to Ecosia.
  • Ecosia designed their search engine to be familiar to users, so it’s easy for them to switch from their current search engine to this one.
  • The tree counter that’s always active in the top corner helps remind people why they made the switch in the first place—to help the environment.