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Ellevest’s approachable signup and onboarding

The folks over at robo-advisory service Ellevest disagree with Biggie: Mo’ money doesn’t have to equal mo’ problems. The company is on a mission to help close the gender-based wealth gaps and assist women in reaching financial milestones through goals-based investing.

Ellevest’s membership signup and step-by-step new user onboarding make investing less intimidating for newbie investors.

The sign-up process requires quite a bit of information. The first two account creation pages ask users for demographic information, like the user’s location and educational background. Throughout these pages, however, Ellevest explains why it’s asking for this personal information: to personalize investment recommendations later on.

The next two steps ask users to select from a list of money goals and career foci.

After users complete the goals and career section, they’re invited to select a membership plan.

Next, users can connect their new Ellevest account to their bank account through a Plaid integration.

Once the user has connected their bank account, the new member onboarding flow begins. New members can select which onboarding tutorial they want to start: their investment plan or banking setup. Users can also head to the “On-demand” learning section for access to Ellevest’s library of resources. Let’s venture down the “Start investing” path.

Each page of this onboarding flow features clean design and succinct copy about investing basics. If users want more context, they can click on the green text, and a modal window will pop up with additional information on the subject.  The following four pictures show these educational pages in action:

Customer churn is an unfortunate inevitability in business. When users wish to cancel their Ellevest membership, they’re offered a free month of the robo-advisor service.

Why we like this UX:

  • The sign-up process collects valuable customer information upfront, so that Ellevest can offer personalized UX as soon as people become members.
  • Ellevest knows that asking for so much information during signup creates friction, so it tells users why they’re asking for each piece of information and how it’ll help their experience on the platform.
  • The Plaid integration for connecting bank accounts helps remove frustration from the sign-up process. Users don’t need to leave the Ellevest platform to search for their bank account information, which likely discourages sign-up abandonment.  
  • When new members request to cancel, Ellevest doesn’t let them go without offering the gift of free services. The additional time with the product is likely to convince some members to stick around.

What would make this UX better:

  • The modals in the investing setup are text-heavy. Users may not want to stop and read multiple paragraphs, so they may abandon onboarding once they see the chunks of text. These modals would likely engage users more if they had shorter explanations and links to additional information. If users could see the content on a separate page, they could continue moving through onboarding and referencing the information at their convenience.
  • Ellevest offers little guidance for picking membership plans. With the amount of information Ellevest collects during signup, the company could potentially offer plan recommendations for new members based on their money goals.