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PandaDoc's quick start templates

PandaDoc built their name by allowing companies to quickly and easily create, sign, and edit the kinds of official documents that every business is swimming in. 

PandaDoc has many different kinds of users and wanted to create an onboarding process that catered to everyone. To do this, PandaDoc created a smart system where users could essentially choose their own onboarding. At every step, users are given choices that allow them the freedom to go their own way or take a more guided approach. 

For instance, when users start creating a new document, they’re asked if they want to upload their own doc or start with a template. In this case, more adventurous users could set out on their own using an upload or starting from scratch. In contrast, users who wanted more help could surf through templates to see what was available. 

This same ethos is at play in their template gallery. PandaDoc lays out their most popular and best-looking templates right away, so users who want to get started quickly can choose from the best of the best. But they’ve also created specific categories on the left side, so those people with more time can find what they need. 

This kind of design makes PandaDoc incredibly flexible in how someone is onboarded. There are no lessons or instructions, just easy-to-access templates that get people creating based on how they like to work. Instead of an intimidating blank page, users get a field of possibilities already half-made for them.

As Eugenia Brown, product manager at PandaDoc, says: 

“The biggest insight is that users like to start with something. They don't want to start with a blank document. So that's why the whole idea of the template gallery is. So if we show them the template gallery, this choice of different templates, they are more likely to interact with the application more."

What makes this #GoodUX:

  • PandaDoc employs great use of empty states. Even new users who’ve never used PandaDoc before have something to start with and don’t have to provide their own ideas or documents.
  • Putting their best designs front and center makes a great first impression on new users who are still forming an opinion of the product.
  • Keeping their onboarding flexible allows for more users to get onboarded more easily because there’s support when they need it and freedom when they don’t.