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Quartzy's thoughtful user onboarding flow

Quartzy is a free-to-use lab management platform and research supply marketplace for life science companies. The management software is free to use because the company earns money when users buy lab equipment and supplies through the platform (a fact that Quartzy is very transparent about).

Their user onboarding does a great job at showcasing value to new users and is full of thoughtful details.

A signup flow that’s thought of everything

Quartzy’s signup flow asks personalizing questions, allowing the company to tailor everything from the in-app experience to email communications. And as we all know, personalization is part of a great UX.

quartzy user onboarding split screen personalizing signup question

But what makes this UX particularly great is that it’s obvious Quartzy has put a lot of thought into the questions it asks new users.

In the screen below, for instance, instead of just asking users to invite any old teammate, Quartzy contextualizes that ask with clear microcopy that lets users know why they’re being asked to invite a colleague (to complete or review the order, in this case). 

What’s more, users are able to toggle their order workflow depending on how their lab operates. Details like this demonstrate to users that Quartzly really gets what it’s like to work in a lab.

quartzy user onboarding split screen personalizing signup question with toggled manual input fields

The value of each step is clearly explained by the header and copy in the left half of the screen. Letting users know the reason behind a question makes them more willing to supply meaningful answers.

quartzy user onboarding split screen personalizing signup question multiple choice

And this is a small detail, but we were really delighted by the colorful (life science themed) icons that were assigned as we added email addresses in this step.

quartzy user onboarding invite a teammate good example

The first part of Quartzy’s onboarding concludes with an option to choose which type of followup email users would like to receive (if any), depending on their onboarding needs: Setup a training session for your lab; upload your order history or inventory; create a custom acquisition form; or nothing at all!

user onboarding follow up email selection

Whistle-stop onboarding tour

After signing up, users are free to explore the product. First, they are given a very brief introduction to the dashboard.

quartzy dashboard modal welcome window

A pulsing hotspot (that looks a lot like the dots in the progress indicator from the earlier steps) and high-contrast tooltip call out each of the 3 main tabs in the dashboard.

short user onboarding walkthrough with blue tooltip tour

The tooltip header gives a super simple explanation of what each feature does, while smaller copy calls out a specific detail about what makes that feature useful.

short user onboarding walkthrough with blue tooltip tour, second step
short user onboarding walkthrough with blue tooltip tour, third step

The end

But then the onboarding tour sort of just...ends. On the one hand, Quartzy has done a great job of smoothly ending the tour on the part of their product that earns them money (the shop) in a manner that doesn’t feel too cash grabby. And their interface is simple and pretty intuitive, so exploration is easy.

Even still, when switching between modes (in this case, from guided onboarding to exploring a product on their own), it’s always a good idea to give users a crystal clear heads up.

A modal window at this stage letting users know that the tour is over and that they’re free to roam around the cabin, so to speak, would have made the walkthrough feel more complete.

quartzy dashboard shop new user experience
quartzy shop item added to cart notification tooltip

Why this is really good UX

  • Quartzy does a fantastic job of contextualizing their requests for information. Not only do they explain why they’re asking for certain information in clear terms, but they also let the user see—through subtle UI choices—that they’re truly only being asked for relevant inputs.
  • For example, if a user indicates that they themselves are the person responsible for ordering supplies, Quartzy leaves it at that. But if the user indicates that someone else on their team has that responsibility, an optional field appears in which the user can enter their colleague’s contact email. It’s clear from the context why this information is needed, and that Quartzy isn’t arbitrarily collecting email addresses.
  • The product tour is short, sweet, and focused on value. We just wish there was a more obvious “end” to this stage of the user journey—a simple modal window would have  been a perfect way to transition to the next phase.
  • It’s really all in the details. Small things—like the colorful petri dish avatars assigned to each invited email—add delight to an already pleasant UX.

Why this UX really matters

Quartzy is totally free to use. Of the 3 main features they offer—requests, inventory, and shopping—they only make money off of one (the shop). It makes sense that they’d want to direct new users to this part of their product. 

Ending their product tour on this feature encourages users to start their exploration there, and increases the likelihood that they’ll make a purchase early on. 

Go to the ultimate guide to user onboarding. Discover user onboarding definitions, examples, best practices, and resources.