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Thinkific's jump-in, jump-out onboarding checklist

You’ve never designed an online course, and you’re not a coder, either. But you’ve got ideas to show (and sell to) the world. Where to begin? 

One option for aspiring course creators is Thinkific: a learning platform that helps users build, scale, and monetize info products like courses, communities, and memberships. 

Thinkific makes it easy for users to create online education businesses, no technical chops required. But Kris Chichak, Thinkify’s Customer Marketing Strategist, says course creators still need to get a lot done before reaping the reward of freshly enrolled students. 

“(New course creators) must have a sales page, they must have a payment provider connected, and they must have some sort of a product published,” Kris says. 

With the foundation laid, creators can set on what Kris says are the true activation metrics: enrollments. Kris says creators that register at least 5 enrolled students in their first 30 days are more likely to stick around—so Thinkific’s onboarding is designed to help creators reach that goal faster.

One of the vital elements of Thinkific’s onboarding is the checklists that populate in creators’ dashboards when they first log in. The checklists, which include built-in educational content, reflect some of the high-level jobs a creator might want to get done upon landing in the product for the first time. 

“The checklist really guides (new users) through everything we’ve seen successful early creators do,” Kris says. 

It also helps creators avoid some of the common pitfalls of building their first course, such as spending too much time focused on the content instead of validating the idea with an audience first. 

The easy-to-use and visually pleasing checklist generates a different list of jobs to be done for both course creators and community builders, guiding them from the early stages of content creation up to the finishing touches of launching and selling their products. 

“It highlights the critical jobs, and doesn’t include anything that’s not important,” Kris says. 

Of course, checklists only work if users like them. For Kris, it’s why the videos Thinkific builds into the onboarding checklist are a huge part of its success. 

“Having a video that sets the context and explains things a little bit more long-form than we’d be able to in the product copy—it helps them feel like, ‘OK, this isn’t crazy, this is something I can do,'” Kris says. 

What makes this #GoodUX:

  • The use of progress bars inside each checklist module gamifies the experience and gives users a sense of tracking toward a goal. 
  • The jump-in, jump-out nature of the checklist makes it easy for users to get help when they need it, without forcing more adventurous or experienced users to jump through hoops on their journey. 
  • The freemium option allows users to experience the value of creating their first course or product in Thinkific without commitment.