First-time user experience (FTUE)

Synonyms: ftue, ftux

First journey people take with your product is the key to make a good impression, let them understand what problem the service can solve, and increase the user retention. First-time user experience (FTUE) is the concept you should focus on if you want to make all these things happen.

Term Definition

FTUE is basically the idea about the product that the user gets in the first 5 seconds of the experience after finishing the registration flow. Home initial page is the first thing the user is going to see, so it can be worked out and structured according to all the recommendations you may find in this article. Excellent FTUE design can reduce users’ cognitive load, hence increase satisfaction with the service.


The most important thing here is to lead the user through the onboarding process to the so-called «Aha» moment when the user realizes what is the core functionality of the product and how it can make his/her life easier.

FTUE Questions

Designing FTUE should probably start with answering 3 important design questions:

  1. Where am I? Users should be able to identify on what step of the flow they are located now and what is the page functionality here.
  2. What can I do? You may give the users a hint on what they are supposed to do here and an opportunity to make some actions to go further in the onboarding process.
  3. Where can I go? Action buttons and roadmaps can be helpful here: you should make clear what can happen on this page and what are the perspectives after finishing or skipping the process.
Workly Dashboard by Filip Justić

FTUE Principles

You can also use some principles below to make your First-Time User Experience nicer:

  1. Do not distract the user with overlays and tooltips for the first 5 seconds. It is crucial to let the users realize where they have landed.
  2. Check if the content and actions are relevant for new users. People should understand what you are talking about.
  3. Value first. While creating the copy for your FTUE screen try to think what value users can get from your product and explain it to them.
  4. Probably the most important side of the initial page is a well-thought navigation. Make your design structure clear as well as the way to orientate for the user. Hereof goes the next vital rule:
  5. Try to offer the next recommended steps. As we already discussed, users should understand where they can go from this page to explore the product.
  6. Make sure that the user feels safe on this page. If you request some personal information don’t forget to mention all the data is secured.
  7. First screen is a great chance to enhance your brand identity. Don’t be afraid using your brand visuals or providing a good description of what your company and product are about.
  8. After all, just don’t make it overcomplicated. This page should help the users, not overload them.


This was a short dive into the First-time User Experience topic. You may also make a little reference research to find your individual way on how to implement these rules to your product design.

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