Update: Creating a Seamless On-Boarding Process

In my original design of Cancerlife, a patient or caregiver had to “email an invitation” to each of of their loved ones. As a private social network dealing with healthcare data, having a search capability was not an option. Over the last 3 years as we tested and got feedback from our users, the engagement data was okay, but just okay. Also, we got some feedback from users who consistently said “the system doesn’t work” when we asked them why they stopped using it. This was one of the main reasons why we have waited so long to launch Cancerlife to the masses.  Deep down I knew there was something wrong. either with the code itself or design. I had to keep digging.  The online surveys and emails were not enough, I needed to meet my users and look them in the eye. Thankfully, three of my “dissatisfied” users will willing to meet me for coffee last year.

After 10 minutes of me thanking them and telling them my whole vision for Cancerlife and how there feedback would help “change cancer care forever”, we discussed the issues were having. Shelia, a 70 year old women with ovarian cancer spoke softly and said “My family never got the invitations” and so I just “gave up”. Then the two others chimed in and said the invites were “probably in your spam folder.” This was the mystery that was finally solved…in this type of situation if one person does not get an invite they complain to others that it “doesn’t work” then the whole value of the support network comes crashing down. When I got home I spent and hour finding articles about spam filters from Gmail, Yahoo and AOL and I was shocked to learn that it is estimated that there are over 200B spam emails sent everyday! To combat this these service providers have very sensitive blockers including filter the words: join, invite, click here. All part of the Cancerlife invite email !

It was clear to me that if I had launched Cancerlife using email invites, I would have shot myself in the foot…for each happy user I would have an unhappy one who had the impression that Cancerlife “didn't work”. I am no math genius but this equation was a recipe for failure. My instincts were right…we needed a new way.

THE ANSWER: Facebook API social registration.

In 2014 Facebook launched the Facebook social graph API. A new way to have a “one click registration” process for apps. It was this solution that changed the entire on-boarding process from days down to minutes. Friction-less engagement of apps is essential to today's world were everyone “has no time”. For cancer patients, even more so. Now, the patient registers using Facebook (a requirement today) and a loved one does the same …the system matches via API and now the patient can see their loved ones listed in the supporters list. They then simple pick a group to assign their friends too. I could not be more proud of the latest version. We are finally ready to go to market!