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#deepdive 06: Lens Protocol

Let's see how Lens Protocol onboards users as they claim their handle.

👋🏾 Hey, Michael here! Welcome to another edition of Building Crypto, where we deep dive into different crypto products and explore how they use different product principles.

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Lens Protocol is a user-owned, composable, and decentralized social graph. Anyone can build an app on this social graph and it becomes accessible to everyone with a Lens profile.

The success of Lens and the apps built on it demonstrates the power of a decentralized social graph. But its onboarding also demonstrates the issues a social protocol needs to handle:

  1. The target user for the protocol is a developer. But as a social graph, you need consumers create profiles to be the nodes of the graph. The success of the protocol is dependent on your ability to attract and retain both developers and consumers.

    1. As a consumer, you don’t care about being a node on a graph. You care about the value that you’re going to get by being a node. That means the most effective onboarding is not protocol focused, but product focused.

    2. As a developer, you care about how easy it is to build on the graph, and what kind of reach you can get. That means quality developer tools, documentation, etc.

  2. You need to onboard both types of users. But each target user has different needs in the product and onboarding experience. Building and maintaining both is hard.

  3. Setting up a profile is a core part of a social product. But that doesn’t mean you need to set up every part of the profile during onboarding. Remember, the goal of onboarding is to get users to the “aha moment”. Setting up a profile is not necessarily the way to do that. Determine what’s a necessity and what is optional or can have default options. Only have users define what’s necessary and move on to get users to their “aha moment”.

Deep Dive

Below you’ll find annotated screenshots of most of the onboarding flow for the protocol as a consumer, with details on what’s working well and what could be improved.

Getting to Lenster, you finally start to see the value of your Lens profile, the different types of follows, DMs via XMTP, and more. Everything you did in onboarding becomes valuable here. The problem is the disconnect between onboarding and the actual user experience. You want onboarding to really be an integrated part of of the user’s product experience. It increases the likelihood of users getting to the core product experience and actually continuing to use it, which is the goal of every product.

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