#53 Apple’s Onboarding Experience

This is post #53 of my #365 day series.
Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash

My laptop crapped out on me today. It wasn’t some crummy laptop either, it was a top of the line Macbook Pro with the highest level intel processor and the maximum amount of ram (64gb) I could cram into a laptop (provided it was a few years old). My main concern wasn’t necessarily that I’d lost my “investment” on the laptop, but how quickly could I get setup with another laptop and not lose valuable time I could spend coding or designing. Thankfully I only lost a bit of work and the bulk of what I was working on was saved to the “cloud.” There’s plenty of tech writers that do their research when it comes to comparing the various Apple models and laptops, so I won’t get into the performance benefits of the M1 chip over the last generation, but I did think it was interesting to chat about my experiences in shifting over from one machine to another.

To put it simply, shifting from my last macbook over to my new one was absolutely— painless. Apple, for all of its high costs and faults when it comes to design choices these days (including a notch in their laptop design), seems to have figured out how handle transitioning from one of their machines over to a new one. That’s one of the keys to brand loyalty and what keeps consumers coming back. When it comes to the bell curve of user competencies, Apple caters to the as much of the curve as possible. Heck, after I bought the laptop at the store, I was greeted with an email that asked me if I wanted to setup a virtual meeting with one of their trainers. That experience was crazy. It’s certainly informed my design choices and client onboarding process. Apple’s new purchaser onboarding procedure is by far the best experience I’ve ever had.

That’s what keeps me coming back. Setting up a new device in the Apple ecosystem when you’re an existing Apple user is absolutely seamless. As someone who designs systems for a living, I can tell you the feeling of seamlessness requires a ton of time and investment. At this point, it feels like Apple has a huge lead over the others when it comes to the investment they’ve made into understanding end users. This got me thinking, what’s the worst onboarding experience I’ve had? Well, how much time do you have? I’m sure one of the bad experiences we all share is dealing with internet companies. I can’t believe the number of times I’ve felt like I’ve had to beg a provider to get me setup with service. These days, internet is a utility, and often times I try to get my internet service setup before I even get working water and power at a new place. It can’t be that the management has determined “We have too many clients, time to slow roll onboarding new ones.” It’s that they don’t care because the consumers don’t have a choice. There’s no real free market in an area, because there are often only 1 or 2 options when it comes to internet providers in an area. What are we going to do? Live without internet? I think not. For the tech that Apple designs and builds, there’s massive amounts of competition, so they have to worry about user adoption. At least for now. Therein lies the problem, as Apple continues to win in the consumer dominance department, it can and will care less about consumers and the products and services will deteriorate. I suppose that’s just a prediction and only time will tell.

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