The 'Free Plan' is a version of the app used by those who haven't yet opened a Nude Lifetime ISA.

The ‘Free Plan’ actually began as an architectural quirk from the early days of Nude; a place for users who didn’t complete onboarding in their first sitting to ‘return’ to when they next opened the app.

Evolution of the Free Plan 2021 - 2023

Over time it evolved, first, to push users who ended up there to carry on their conversion journey, then it was beginning its journey to becoming a viable way to use the service in it’s own right, allowing users who chose not to save, or not to save yet, to have access to a wealth of information and saving tools.

Original 'Interim Home' from 2021

When I joined it was known as the ‘Interim Home Page’ and would be visible to any user who returned to the app having dropped out of the onboarding flow prior to opening an account. One single page, it performed quite poorly, with a negligible amount of conversion / usage and a slightly odd visual style that clashed with the more polished paid app.

While it had the customary Nude countdown, the only visible CTA on landing was for a competition, with the option to return to the onboarding flow quite far down the screen. A cutdown form of Learn kept potential customers from seeing the full array of content that they had access to and a somewhat confusing carousel highlighting what would be the top level nav pages for full users that while looking interactive, didn’t do anything.

The first of my free plan updates

The first update simplified this home page, a clear, punchy conversion CTA was added to the top area, which had an immediate impact on numbers of free users re-entering the onboarding flow. It also gained the full app navigation, giving them proper access to the Learn content library, then content teases for the remaining sections; Account, Explore and Ideas, replacing the original, ineffective carousel and getting the user more familiar with the layout of the fully featured app to come.

At this point we were largely focused on this still being aimed at pushing users on to open their accounts, though it retained the ability to track savings that were ‘outside’ of a Nude account from the original version, meaning a user could, in theory, be ‘happy’ to use the app in this state, though as we got proper analytics working and conducted interviews, this use case was revealed to be vanishingly small.

The second update introduced the time saved toggle

The next phase gave these users the more visually rich header image of their chosen house and solved a frustrating issue with the free app’s countdown; during onboarding, the user see’s a ‘time to buy’ based on how long it would take them to save for their home on their own, then a faster version that they’d unlock with Nude’s help. The free app countdown was the former, but with no reference to the faster, more attractive version, it was likely that the user, certainly over time, would have forgotten the difference. To tackle this, we tried a number of possible solutions, exploring how we could communicate this and what was most impactful; time saved or bonus money earned? After some experimentation with users, we brought in a toggle control that would show the difference between the two in terms of time saved, which consistently tested better than the alternative based on bonus money. Following its launch it quickly became the most engaged with element on the page and further boosted free plan conversion.

Bonus gained just didn't land as a concept over time saved during testing...

Within the product team, we’d long found the purpose of this interim / free state somewhat frustrating. It had real potential value, but users didn’t choose to end up in it, they essentially fell into it by mistake. We knew that completing all of the onboarding journey, opening an account and starting to save in a single sitting was a high barrier to entry too. What we really wanted to do was to create a viable, free product tier that could be an option during onboarding, so that we could capture more of the people who downloaded the app than just those that were ready to start saving that day.

This created a bit of a chicken and egg scenario; did we start driving traffic into the free plan, then improve it, or improve it, then start driving in the traffic? In the end we chose the latter, and set about creating a new, better experience that could both continue to improve conversion into paying users, but also be a viable, useful product in its own right.

The third update was a big step forward

This involved reworking the Home Page, we switched from the large, interventionist rip to something similar, but dismissible, which fitted better with starting to treat the free experience as a ‘valid’ one to stay in, as opposed to be constantly nudged to leave. We wanted to draw attention to popular features to ensure they were known about, if not usable yet, like Team Up. We dropped the content teases in favour of new pages that offered value and information unique to free users, derived from earlier rounds of user research.

As noted, free users had a manual savings tracker that could keep their countdown moving even if they didn’t save with Nude, a fair idea, but in reality it wasn’t used. Instead we moved towards a model of the free user being someone considering ‘how’ to save, adding a scenario calculator to the Home Page, allowing them to experiment, seeing what different amounts saved would do to their countdown. In the short term, prior to onboarding changes, we also added a welcome pop up to explain where they were and what was going on, solving a key issue of users returning to an app expecting to see the onboarding journey and instead finding this, making engaging with the free app a user driven choice as opposed to a default, unexpected action.

At the same time, the Paid app evolved along the same lines

With this work underway, the intent is for a future update to onboarding to allow users to choose whether they were there to ‘learn’ or to ‘save’ – directing users into the free plan or the account opening flow, with the possibility that the features locked behind the £2 tier will be offered to the ‘learn’ users even without opening an account.




Q2 '22 -

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