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Adventures in Onboarding and User Growth

Every internet company is focused on user growth and engagement. At Tumblr, we’ve tried to measure as many of our users’ actions as possible so we can better understand their behavior and what’s working from a product perspective. From tweaking the iframe that shows up in the corner of every Tumblr blog to improving the onboarding process to educate new users about all the things they can do with their account, we collect and analyze data on how many users we’re keeping through each iteration. We use a combination of A/B testing (A/B/C/../M testing in some cases), cohort analysis, and statistical modeling to determine and quantify opportunities for growth and engagement. These analyses contribute the the special sauce we use to inform our direction for design and development. This panel will take a deep dive into our efforts and iterations in user growth and engagement.


  1. How do we segment our user base to target growth opportunities?
  2. What are the levers we’re looking at as we refine our onboarding process? What worked and how did we determine that? What was most surprising?
  3. What lessons can we share about A/B testing and cohort analysis?
  4. Once we measured the Tumblr iframe as being among the most interesting vectors for experimentation, what iterations did we try and what was the most successful?
  5. Now that we have some tools in place to quantify growth across different segments of the Tumblr user base, what comes next?



Sarah Henochowicz, Manager of Business Intelligence, Tumblr

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