Designer. Co-founder of Previously @ Thanx.

Redesigning Cyber Dust Pt. 2

In Part 1, I mainly discussed about the behaviour of the app when you already have friends on Cyber Dust. But newbies also need some love so here in Part 2 I'll be going over some suggestions on how to get them using the app.

Introduce a Simple Walkthrough


As someone who just downloaded the app I want to learn more about why I should use it. Currently the app mentions  "A better way to message", which in my opinion is not a very enticing opening argument. Also the "New User/Login" part feels like one clickable button which can be confusing. 

For my redesign I introduced a simple walkthrough right on the first screen, which outlines Cyber Dust's benefits. The copy that I used is far from perfect, but I think Cyber Dust should emphasize on being a "worry-free" messaging platform. A Get Started button is locked on the bottom so a user can go straight to creating their account whenever they're ready. 


Current onboarding user flow

Current onboarding user flow

I think the current app does a good job with keeping the onboarding process simple. I especially like how the Next button only shows up when all the above fields are correctly filled. 


I compressed the sign-up flow to two screens. The first screen asks for email, username, and password. I chose not to include the line that says "Every spoken word isn't recorded why should your texts be?" because at this point the user is already signing up - no need to give them any further justification. I also removed the Birthday field because that can always be added in later on the profile screen (assuming that wasn't originally there for age verification).

The second screen brings up a Connect with Facebook button. I think its a good idea to get users to Connect with Facebook early on so that as soon as they are done signing up, they can find friends who are already on Cyber Dust. Also I think its a good idea to include a blurb on this screen about how Facebook will not have access to messages sent on Cyber Dust cause you know, privacy. 

*The Connect With Facebook is an optional task and the user can just press Next if they wish not to.

A Warm Welcome

In Part 1 I showed my design of a populated home screen. However lonely first time users don't have any friends or existing chats. Its time to give them a warm welcome. 


Currently the app displays a button to invite people if the Friends list is empty. I agree with this and I think that the button should stay until a user has about 3 friends.

For my design I thought of ways to make this screen feel less lonely to first time users. Part of my solution is to include a friend by default, "teamdust". In addition a new user should see a chat initiated by teamdust, with perhaps a welcome message inside. This achieves two things: First, it makes the app more inviting and lets the user feel as if they can reach out to a member of the Cyber Dust team at any time. Second, this lets the new user experience how conversing on Cyber Dust works right off the bat. Both very important! 

Also did you notice the little "5" notification next to the menu button? Hmmm whats that? Well hopefully it entices the user to press the menu button, which brings up the following screen (it won't always say "5," by the way).

A Segue Into Adding Friends

The app currently shows "Cyber Dusters Who Added Me" in the address book section of Add Friends which doesn't make much sense. However I think its useful to show who as added you, so I introduced a "Suggested" tab. 

On this tab it shows suggested contacts based on Facebook or Address Book friends using Cyber Dust, or other Cyber Dusters who added you. One thing I noticed the other day was that the app never prompted me when one of my friends joined Cyber Dust, so this Suggested tab would have been very useful. 

The "5" next to the menu icon on the previous screen correlates to the number of Suggested contacts. A first time user who Connected with Facebook during the Sign Up stage would see numbered notifications if the app detects that a friend they know is on Cyber Dust. 

These are my designs for inviting Address Book contacts and adding people via Usernames. I don't have a design for Facebook as it would work similar to the Address Book tab. For inviting friends from the address book, selecting a name brings up a popup where the user can choose to invite by email or text message. 

This concludes part 2. I hope these suggestions present the app's value proposition in a more effective way to new users, and also create a more comfortable environment for first time Cyber Dusters to connect with others. 

If you would like to chat more about the designs, tweet me on Twitter, Email me at, or Cyber Dust me (?) at jasonli.