App tours and coach marks hurt your onboarding customer experience.

Cringe.

You know that feeling when you download an app or log in to a SaaS product, and you see that tour or the stupid overlay with instructions on how to use it?

That feeling you get because you have to click through a bunch of $h!@ just to get to do what you want to do?

Here are four reasons why that kind of onboarding experience blows. And how to make it better.

1. People don’t read instructions.

Onboarding coach…


I couldn’t find a source to search for country travel restrictions *and* Covid case data in one place. So, I made it.

A simple search to help people travel in a Covid world.

A little while ago I found myself needing to travel out of Thailand to renew my work permit. Under normal circumstances, I’d love to go on a trip. But, circumstances aren’t normal.

Before Covid, living in Asia was great for traveling. It was easy to book a flight on a Friday morning and be on a beautiful beach that evening, to spend a weekend for a little more than you might spend on a night out in Singapore.

Today, every country in Asia has no-entry or strict travel policies, and most require at least a 14-day costly quarantine period. …


Up is on a mission to help us make smarter life choices, as we live life.

Up helps people take control of their future by simulating models to plan for savings, homeownership, retirement, protection from financial disaster, and more in real-time. And connects you with the advice, partners, and services you need to succeed.

I had the opportunity to work with the Up marketing team to design and develop a new kind of marketing tool. One that would take Up’s brand messaging from concept to content in minutes. Not days.

The challenge.

Marketing dollars are scarce.

The Up team was looking to launch many marketing campaigns, variations of microsites, perform A/B and multivariate testing to optimize media spend, drive conversions, and lessen…


A UX project for a FinTech startup tapping into a gaming experience, inspiring people to learn, level up and share their investment knowledge.

Designing an entirely different kind of investing platform.

Imagine this.

Two long-time friends in France, all grown up now. One went into the gaming industry, the other finance. They both have a passion for technology, creativity, and a desire to invent and launch an innovative FinTech startup to help people learn about investing and manage their finances.

Back when I was running Kizmo, they approached us to do some UX-ing for a product that infused the entertainment and engagement of gaming with the strategy and thoughtfulness of finance.

Starting with user research.

Working with the founders, we established a set of hypotheses about their business model and requirements, the audience’s needs, their knowledge, desires…


A simple Python script to generate and update your sitemap.xml using Cron on Google Cloud App Engine.

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Sitemaps are useful for increasing the effectiveness of your SEO. If you head over to Google’s Search Console you’ll find a section to upload a file called sitemap.xml.

There are many ways to create this file, from writing it manually (tedious) to having one of many sites out there index your site and generate the file for you. Either of those options are fine for smaller, static websites, but what if you have a large, content-heavy site with constant updates? Well, then you run into problems :-(

But the solution is very easy.


Rethinking a bad user experience to help you and your customers win!

Forms, forms, forms. The web is full of them. For every potential sale, flight booking or new account, someone is filling out a form. Someone, who might become your customer.

Why turn them away with a bad experience?

The smallest things can help your customers in big ways.

Thinking about the experience.

In the real world, when you ask a person what country they’re from, you wouldn’t hold up a sheet of paper with a list of 200+ countries for them to choose from.

Yet, a common form field we run…


Or, “This Is My Night. How’s Yours?”

This was never intended to be an article or anything. I found myself with some extra time. I have a great playlist in my ears and a pint in front of me, waiting for a friend at a pub — who never showed up — and decided I’d jot down some random thoughts.

Be warned, chaos ahead…

You know, I’m sitting here thinking about what I have and have not accomplished today, as if that means anything to you.

I measure my life in moments. Goals set. Goals accomplished. Did I achieve my goals for the day? …


Here’s a tech-hack to squeeze out a little more juice.

A trick for Android that will save a bit of your battery (and it looks artsy-cool).

The premise.

Less colors means less battery power dedicated to rendering colors. Makes sense, right?

If you switch on “Developer options,” you’ll find a deeply buried option to switch your phone to black and white mode. This will save your battery just a little bit longer. Here’s how to do it:

Enable “Developer options”. (You only have to do this once!)

  1. Go into phone settings. (swipe down on Home screen and look for the gear icon at the top right)
  2. In phone settings, scroll to the bottom and look for the option “About phone”. …

Your audience will love you if you give them a loving UX-in-Code experience.

Tabs are great UX, but they shouldn’t get in the way of your content.

“How do we communicate our big creative message and convert sales, on tiny little phone screens — in less than 2 seconds?”

Brands need to address problems they never had to deal with before. Challenges like screen resolution, legibility, user experience, gestures, taps, swipes, and more …


Build strong relationships. Get better results. Be happy.

A couple of years ago, I left the advertising business to develop my startup, while subsidizing my income through freelance work

UX strategy for a pharmaceutical company, over dinner in Bangkok.

I enjoy living life as a “digital nomad” in Southeast Asia, working on a range of projects from ad campaigns for brands, to UX/UI design, to product development and programming.

My clients are amazing.

We’ve done great work together, created great products and experiences, and through it all have developed mutual respect, and even friendships, that will grow into long-term business relationships. All the same, like most life choices, freelancing has its pros and cons.

TL;DR Freelance life is all about Time v. Money.

We all get caught up in our work…

Michael Lisboa

Hi, I’m Michael. Brand strategist, Creative Director, UX specialist, Startup founder, TechnoCreativeologist, and really good guy. https://www.michaellisboa.com

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