Matt Kursmark
Senior Product Designer, Square

Square’s onboarding serves up more end user empathy

Onboarding with a new team can be overwhelming. There are piles of materials to review, unfamiliar processes to learn, and teammates to meet. Not to mention, the technical challenges of onboarding remotely like connecting to VPNs, downloading certificates, production builds, etc.—it is easy to get lost in it all. That’s why Matt Kursmark, Senior Product Designer at Square for Restaurants, used FigJam to create a new, visual way to communicate the critical information a new teammate needs to properly onboard with the Restaurants product team that goes beyond traditional new hire meetings.

By using FigJam, Kursmark’s bespoke onboarding experience simplifies the process in a way that dry documents or meetings do not. What makes the FigJam file unique is that it mimics the way restaurants onboard onto Square’s point-of-sale system. This not only surfaces all of the information new teammates need to do their job, but, vitally, it helps build customer empathy from the start.

1. Make it interactive

Each new teammate receives a FigJam file with a custom onboarding flow unique to their role—be it an engineer, designer, product marketer or researcher. The file consists of a series of interactive onboarding tasks that take new hires through a journey, asking them to complete tasks in order just like their customers. Kursmark’s idea was to get users to start thinking like a new Square for Restaurant user. The first step gets the user warmed up by having them design their restaurant logo in FigJam before moving on to doing things like building and designing a menu. The simplicity of FigJam makes easy for anyone to jump right in and start creating, no matter their experience with design tools.

Zoomed out screenshot of Square's onboading file.

2. Create a dictionary of industry lingo

One thing Kursmark noticed that was missing during the traditional onboarding process was educating new hires on the unique lingo used in the restaurant industry. Rather than learning the basic product vocabulary on the fly, the FigJam file surfaces all of that knowledge in an intuitive and digestible way. And because the FigJam flow uses actual screens and tasks from the Square for Restaurants product, it requires new teammates to familiarize themselves with the industry lexicon. There are also vocabulary alerts and acronym callouts highlighted with yellow boxes that showcase how language is used within the product.

Screenshot of Square's interactive menu in FigJam

3. Open it up for feedback

New hires are required to digest so much information at once that it can be difficult to take in and internalize in a single session. It can also be difficult to find answers to questions about what users are seeing for the first time, much less remembering exactly where certain files live. The onboarding tool has a solution for those uncertain moments: Each section has a designated space to drop stickie notes with your thoughts, questions, or even product feedback along the way. That way everything is kept tidy, organized, and in one place.

Screenshot of Square's feedback area in the FigJam onboarding file