Reduce friction by providing default options

FreshBooks FreshBooks onboard


Freshbooks provides users with a default web address during onboarding to reduce the mental effort required to create one from scratch.
a screenshot of the onboard flow explaining how to Reduce friction by providing default options

Business Outcome

Onboarding Completion Rate

Increase the percentage of users who successfully complete the onboarding process and start using the product.

Behavioral Outcome

Reduced Cognitive Load

Minimize the mental effort required from users during onboarding by providing default options, making the process feel easier and more manageable.

The Behavioral Science


Defaults are pre-selected options that take effect if the user does not actively choose an alternative. People often stick with default settings due to inertia, cognitive ease, and the implied endorsement of the default as the recommended option.

By providing a default Freshdesk web address, the platform leverages the power of defaults to streamline the onboarding process and reduce user effort.

How It Works

During the onboarding process, Freshdesk automatically generates a default web address for the user's account, in the format "". This saves the user from having to come up with a custom web address themselves.

By providing a pre-filled, functional default, Freshdesk reduces the cognitive load on the user and makes the onboarding process feel more manageable. The user can simply accept the default and move on to the next step, rather than getting stuck trying to create a custom web address.

The default web address is framed as "your own" Freshdesk, giving the user a sense of ownership and personalization over their account. The copy also positions the default as making it easier for customers and agents to remember, highlighting its benefits.

How It Might Backfire

Lack of Customization

Some users may prefer a fully custom web address and feel limited by the default option. It's important to still allow customization for those who want it.

Undesirable Defaults

If the default web address is confusing, hard to remember, or doesn't align with the user's brand, they may be less likely to accept it. Ensuring the default is clear and professional is key.

How To Test

A/B Test

To test the effectiveness of providing a default web address, run an A/B test comparing the onboarding completion rates and time-to-completion between a version with the default and a version that requires users to create a custom address.

Usability Testing

Conduct usability tests to observe how users interact with the default web address and gather qualitative feedback on its perceived value and ease of use. Do they accept it readily or do they seem confused or frustrated by it?

Frequently Asked Questions

To enhance a product-led growth (PLG) model using FreshBooks's onboarding tactic, implement default options during the user signup and initial product setup process. By providing pre-selected choices or suggested configurations, you can reduce friction and cognitive load for new users.

This approach allows users to quickly experience your product's core value, which is crucial in a PLG model. Focus on creating defaults that are relevant and beneficial to most users, such as a default web address in FreshBooks's case. Ensure that the option to customize is clearly communicated, striking a balance between ease of use and flexibility. This tactic can lead to increased onboarding completion rates and faster time-to-value, key metrics in product-led growth strategies.

To improve conversion rates using FreshBooks's onboarding tactic, implement smart defaults in your sign-up or checkout process. By providing pre-filled options or suggested configurations, you can reduce the cognitive load on users and streamline the conversion funnel.

For example, you could pre-select the most popular plan or pre-fill form fields with logical default options, similar to how FreshBooks provides a default web address. This approach can significantly reduce form abandonment and increase completion rates. Ensure that the defaults are clearly beneficial to the user and easy to change if needed. Remember to A/B test different default options to find the most effective configuration for your specific audience and product, optimizing for higher conversion rates.

To optimize your website using FreshBooks's onboarding tactic, implement smart defaults throughout the user journey. This could include pre-selecting filters on product pages, suggesting default search parameters, or pre-filling forms with the most common responses.

For example, you could provide a default configuration for product demos or trial sign-ups that showcases your best features. Use clear, benefit-focused copy to explain why the default option is advantageous, similar to how FreshBooks frames their default web address. Always ensure defaults are helpful and easy to change. Conduct user testing to identify areas where defaults could reduce friction and improve the overall user experience on your site, leading to better website optimization.

To A/B test FreshBooks's onboarding tactic, create two versions of your onboarding process: one with smart defaults (version A) and one without (version B). In version A, provide pre-filled options or suggested configurations, while in version B, require users to input all information manually.

Randomly assign new users to each version and measure key metrics such as onboarding completion rate, time-to-completion, and subsequent product engagement. Track user behavior within each version, noting how often defaults are accepted or changed. Complement this quantitative data with qualitative feedback through user surveys or usability testing to understand the perceived value and ease of use for each version. Analyze the results to determine which approach leads to better outcomes for your specific product and user base.

FreshBooks's onboarding tactic improves user experience by reducing cognitive load and making the process feel more manageable. By providing a default web address, users don't have to expend mental effort creating one from scratch, which can help prevent decision fatigue and keep users moving through the onboarding process.

This approach gives users a sense of ownership and personalization by framing the default as "your own" Freshdesk. Additionally, it highlights the benefits of the default option, such as being easier for customers and agents to remember. By reducing friction and making the onboarding process feel smoother and less overwhelming, this tactic can significantly enhance the overall user experience for new users.