Product Critique Summary
- The Noom onboarding flow violates nearly every
rule of Behavioral Design.
- Noom provides almost no concrete information about how they will help you lose weight during the onboarding flow.
- Noom asks users to invest an incredible amount of time before providing any value.
- Noom asks for intensely personal information before building any trust with the user.
Behavioral Product Critique
This is an example of a Behavioral Product Critique, also called a Behavioral Audit. The goal is to analyze a product through the behavioral science lens to better understand how it changes behavior, and how it can do a better job at changing behavior.
Hey, everyone. This is my product critique of Noom. To give you a quick background on myself, I’ve been doing behavior design focused on creating better products, more engaging and habit-forming products for 13 plus years.
At one time, I was the lead researcher in the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, where I helped create the field now known as behavior design or behavioral design. I created the first tech-focused applied behavioral science firm in Silicon Valley. And then I went on to a career creating products in Silicon Valley, but always with a behavioral science lens on everything I do.
Later, I was recruited by Walmart to create and build out their applied behavioral science team. We were the first applied behavioral science team at a Fortune 50 company. So, I think we did some pioneering work there.
What I’m going to do with this product today is walk through it step by step and just speak off the top of my head and tell you what I’m thinking, how I’m analyzing the product. I’ll tell you what I think the product is doing well and what I think the product isn’t doing well. And I’ll tell you what I would change from a behavioral science perspective.
So here we are at noom.com. Noom is… Let’s see. It says “A healthier you wherever you are.” And then there’s a picture of fruit here.
My first thought is that this is just a really bad landing page. The reason is that I have no idea what the product does. I know that the product is related to health. The product seems to be related to food, but I have no idea if the product is a meal service where I’m going to get pre-made healthy dishes delivered to me. I have no idea if I’m going to get a diet coach and get dieting advice from a coach who would work with me and help me. I have no idea whether or not this is a diet tracking application where I put in what food I’ve consumed and get information about the calories and the nutrition and get recommendations about what I should eat instead.
I just really have no idea. All the webpage is telling me is that this product will make me healthier, but it’s telling me nothing beyond that. So it’s really hard for me to get excited about this product or to move forward in the process of signing up. If I just came to this page, I’d probably leave because it’s too ambiguous and vague. It’s not giving me a sense of whether or not the product is for me.
The thing that I would change if I were to redesign this landing page is that I would speak more explicitly about how the product would make people healthier. So I’d say something like “A healthier you wherever you are…” Let’s say this app is a diet tracking application. I would say something like, “Quickly track your foods and learn which nutrients or vitamins you’re deficient in.” Something like that. I’d probably have a screenshot or two of the application showing how we would help people understand what vitamins they are deficient in. I might have a little video that would autoplay and show somebody using the application. I would do something like that because I really would want to paint a concrete picture in people’s heads of the benefit they will get and how we will help them. This landing page isn’t doing that so far. If I scroll down, there’s nothing. It’s not giving me any more information. So I just have to click continue. Let’s start the process.
It’s asking me for a demographic profile. “What is your weight loss goal?” Okay, so now I understand that this product is a weight loss product. This is news to me. It didn’t really tell me that on the previous page. “What is your weight loss goal?” Okay, I would say, “I haven’t decided yet.” “Sex and hormones impact how our bodies metabolize food. Which sex best describes you?” Okay, people may identify themselves with more than just sex and hormones. “What gender do you identify with?” So already it’s asking a lot, right? I think I just answered three questions, and look at how little the progress bar has budged.
So this product is asking us to do a whole lot without really giving us a sense of how they’ll help us, what types of results we can expect, etc. So I have to say that this is, so far, one of the worst onboarding experiences I’ve ever encountered. They’re expecting us to jump through a lot of hoops without giving us any clear understanding of how they’re going to help us, what types of results we can expect, etc. My hunch is that their drop-off rate is above 90% here. Very few people are probably completing this onboarding process, at least on the web version of this.
Now they’re asking for some personal information. Okay, it’s interesting that when you input your weight, they say, “Thanks for sharing. This is an important and hard step.” So it’s interesting that they seem to be acknowledging the personal nature of this information. “What’s your current weight?” “We don’t mean to pry, we just need to know.” Interesting, rightt? It’s an interesting data point about their user base or their presumed user base.
“Your daily schedule and routines can affect your weight. How would you describe your lifestyle?” “Okay, interesting.” “Which of the below best describes your current status? Are you at risk of any of the following?” Once again, I think that it’s a huge mistake for companies to ask for all of this information upfront, because this is touchy information, right? This is personal information. This is medical information. Most people are not going to feel comfortable just giving this information to strangers.
At this point, this app is still a stranger. I have no relationship with this app yet. I don’t know how they’re going to keep this information safe. I don’t even know if they’re trustworthy. I don’t even know if this product is really for me. I haven’t gotten into it yet. I don’t understand how they’re going to help me. I don’t understand how well done the product is. I don’t understand yet how this product is going to fit into my daily life. And yet, before I can even gauge that, I’m being asked about my health history.
And so, I think, once again, a horrible onboarding experience. From a behavior design perspective, they’re doing almost everything wrong. “Do you have an active diagnosis of an eating disorder?” Once again, asking for very personal information very quickly. “As a man in your 30s, environment can play a major role in your ability to lose weight. What best describes the area you live in?” Interesting. “Okay, I’d say a major city, so you’re not alone. We’ve helped 3,627,436 people lose weight.”
So, I think this is actually quite good. They’re basically telling you that they’re credible, that they’ve helped a ton of people just like you. They’re trying to show you that, “Hey, listen, you’re not alone. You’re joining a similar group to yourself. You can trust us.” I do think that this could be done in a more effective way because the sheer number is very impressive. 3,627,000 – that’s just a huge number. It makes them seem like an authority on the subject. But I think it would be even better if they could actually tell me how many people just like me, how many men in their 30s have they helped lose weight? And in fact, what’s the success rate of men in their 30s for losing weight? Is it like 90% of the men that they’ve helped in their 30s who have signed up have lost weight? If they could give me a little bit more information about if they could identify with me or compare me to a group I identify with, a smaller group, I think that could be more compelling.
If they could also give me a sense of the size of the prize, so they have that kind of down here in small text, right? They say “new subscribers who lost at least 2% of their original weight as of October 2021.” I actually think adding that in there is not a good idea for a couple of reasons. Number one, it just clutters up the page. But number two, that is not an impressive figure, and I think to your average user, it would be a little confusing. I don’t think people think about weight loss in terms of percent loss. I think they think of it in terms of pounds or kilograms.
So it’d be much more impactful for me if somebody said, “Hey, the average user lost 2%. Instead of saying, the average user lost 2% of their weight or something like that, it’d be better if they said the average user lost 10 pounds or something like that. So this is interesting, but that doesn’t seem to be what they’re saying.
It seems like they’re saying this 3 million figure is the number of people who lost at least 2% of their original weight as of a year and a half ago. I think probably for legal reasons, they have to put this in there because they have to tell users like, “Oh, hey, here’s where we’re getting this number from.”
But this number does seem like it’s quite out of date. It does seem like they’re defining these people as people who lost at least 2%. But I think it would just be much more compelling if instead of just throwing a big number at me here, if you said, “Hey, people like you, on average, of the people like you who actually stayed with us for at least a month on average, people like you lost blank number of pounds.”
So I think something like that, comparing me to a group I identify with, compare me to successful people, just talk about the people like me who are successful. What could I hope to achieve if I stay with you? And if I sign up for the app, that would be a lot better. So what’s the ideal weight that you want to reach? I’ll just say 148 pounds.
Great work. To help you hit your goals, using data from real new users, we will predict when you’ll hit your target weight if you follow your custom plan and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Okay, the results of the survey are not guaranteed, and new users typically lose one to 2 pounds per week.
This is actually a really cool stat here. Really cool bit of info to highlight. I would probably call this out. I would put it somewhere up here. I’d say, “What’s the ideal weight that you want to reach?” And then I’d say maybe even right below this, “New users typically lose one to 2 pounds per week.” Something like that. I just think that they’re hiding the most compelling bit of information here.
So here Noom creates long-term results through habit and behavior change. Behavior change, not restrictive dieting. Okay? Scientific reports roughly 78% of participants using Noom lost weight over a six-month study. This kind of smells like BS to me, but I’m sure that your average user would find it compelling.
I guess it’s cool they show the restrictive diet, like how you have this, like, seesaw or this yoyo pattern, whereas with Noom you just steadily lose weight in a sustainable way. Cool. Which of the below best describes your current priorities? Interesting. Okay, I’ll just add that in.
So, what area do you want to focus on in your plan? I’m going to say nutrition and building good habits. I’m very interested in seeing what advice they give about building habits just because 90 plus percent of the habit-building tips and information out there is just god awful. So I’m interested in seeing what they say there.
Having something to look forward to can be a big motivator to stick to your plan. Do you have an important event coming up? Okay.I don’t.
What is your main reason for wanting to lose weight? Please choose what is most important. Interesting.
Okay, you click “other”. Okay, interesting. I’m just going to say “actually become healthier”. Men in their 30s may need a slightly different strategy depending on their current lifestyle. Which best describes you? Okay.
This is your plan, designed to work at your pace. So, knowing you as only you can, which pace would you prefer? Once again, they’re asking so many questions before even giving me a concrete, easy-to-understand understanding of how they’re going to help me. Is this a diet tracking app? What are they going to do? Are they going to come up with a plan for me? I don’t know. Horrible, horrible, horrible onboarding flow.
Let’s see here. Sticking to a plan can be hard. Noom makes it easy. Noom changed the way I think about portion control. It changed my relationship with food. Noom users that also adopt a healthy lifestyle typically lose one to 2 pounds per week. I actually think this is pretty good. I think it’s a good idea to show me.
This guy looks like he’s in his 30s. Here’s a quote with him talking about how he had a successful experience here. He changed his relationship with food and that’s all good. So, I actually think this is a good idea to show me successful people that I can relate to throughout the process. I think that’s pretty cool. It’s one of the only things they’ve done so far.
So, lose twice as much weight with Noom versus trying on your own. Based on a study of over twelve weeks of active Noom users. Okay. I have no faith that they’ve actually done good studies on this or that their studies are well constructed and properly done. But, I think that people seem to really like this kind of appeal to science. And so, I have no doubt that a lot of people find that compelling.
So, here, I’m going to enter in this. Okay. The last weight loss program you’ll ever need. We predict you’ll be 148 pounds by May 22. That is super compelling. I like that. I’ve lost 20 pounds to date, and I think Noom is going to change my life forever. That’s super cool. With Noom, there are no bad foods. I can eat what I want as long as I’m smart about it. This is fantastic. I’m surprised they didn’t tell me this earlier. They didn’t put anything about this in, like, earlier in the onboarding flow. There are no bad foods. I can eat what I want as long as I’m smart about it. That is something that is very compelling.
I’m just a little surprised by that. They didn’t give this information to me earlier. In my mind, it’s so compelling to be able to tell me that I’ll be the way I want to be by a certain date. I feel like they could have told me upfront, or maybe after one or two questions, much earlier in the onboarding flow. They could have said, “Hey, if you follow our plan, you will be 148 pounds by this date. Do you want to move forward?” And then, if I want to move forward, they can ask me all the hyper-personal stuff, like about my health conditions and other things.
My hunch is that they probably believe they need to ask all these really personal questions in order to give me a credible estimate of when they’ll get me to my desired weight. But actually, I think they could ask two or three quick questions on a single screen, rather than having it one question at a time. Even on the homepage, they could just have two or three multiple-choice questions where I could input my weight, desired weight, and age. Then they could say, “Hey, we’ve worked with people like you. We predict we can get you to your desired weight by this date. Are you interested in learning more?”
That’s the onboarding experience I would have created. I think it would be a lot better. It would have a much higher conversion rate and get people a lot more excited.
But for whatever reason, they’ve decided to create this really bad, long onboarding experience. Let’s just skip to step two through six.
Behavioral profile quiz. Very interesting. Let’s check it out. Actually, let’s find out what kind of weight loss approach will work best for me.
My behavioral profile will help them better understand how I’m thinking about my weight loss journey. Okay, this is kind of a cool UI. I think it might be a little confusing to some people, though. It’s busy and has a lot on the screen, but it’s an either/or ipsative type of question format.
So I want to reach a lower weight or change my lifestyle to a healthier one. Drag the slider towards the statement you agree with most. She’s the one you agree with more. If neither, choose the one you’re closest to agreeing with. Okay, so they’re saying you have to choose a side. You can’t just leave it in the middle. Okay, cool. So I’m going to say let’s just do this. That’s actually a nice animation. I think they’ve done a good job here.
Achieving my weight goal is important for progress in other areas of my life. Doesn’t affect other areas of my life. So it’s only ten questions, it looks like. So I would love my body the same no matter my weight more if I were to achieve my weight goal. Okay. Interesting. I think about my weight all the time only when prompted by something else. Okay. Interesting. The biggest barriers to achieving my weight goals are external temptations or internal temptations. Interesting. So weight loss/management is my ultimate goal, a means to a different health goal. Interesting. When it comes to working toward my weight goal, I feel constantly motivated or my motivation goes up and down. Okay.
Good health is having energy and vitality or not having health problems. A weight loss program could teach me something new and probably wouldn’t teach me anything new about how to lose or maintain my weight. Okay. Interesting. When it comes to weight loss programs, I need one to reach my weight goals, or I don’t need one and can figure out how to achieve my weight goals.
Analyzing your profile. Peak performer. You put in the reps, now see the gains. The addition of some healthy psychology could keep fitness fun and prevent you from stagnating while staying fresh. Next steps will build on your behavioral profile by understanding what a happy weight might look like for you. Okay.
How long has it been since your ideal weight? Have any life events led to weight gain in the last few years? Not really. Which of the following weight loss programs have you used in the last twelve months? None. Have you attempted any of the following in the past to help lose weight? Are you currently subscribed to any of the following services? Okay.
Do you relate to the statement below? My weight has affected my ability to socialize or engage with friends and family. No. I’ve been thinking about weight loss for a while, but life is so busy I find myself putting convenience first. Interesting.
I don’t relate to this, but I’m going to say yes to see if that impacts anything. I know what I should be doing to lose weight, but I need a way to do it that fits into my life. It’s an interesting statement.
How busy are you on an average day? Articles in several medical journals describe the results that new users have achieved. This is pretty cool, actually. I really do like the scientific credibility. I think it would be a good idea to translate it into a pound figure, like “the average new user loses blank pounds in blank time,” or “the average numb user loses blank pounds,” right? Something like that. 5% of their weight. I think basically nobody thinks about their weight loss goals in terms of percentage of their weight. So I think it’s just not a relatable statistic.
Okay. I think this is kind of cool just to show me that, based on my answers, they’re saying instead of the 22nd or whatever the date was, that I can get it by May 7 based on my answers.
Do you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies? I do not.
In addition to what you eat, how often you eat can impact your metabolism. Which of the following best describes how often you eat in a typical day? Really depends.
Does it come to you to have more alcoholic beverages? No.
When do you feel an urge to grab a snack? I’d say late at night. What typically triggers your urge to snack and nibble? Hunger.
Do you relate to the following statement? No. Yeah, I guess so. No, not really. I do disagree with this, but I’m going to say this because I’m interested in seeing how it impacts their plan for me. Restrictive diets often fail, creating a yoyo effect. Okay, cool. That’s common knowledge.
Noom is based on real psychology. It’s based on behavior change. Change your relationship with food and only ten minutes a day give you daily articles that focus on learning, not dieting. You can still eat your favorite foods. Nothing is off limits. We help you track green, yellow, and orange foods based on caloric density. Interesting. Okay.
I do think they’re doing a good job of selling the service here. Unlock health benefits of just 5%. A newer mission is to help everyone lead healthier lives. Losing just 5% of your body weight can reduce your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Okay. I do not have that.
I don’t have any back issues. That would be cool. I’m actually just going to put in two random gyms just to see what happens.
Are you subscribed to any of the following apps? I’ll say skip. No. I do wear a Smartwatch. I’ll say that I wear an Apple Watch and a Fitbit. Do you own a scale? I’ll say yes, I own a basic scale. Okay.
So now they took another, it looks like they took more time off. Okay, interesting. We think you can hit your goal earlier now and still keep a healthy pace. Okay, cool. Interesting.
Okay. You should know what we’re all about. Let’s see if we can show you something new. Interesting. Okay.
How has your motivation to lose weight changed over time? I’m sure that’s true for everyone. Interesting. It’s very interesting that they’re asking that and forcing you to give an answer.
When I’m at a happy weight, I’d love to feel more energetic. Sure. Let’s see. Interesting. Let’s just say these two, I’m interested in seeing what they say.
We’re really glad you shared, Jason. Your concerns are normal. But the good news: Noom’s curriculum digs into what works and what doesn’t for you so you can build on your motivation and habits and hit your goals. I’ll say, this is just a bizarre, weird question.
Interesting. So they’re trying to get you to add somebody as an accountability buddy. I’m assuming they worked with a horrible behavioral science consultant who told them that accountability is super important, and so they’re just jamming it into the application.
I’d be surprised if anybody really adds an accountability buddy. It’s just weird. I think that weight loss is probably a very personal thing for most people and kind of embarrassing, so I just don’t see the probability of somebody adding in a friend or a family member or somebody they know as an accountability buddy to be quite small because I think most people are embarrassed by this thing.
I also think it’s weird that they’re asking you to add an accountability buddy before you’ve signed up for the application and even experienced the app at all. The average user will have no idea whether or not they’re going to stay with the application or even what the application does at this point.
They’re speaking in very vague, high-level terms like, “Hey, we’re going to educate you, we’re going to change your psychology, we’re going to help you develop new healthy habits.” But I still have no idea how they’re going to help me do these things. And so it’s pretty bold to ask for that up front and just suddenly bring in an accountability partner. I don’t know. I think it’s a poor decision.
I think that Noom is just getting really bad advice. Or they have product managers that read some article about accountability being important and so they’re just trying to cram it into the experience even though it doesn’t really make sense at this point and it’s kind of off-putting.
How motivated are you to reach your target weight? Okay. Feeling hopeful? What else do you want to explore? Interesting. I’ll say behavior, stress, brain. Let’s see what they say about these things. Let’s learn more about the role.
Man, it’s already been like half an hour. It’s like a never-ending onboarding flow. It’s crazy. Do you relate to the following statement? “If I can manage my stress, it would make my weight loss journey more successful.” Probably everybody would agree with that. I wouldn’t disagree with that. My weight affects my self-esteem and the way I feel about myself. Approach my health holistically? Sure, why not? Interesting.
Okay, so they’re just trying to upsell at this point, right? They’re just trying to get you to say that you’re stressed so they can upsell you into more stuff. But once again, they’re doing this all prematurely, right? I haven’t even gotten into the app yet. I have no idea how they’re going to help me. I have no idea.
I just think they’re trying to, in a certain sense, they’re trying to… most users are just going to want to get through an onboarding flow. They’re just going to want to get through as quickly as possible. And so I think a lot of people are just going to click the big button at any given point.
Right. I think that what they’re just trying to do is they’re trying to get you to opt into as many add-ons as possible during the onboarding flow just because you’ll probably forget about them and they’ll just be added to your bill, and then you’ll just be charged for the app plus these add-ons in a recurring fashion after some trial period, I’m guessing.
Yeah, once again, it’s a little strange, I think, to ask for all these add-ons and things like that. Okay, so they want us to set a goal in addition to our weight loss goal. What’s a goal you’d like to achieve with the program? Their psychology-based approach is based on identifying thought patterns and building new habits. They want to understand how we already think about weight loss so they can better personalize our course. Great. Grapes are the smarter snack, but aren’t raisins just dried grapes? They’re water; they help you feel full faster. Okay, cool. Great. Scientific studies have shown that daily weigh-ins promote long-term weight loss. When is the best time to weigh yourself? I guess first thing in the morning. Okay, great. They’re doing a little education, I guess. That’s fine.
People who successfully refer friends and family can lose weight 32% faster during their Noom program. Sounds like it could be some BS. I don’t really trust this stat, but they’re really pushing hard for you to invite people, right? You have the accountability partner thing, you have the refer-a-friend thing. So I think they’re trying to growth hack like crazy.
Would you like to gift two free weeks of Noom to a friend or family member? Be part of the 12% of Noomers who can benefit from faster weight loss, and you’ll get a $20 Amazon gift card when they sign up. So this is actually a pretty bad idea to do. They’re basically telling you that almost nobody invites a friend or family member, only 12% do. So they’re basically saying the normal thing to do is to not invite a friend or family member, and that you’re kind of weird if you invite a friend or family member. So they’re shooting themselves in the foot here, and they’re also just being too pushy, I think, overall with this onboarding flow. So overall, just poor decision making here.
Where did you hear about us? Interesting. I’ll just say friend or family. Cool. No, this is pretty cool, actually. I think these screens are kind of nice where it looks like they’re doing some important analysis for you and they’re making you think that they’re doing work for you.
This is probably based on the work of Mike Norton from Harvard. He’s done a bunch of work on, I forget the term he uses, but the basic idea is that if you show people the work you’re doing for them, they appreciate the results more. Because it’s, “Oh, look at we’re doing all this work for you. We’re analyzing your demographic profile, your weight loss goals, your history, your eating and nutrition.” They’re actually customizing and tailoring the program to our specific needs.
Their system can calculate information in half a second or a second or two, but instead, they’re forcing us to wait and they’re showing us all the work that they’re doing for us.
So the basic idea is that by doing this, you can make people more confident or happier with the results that they get back. But it’s all a mirage, right? This is just done for persuasive purposes.
Do you eat at roughly the same time for each meal every day? No, they’re adding some extra questions in here, making it seem like they need this information for them to complete their analysis.
Okay, are you typically on your feet or sitting? Anything to say? I’m sitting most of the day. Understanding behavior change.
Okay, some employers offer Noom as part of employee benefits. Your organization may be eligible. Interesting. Okay, so obviously they’re trying to start some enterprise or B2B program. Interesting, but it might be within your power to make it happen. I think that this is just spammy growth hacking. It just doesn’t come across well, but it’s pretty intense.
Let’s see. So Noom may be eligible for reimbursement under your wellness, education, or other benefits from your employer. Okay, cool.
Welcome to Noom weight. Based on your answers, Jason, you’ve created a personalized plan designed to get you to your desired weight of 148 pounds and build healthy habits. So as you can see, they just keep pulling down the estimated time it will take for you to get to your weight. By April 8, we predict you’ll lose 8 pounds or 5% of your body weight. Okay, cool. We believe that we can help you lead a healthier life. We are confident that together we can get you there and offer a weight loss guarantee.
If you go through your full program and don’t lose weight, we offer your money back, trial fees included, with no questions asked. I think this is a compelling sales point because guarantees, in general, are quite impactful. If you’re telling somebody, “Hey, listen, what you want is your weight loss goal, I’m 100% confident I can get you there or else I’ll give you your money back.”
But the problem with all these guarantee programs is that they always say something like, “You have to go through the program,” right?
So with Noom, they’re probably going to make you log in. You have to log in every day, read all the articles, and do other activities within the application every day or every couple of days. And if they don’t see that you’ve done all those things, then you won’t get your money back because you haven’t gone through the program. It’s like saying, “I guarantee you’ll lose 10 pounds if you go running every day for the next two months.” But in order to be eligible for the weight loss guarantee, you have to go running every day for the next two months or you will not be eligible for the refund. The chances of going running every day for two months are basically zero for almost anyone engaging in a weight loss journey because most people fail at weight loss journeys. It’s a difficult problem for people for a variety of different reasons. My hunch is that you’re basically required to go through all these activities in the app to be eligible for that refund. In theory, their application is supposed to change our behavior or get us to psychologically develop in a way that increases the probability of us losing weight. I’m pretty skeptical that they can actually do that.
Now they’re doing this “choose your price” thing, which is kind of like the Radiohead thing they did back in the day where you could choose your price or donation or choose the price to pay for their new album. They say it costs them $10 a day to offer a seven-day free trial, but you can choose your price. Then they’re trying to make it seem like a charity where if you give a certain amount, you’re helping another person who needs it, subsidizing their trial. It’s an interesting idea, but I doubt it really works. It just seems like they’re making things unnecessarily complicated. However, they want to get our payment information so they can auto-charge us after we forget that we signed up for the product.
Okay, so my two-month personalized course is to lose 10 pounds by April 23 and continue developing healthy habits to keep the weight off after reaching my goal. They want me to feel healthier. Then they have some time restrictions, so they’re trying to create urgency. They’re showing me this cute little graph, 50 cent trial, two months. So it’s $65 or something a month, $14 a week. They want me to add in this mental wellness course pack for $50.
So I’m billed on March 11, unless I cancel beforehand. You can cancel the trial anytime. They’re adding in some more credibility here. Okay, cool.
Let’s see. Once again, I still haven’t seen how they’re actually going to help me. They haven’t given me a hint of what the app is like, what my daily experience will be, or what kind of plan I will receive. I’ve only been able to read a sample article. I haven’t seen what the dashboard looks like, and I don’t even know what my daily activities in the app are going to be. Overall, this is one of the very worst onboarding experiences I’ve ever seen.
I think what I’ll do is this video has been going on for a long time, 45 minutes already, but I’ll probably do another video. I’ll sign up for Noom and do another video looking at the core in-app experience. But I will say that thus far, they’ve done a very bad job, and I think that they probably have an extremely low conversion rate with people starting the sign-up process and finishing it.
I have no doubt that everybody who is not motivated to lose weight has already fallen off by this point. So the people that sign up for this application, for this product, are going to be the most motivated people possible. In order to go through a 30-minute onboarding process for a weight loss product, you have to be very motivated to lose weight. This has to be something you really care about.
And so I think that their stats, if they’re basing all their studies and all their stats off of the user base that has signed up and made it through this onboarding process, those statistics, those success numbers are going to be extremely skewed. Because basically, they’re screening out everybody who’s not in the top 5% of motivation to lose weight. They’re only letting into their product, into their application, the people with the highest probability of following through and doing what it takes to lose weight.
Because everybody who wants to lose weight, but where it’s not a necessity for them, is going to fall off during this onboarding process. So their user base is going to be very abnormal. They’re going to be very different than the normal adult population. They’re only letting in people that really care about this problem. And if you think about it, it sounds like they’re only letting in the most motivated people possible.
And still, the results aren’t that impressive, but they’re not terrible either. The weight loss percentages that they were reporting before, I would need to read more into how they’re conducting these studies, etc. But to me, it sounds like if you let in a ton of highly motivated people into your gym, you’ll have impressive weight loss statistics because these people are willing to work hard and lose weight.
Therefore, I’m skeptical that Noom is doing much to help people lose weight. It seems like they’re just taking credit for their users’ hard work and effort. Nonetheless, I’ll do a follow-up video on this. This is just my general take on the Noom onboarding experience.
In general, I think a much better experience would be to ask for current weight, age, gender, and then show people how quickly they can reach their weight loss goals and how Noom can help them do so. Give them that information upfront, and then have them answer questionnaires and psychology surveys, etc. Don’t force users to go through a lengthy onboarding trial or make them wait several minutes after answering questions to get that information.
So, I think Noom could do a much better job of getting users into the app faster so that they can understand how it can help them on a daily basis. There are so many missed opportunities here.