Onboarding Suggestions

I have spent the past 3 days trying to figure out how to use Anytype and I think a large reason for it was that I completely skipped the onboarding. Why?

  • Saw a million things in the sidebar which was what I didn’t want to see and prompted me to want to delete everything - which I did.
  • I was hoping your YT had a video on what each of the basic terms meant. It did not.

This is probably a nightmare for someone who is making the app to hear, but it’s the truth. I am just a dumb idiot user.

But I am also a dumb idiot user that really believed in the functionality of Anytype so I decided to just grit my teeth and learn how to use Anytype, tooth and nails. It also bothered me that onboarding was… the way that it was so here are my general suggestions for it:

  • Less items in the sidebar, it makes it feel like the space already belongs to someone else and isn’t my own
  • Maybe having an example dashboard there and some help documents in the favourites section will be a good way to start
  • Favourited help documents being How to use, Glossary of Anytype, Example Objects & Types, Collections and Sets (putting all the example objects, types, collections and sets into one document so the favourites section doesn’t look cluttered and the user will understand the difference of how it looks quickly)
  • use gifs instead of videos for the tutorials - figma from memory does this but i remember other apps that also use this method and make it very effective to learn the function of what they’re teaching you very quickly

I also put together an Anytype page example of how to explain the important functions to the user:

Notes on this example & further recommendations:

  • pages under the glossary can then be an expand to the full documentation and explanation of each term
  • even though this page basically has all the documents in the favourites bar, maybe you can expand the explanation in the different documents. For example for under glossary document you can have a toggle of the term with the full explanation instead of just a short sentence of the function. You can also put the rest of the objects/sets/collections you put in the sidebar into the example documents page instead
  • For the example gif, use a very generic thing that your users are most likely using the app for. I would imagine this would be a daily journal page or project and not something like a recipe organiser; however I am not making Anytype and haven’t been bothered to research what people primarily use it for so I’m really just speaking out of my arse here, but hopefully you get the point. Use an example that your users are most likely using this app for. I personally used it to organise my journaling, tasks, language learning and ideas
  • Have a YT video for each basic function (eg. Video on what an object is, video of what a type is, etc.). Figma also does this and it helps so incredibly with their onboarding process.

I hope this didn’t offend you and I am earnestly trying to give constructive criticism here. Also I am a dumb user, so if any of the info I used in the screenshots are wrong or is missing too much info, feel free to change it how you see fit. Or maybe you think I’m just totally wrong and that’s fine too lol.

Hope this helped with making the onboarding process easier and I look forward to the amazing stuff Anytype can do in the future. :slight_smile:


Hi @jewlz! I was in a similar situation as you when I started using Anytype, I deleted everything and started fresh. I agree that the terminology is initially frustrating, especially if you come in with expectations from using other apps like Notion.
Your sample pages make a lot of sense to me, really great order of steps to take! I hope your suggestions are incorporated into updated onboarding.