Dropbox - Streamlining Access To Shared Cloud Storage for Non-Dropbox users

Non-Dropbox users encountered difficulties accessing shared files and folders via email, leading to reduced engagement. I proactively identified this problem and prioritized this project on the roadmap. I streamlined the signup process, relocated the plan upgrade barrier, and gained buy-in from four cross-functional teams. As a result, our redesigned user journey achieved impressive outcomes: a 4% increase in Weekly Active Users (WAU), an approximate $450K boost in ARR, and a remarkable 13% surge in signup rates.
Product Designer
9 months (Jan - Sep '21)
Core Responsibilities
Product design, visual design, product strategy, user research


Accessing shared files via email is disruptive for non-Dropbox users due to intrusive prompts for payment and sign-up

In Q4 (Sep' - Dec'), our Sharing team was developing the product roadmap. To contribute, I thoroughly examined Dropbox's research documentation and discovered that non-Dropbox users access their shared cloud content at a significantly lower rate compared to Dropbox users. This also led to doubts among senders, who questioned Dropbox's reliability for delivering online files and folders.
1. Email - Users expect to go to folder
2. Signup - Users are surprised and don't see the value
3. Plan upgrade - Have to scroll to find option to skip
4. Files - User finally reaches their goal
Despite prior usability tests on the plan upgrade page, I suspected test bias. Highlighting this concern prompted further discussions, elevating the project's priority. Tests revealed the above flow was disruptive, interrupting content access. Users, based on the email, expected immediate access.


Increase speed and ease of accessing shared cloud content for non-Dropbox users while ensuring security for receivers

Spearheading the collaboration with Finance, Growth, and Onboarding & Activation, our teams agreed to split this project into two phases. Given our team's ownership, we prioritized the signup page while planning to address the plan upgrade page later.
Our goal was to simplify the signup process, ensuring peace of mind for senders and effortless access to shared content for receivers. This would lead to increased engagement with shared content, higher signup rates, a boost in weekly active users, and increased revenue from plan upgrades due to accessing files beyond the storage limit.


A faster and secure way for non-Dropbox users to access shared cloud content via email

To enhance the signup process, we rearranged the signup elements based on the majority of users signing up with email instead of Google authentication. We emphasized the free signup option and highlighted the value proposition of content security to increase motivation.
Simplifying the journey while conveying stronger value proposition
Signup page
Unclear reason for the need to sign up, friction to enter email details, and misleading plan upgrade page
Less need to scroll to enter email details + improved value of keeping content secure for all parties


$450K ARR, 12% signup increase, 4% sharing WAU growth

These outcomes were achieved after completing the initial two milestones (copy and background changes), with the final milestone (removing plan upgrade page) still pending.


Non-Dropbox users are inconvenienced by the lack of value and friction to sign up, a security protocol for private cloud content

In discussions with our engineering team, I discovered that signing up serves as authentication, verifying if the recipient's identity matches the email set in the sharing permissions for private cloud content. Since removing the signup page wasn't feasible, the focus shifted towards motivating users to complete the signup process.


Non-Dropbox users feel uncomfortable and forced to pay for Dropbox due to the option to skip being difficult to find.

We conducted 5 usability tests to evaluate the existing signup experience — starting from receiving the email to the shared content to accessing it.
Need to scroll to find option to skip

Xfn Collaboration

Initially rejected, our proposal to remove the plan upgrade page gained approval after including benefits and drawbacks

Our first proposal was declined as it lacked contextual information regarding the financial risks associated with removing the plan upgrade page. I discovered that including details about financial risks increases stakeholders' confidence by providing them with a clear understanding of potential outcomes.


Exploring how we might incentivize non-Dropbox users to sign up for Dropbox and access their shared content

I devised strategies to tease the benefits of shared cloud content and Dropbox's services. Collaborating with a Content Designer, we developed compelling copy explorations that communicate diverse value propositions for signing up (Picture TBD)


Motivating non-Dropbox users to sign up to maintain security of shared files boosts perceptions of Dropbox's reliability

Our findings, derived from 3 rounds of usability testing involving 15 participants, reveal that users prioritize immediate access to shared content over other benefits like sharing, syncing, or retrieval. (Picture TBD). It was the strongest factor in improving the perception of Dropbox being reliable. They also liked seeing the content in front of dropbox.com because it felt closer to their goal of accessing content.

Plan Of Action

Prioritizing security and user identity confirmation through signup

Collaborating with our front-end engineer, data analyst, and Product Manager, we implemented this design in multiple milestones. It was determined that for content with public audience settings, this page is unnecessary.
Milestone 1
Milestone 2
Change copy to convey need for security
Change background behind modal

Vision of the future

Creating a customer-centric experience with Dropbox prioritizing cloud content recipients.

The goal is to make accessing shared content akin to receiving free Costco samples. Users should immediately feel the value and then choose whether to invest further by upgrading or signing up. This may involve exploring options like email confirmations or leveraging technical enhancements on the back-end.


Improving my ability to influence cross-functional and departmental teams through empathy

Although I had successfully influenced cross-functional teams in the past, venturing into Finance was uncharted territory for me. Initially intimidating, I adapted by asking questions to understand their specific needs and familiarize myself with their perspective.