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Oink vs Stamped: Two Approaches to Free Trial

I downloaded two iPhone apps this morning: Oink & Stamped. Both are well-crafted, simple mobile apps with a similar goal: to share reviews for things. Both have been getting a lot of attention lately.

Although they serve a similar purpose, the first thing I noticed is that they have a very different first-time user experience. Here are the first screens you see in each app :

With Oink, you see an intro and two big buttons to let you sign up easily through your Facebook or Twitter account. The intention here is clear: they want to get you into the app as quickly as possible.

Stamped takes a different approach, the initial message is clear though: just one sentence, and it helps to reinforce their brand: “Put your stamp of approval on the world.” After that, you can go through four well-designed slides to learn what the app does. The emphasis here is education, to explain to new users what Stamped is all about.

In my opinion, Stamped offers a better design for their introduction – but I wonder how many people take the time to go through the slides. As an application, what you want is for people to use it, and the biggest obstacle between a user’s interest in an app and getting them to actually use it is the sign-up form. Oink lets you sign up directly via Facebook and Twitter. Stamped makes you fill out this form:

It’s short, but enough of a hindrance to prevent me from signing up this morning (maybe I’ll do it later, if I remember).

Both Oink and Stamped are created by smart and proven teams, and there are a lot of interesting, custom UI patterns in both apps (I’m particularly amused by Oink’s little loading bar on top). I’d highly recommend that you give them a look, if you’re an iOS user!

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This was posted in Design.
  • Hi Shawn,

    Interesting post – I have to agree with you on Oink. The big buttons and absence of training slides is enough to keep me moving through it. When I see more than 2 fields to fill in I start to procrastinate unless I already know it’s a really great app.


  • Shawn showed this to me in person yesterday, and I’ve had to agree that it ‘seems’ easier to sign up with Oink… However instead of a quick education like Stamped, Oink lets you play around in the app and just stopping you any time you click on something you need to be signed in to do.

    Whereas in Stamped my interest in trying the app was already peaked when I downloaded it (right?) so they say, very simply, here’s what we do, fill this out to try it. With Oink I felt like they took the car salesman approach and had so many arrows everywhere to the Join button, saying “please oh please sign up”.

    I signed up for Stamped and not Oink, but of course with both the next step is to get me to actually use it haha. Also – I did scroll to learn more about Stamped… it seems like a psychological reaction in iOS apps, that as soon as I ‘discover’ that a section has a swipe I have to swipe it to see what happens.

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