Why Nylas Is Built For Developers: Introducing a Better Onboarding Experience

Learn why Nylas overhauled its developer onboarding, workflows, documentation, and pricing to make developers’ lives easier and help them move faster.

A better developer onboarding experience

Welcome to Nylas’ enhanced developer onboarding experience. Today, everyone has access to a brand-new dashboard. Teams can now build, test, and scope out their projects for up to 5 accounts with Nylas for free. Developers can experience Nylas’ easy-to-follow quickstart guides, reducing the hassle of integration while increasing speed and productivity. 

Our early signals indicate that, on average, users are experiencing an 83% decrease in the time it takes to build a proof of concept (PoC) with Nylas. What’s more? Around half of our users have a PoC up and running within one day

Now that you can see the impact of a streamlined developer onboarding experience, let’s dive into why product onboarding is so important, where we came from, and how our team revamped the whole process in just five months.

Why is product onboarding important?

For developers, a seamless onboarding experience is crucial. Onboarding is one of the first touchpoints a user has with your product, and this step can either build customer loyalty or cause friction and frustration and, ultimately, lead to churn. 

A well-designed developer onboarding experience is especially significant in the world of APIs. APIs accelerate innovation by allowing developers to build products based on existing data and functionality. According to Nylas’ State of Developer Experience 2023 report, developers work with APIs to help them get their work done faster. In fact, speed ranked number one among the benefits of working with APIs, above cost-saving and working with innovative technology. 

A clunky onboarding experience is counterproductive to the #1 benefit of working with APIs. 

Nylas is an API solution built to remove complexity and empower developers to create exceptional experiences. So, we’ve overhauled our developer workflows, documentation, onboarding, and pricing to reflect the company’s goal of making developers’ lives easier and helping them move faster. 

First impressions are everything 

I joined Nylas nearly one year ago after being a customer at CIENCE Technologies. I was impressed with the support I received as a customer and how Nylas changed our business, enabling CIENCE to do much more with a smaller engineering team. 

While Nylas’ documentation and SDKs were straightforward and comprehensive, I couldn’t help but think about the potential for an automated developer onboarding experience. I’d seen it done before at companies like Stripe, Snyk, and MongoDB — the movement toward product-led growth is happening. 

During my initial conversations with Nylas CEO Gleb Polyakov, I showed him a diagram of implementing the company’s APIs within our platform. 

Developer onboarding experience

Previously, a new developer coming into the Nylas ecosystem would go through an evaluation, buying, and implementation process that looks something like this: 

  1. Discover Nylas and sign up for a free trial. 
  2. Go through the QuickStart FTUX flow to connect an account, make an API request, and continue playing around with the Nylas APIs.
  3. Schedule an initial call with Sales to discuss a use case. 
  4. The 14-day trial ends. If I’m an engineer, I’m likely pulling in a decision-maker from my company to take over. 
  5. A Nylas contract is signed, and customer onboarding starts. A customer success or implementation engineer is assigned to the account, and an onboarding kickoff call occurs.
  6. The customer success engineer gives the customer the necessary information to build the integration.
  7. The customer builds the integration and finishes QA.
  8. The customer goes live with their Nylas integration.

Gleb and I agreed. Onboarding sets the tone for a user’s product journey. And there’s a better way to deliver an onboarding experience that’s more in service to Nylas’ developer community: automation via a simple dashboard. 

Moving to a streamlined, automated onboarding experience 

The impact of well-executed developer onboarding is two-fold. From a business perspective, you will increase retention rates, cultivate loyal customers, reduce churn, and improve conversions. 

Perhaps even more importantly, a successful onboarding experience helps users quickly recognize your product’s value. It improves their productivity, eliminates friction and burnout, and allows them to utilize your product to the full extent. 

Our product team reorchestrated Nylas’ onboarding experience in just five months, an undertaking that takes most companies years to do. However, we pride ourselves on being built for developers, which means prioritizing developer-first onboarding. 

This project came to life in our new dashboard. We built the dashboard on the foundation of three main principles: deliver a seamless onboarding flow, provide complete transparency throughout the experience, and make all our content developer-friendly. 

Now, any developer who starts building with Nylas will experience a simplified user journey that looks like this: 

New developer onboarding experience

We are thrilled to bring this upgraded onboarding experience to our community of developers. Be sure to check out the dashboard and access our step-by-step quickstart guides to make your Nylas implementation as fast and easy as possible. 

Looking for more information? Get our full library of API documentation. See how Nylas works and learn everything from the basics of our platform to how you can receive support.

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