A Guide to “Aha!” Moment – How to find it, Definition, Examples

Do you remember the last time you said “So THAT’S how this works!”?

Hold on to that memory, because that was an “Aha!” moment.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this magical moment that can help you make more profits, for real.

Now, the “Aha!” moment is a relatively new term in user experience.

To understand it thoroughly, you first need to learn how your emotions affect your behaviors and decision-making. Because your emotions are the driving force behind most of your behaviors and decisions.

To be a little scientific:

Emotions are the consequences of the chemical messages revealed from our brain through the body.

For example, when we identify or experience something rewarding such as a notification from Twitter that says “Someone retweeted your post! ?”, our brain releases dopamine, oxytocin, or serotonin which are the chemicals that make us feel good and give a motivation to keep going on the task or behavior.

Sometimes the effects of the feeling are very strong that it drives our behaviors and decision-making.

And “Aha!” moments are such moments that make a user decide to employ a product.

I’m pretty sure you and your product team want to create your “Aha!” moment to see some improvements in some metric and make sure users experience them ASAP.

And I’ve created(and recently updated) this article to help you answer these questions:

Now we are going to dive into the “Aha!” moment of a product, what sort of emotional impulses it conducts and how it can affect our decisions whether to use a product or not.

What is an “Aha!” moment?

It is very intricate to make an absolute definition of “Aha!” moment, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be identified.

We can generally recognize when it has happened to us, remember when I asked you to hold on to a specific moment at the start?

“They are the accelerators of the possibilities, they dissolve boundaries and make us see things differently. Once a mind has been stretched by one ‘Aha!’ moment, it can never go back to its original state.”

-Ina Catrinescu, The Author of Burnout Breakthrough: Motivating Employees with Leadership Tools That Work

“Aha!” moments are the steps on the staircase of progress and it is because we know that and we understand the power of “Aha!” that makes you keep reading this blog.

We are here searching for breakthroughs to penetrate our minds.

You can call it a hocus-pocus moment, or the moment of pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

what is an aha moment

Definition of Aha Moment

The “Aha!” moment is the point in which a user meets the proposed value of a product and perceives not only how it works, but also how it will add value to their lives.

It is the consequence of your users’ interaction with your product.

For example, in the first interaction, they are highly skeptical and looking for something special that can suddenly give them insight or a realization feeling. These exclusive moments are all about the sentimental reactions of users to catching a feature.

It’s all about perspective

The beauty behind the concept of the Aha moments is that they can be unique and subjective, they may occur on the different stages of the customer lifecycle.

They show how software can evoke and induce an emotional reaction.

Aha moments are also often defined as the leading indicators of a regular user who would turn into an engaged user subsequently.

Using quantitative indicators to measure and track the occurrences of the Aha moments may seem to contradict the nature of an Aha moment, but they are the best-proven ways to utilize this concept as a hint to steer the growth operations in the right direction.

For example Facebook’s users don’t say “Aha!” when they add 10 friends in 7 days.

But Facebook uses this as their Aha moment because they know that if a user adds 10 friends in 7 days, they understood the value of the product and started achieving value with it during that period.

And so the Aha moment becomes measurable.

Aha Moment Examples

Facebook:

aha moment example facebook

Facebook’s Aha moment is great because it pushes for an early product adoption.

Twitter

  • A user follows 30 users with at least 1/3 of them following back.

Twitter’s Aha moment is great as well, but their user onboarding lacks the push to the Aha moment.

Prisync

Prisync’s Aha moment is great because they push the user to achieve value with the product.

Slack

  • A team sends 2000 messages in a workspace.

Slack’s Aha moment is great because by the time the team reaches to 2000 messages, they’ve adopted the product.

Dropbox

  • A user saves 1 file in a folder on 1 device.

This is a rather quick Aha moment that requires less effort than most, but since it works, it’s also effective.

Trello

  • A user moves a card from 1 stack to another.

This is a quick and a great Aha moment because Trello uses its own product to push users to this stage.

An Aha moment example from a Food Delivery App:

aha moment examples

How to find your Aha moment in 3 steps

We know that we humans are inherently innovative because if we weren’t,

we would all be living in caves as our ancestors did 40,000 years ago.

One of the things we need to question is, are there ways to make innovation easier and occur more frequently?

Is there a way to take those aha moments that seem to happen randomly to have them intentionally?

Yes there is!

But I promise you it isn’t going to be an easy journey.

how to find aha moment

1- The research comes first – gathering data to work on

You can’t magically come up with your Aha moment.

You need to work and find it. But first, you need to know where to look for it.

Start by digging into the analytics tools you use, and put all the data related to user journey on the product.

This won’t be easy if you are not collecting valuable data already, and if you don’t have it yet, set up product analytics.

If you are ready to go with the hard data I asked you to get, then let me tell you what to look for.

1.1- Find out what retaining customers did in common

You are most likely to find your Aha moment during this step.

Go through the journeys of tens of users to see what they did in common during their initial experience with your product.

You are looking for the points where your users were activated. Read more about User Activation here.

One of these moments are going to be your Aha moment, excited yet? But you are not done here.

For now, you just need a map of the journey of customers who liked your product(it can be the ones who have purchased it or the ones who actively started using your product).

1.2- Find out what churned users didn’t do

Now that you have what the paying customers did in common, you have to repeat the same process for churned users.

Avoid considering users who have used your product for a long time and then churned, the churn I talk about here must be in the first weeks, maybe even the first days.

Just go through the journeys of various churned users to establish a user journey for them.

Now, compare it to the journey you have prepared in the previous step. You can go ahead an underline the moments that are present in successful customers and don’t exist for the churned users.

We are getting close.

1.3- User feedback and usability testing – see what users have to say

Now hard data is important and reliable.

But getting the data straight from a user is usually more precise. So why not include it into your research?

There are 2 ways to do so:

  1. User Feedback: to collect feedback that can pinpoint to the Aha moment, you can just ask for it. Send out a survey to your existing users and ask: “At what moment did you understand and embrace the value of our product?”. Not all users will be aware of experiencing their Aha moments, but the answers from the ones who do will be valuable.
  2. Usability Testing: conducting usability testing with a few numbers of users will be sufficient for you to get a grasp of the possible Aha moments. Observe the user as they use their product for the first time and look out for changes in their emotions and the content of their comments. Take a note of the moments where they say stuff like “Now I understand”, “OH!”, “Aha!”, etc.

Usability testing is also helpful for finding the pain points of users, which can harm their path to the Aha moments if they come before it.

If you’ve gone through all the 3 steps successfully, you have an accurate list of Aha moment candidates. Let’s take action:

2- Come up with multiple aha moments

Remember the list we’ve created?

It’s time for you to gather your product team and go over the moments that could be the Aha moment of your business.

IMPORTANT: do not look for just one moment, if the list does not consist of only 1 moment already. You need to have a backup moment in case the first one you try doesn’t work!

There are a 3 questions to ask to find the right ones:

  1. Which of these moments could affect the users most?
  2. Which of these moments are the easiest to push new users to?

I want you to think this for a long period and thoroughly and select 2-3 moments that could be it. Now you try them:

3- Test it in your user onboarding

And here comes the final step. Testing what you have gathered.

What you need to do here is to create different user onboarding experiences for each Aha moment you’ll test that push user to that moment using interactive guides, in-app messages, and user onboarding checklists.

Read all about SaaS user onboarding here.

Highlight the shortest way to your Aha moment with UserGuiding

In our latest Webinar, our sales manager Anas Duksi explains how you can guide your users from “How?” to “Aha!” in only an hour. He also talks about how UserGuiding can help you in this process:

Now after you have created these different user onboarding flows, you have to test them. There are 2 ways to test effectively:

1- 2 weeks each

You can test each flow for 2 weeks and get the data on the results.

2- A/B Testing

Or, you can test each flow simultaneously with A/B(in this case /C might be included too) testing by dividing the new users into 2-3 groups and having them go through these different flows.

This method might help you get quicker results, with a smaller audience.

After you’ve chose your test method and conducted the test, you’ll have the results.

At this point, the Aha moment for your product is clear. If you have gone through each step carefully:

the Aha moment in the flow which performed the best and resulted in more sales and product adoption, is your Aha moment.

Bonus: Enjoy the profits

An effective Aha moment will make you money as it will skyrocket free/trial-to-paid conversions and the possibilities of upselling.

All that is left for you after automating the user onboarding process that leads to the Aha moment by using UserGuiding is to sit back and enjoy the improvement in the metrics and the increase in the revenue.

Because you’ve deserved it with your hard work!

Simple, Affordable, and Powerful User Onboarding Software.

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Conclusion

An Aha moment is where your users realize the value of your product, so if you can effectively push them to this point and if your product offers real value, you’ll have users that are in love with your product.

Make sure you’ve found your Aha moment with our guide!


Frequently Asked Questions


What makes “Aha!” moments important?

A customer that reaches their “Aha!” moment right after acquiring the product is less likely to churn than the ones who don’t.


How do I search for an “Aha!” moment?

Try finding out what your regular customers have done differently from the ones that churned by conducting in-depth research.


Which statistics can I use to find my “Aha!” moment?

Analyzing why customers retain, on what page they spent their time the most, how frequently they log in are some of the statistics you can use.

Alican Bektas

Alican is the Product Manager of UserGuiding, a code-free product walkthrough software that 2000+ companies trust in their user onboarding.

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