WPML - Onboarding Improvement


WPML is a WordPress plugin that allows making your site multilingual. WPML was initially introduced in 2007 and is consistently evolving ever since.


  • WPML offers a feature: bulk translation of your entire content utilizing machine translation.
  • While this functionality is not obligatory, there were clients who expressed dissatisfaction and requested reimbursements.
  • These clients were surprised to discover that they were charged for the translation of their entire website.

My role: Design Lead working with UI Designer and UX Writer and Clients Retention Specialist 

Time scope: 2 weeks

Task: Improve one step of the already existing onboarding wizard


  • Through research and conversations with dissatisfied clients, it became evident that the primary source of misunderstanding stemmed from the onboarding process.
  • Clients were not adequately informed about the specific implications of the options they were selecting, leading to confusion and dissatisfaction.
  • Consequently, a crucial solution to address the majority of these problems was the implementation of changes in the onboarding step, particularly regarding the “translate everything” option.

To address the issues surrounding the “translate everything” option and improve user experience, we implemented the following changes:

  • Enhanced Visual Representation: We made the choice more visually prominent, ensuring that users are aware of its significance and can make an informed decision.

  • Detailed Mode Explanations: We provided comprehensive information about each translation mode, outlining their functionalities and implications. This empowers users to understand the consequences of their choice and make informed decisions aligned with their specific requirements.

  • Access to Human Support: Recognizing that some users may still require assistance, we introduced the option to seek help from our dedicated support team. 

Detailed Mode Explanations

Access to Human Support

Progressive Disclosure

  • Progressive Disclosure: To avoid overwhelming users with too much information at once, additional questions related to each translation mode are presented in subsequent steps, allowing users to delve deeper into their preferred choice while maintaining a user-friendly experience.

  • Ask about start time: Implemented a new sub-step to inquire about the preferred start time for translating everything.

    Our research revealed that certain users express a desire to translate their entire site, but only after completing content creation and removing WordPress’ dummy content.

When to start?

Research & Ideation


The initial source of dissatisfaction and confusion among clients originated from the support forum, leading to an increase in refund claims.

  • As the Design Lead, I proactively engaged our Client’s Retention Specialist to conduct a thorough examination of support forum threads and refund claims specifically related to the “translate everything” option.
  • The next step involved conducting in-depth interviews with select clients who had requested refunds. This initiative aimed to uncover the underlying reasons behind their dissatisfaction and identify the primary factors contributing to refund requests.


Analyzing the research results revealed several significant outcomes:

  1. Faulty Onboarding: The majority of users who encountered a confusing and unexpected setting did so during the onboarding step related to translation modes.
  2. Lack of Understanding: Users don’t understand the differences between the translation options.
  3. Overwhelm from Suboptions: Users feel overwhelmed when they see additional choices right after selecting a translation option.
  4. Lack of Awareness of Translation Costs: Users are unaware that selecting the “translate everything” option incurs extra costs.
  5. Translation Timing Preference: Some users want their entire content translated but prefer to start after finishing their content and removing dummy content from WordPress.

Prototyping & Testing


In light of the identified issues and client dissatisfaction, I made the strategic decision to overhaul the faulty onboarding step. Our goal is to eliminate the majority of problems and enhance the user experience.

Leveraging a comprehensive design system, I proceeded directly to creating hi-fidelity prototypes in Figma.

  1. Outlined necessary substeps for all options.
  2. Collaborated with UX Writer for clear and understandable microcopy.
  3. Worked with UI Designer for final touch-ups and consistent icons.

Testing & Iterating

  1. Beginner User Testing: The redesigned onboarding step was evaluated with five users who recently purchased the WPML plugin and had limited site registrations. This targeted group represents beginners, and their understanding of the revamped onboarding process was a crucial factor in assessing its success.

  2. Advanced User Testing: The prototype was also tested with two experienced clients who regularly create multiple websites using WPML. This ensured that their established workflow remained undisturbed.

After each testing session, the UX Writer and I collaborated to further enhance the microcopy based on user feedback.


The final round of testing, along with the release of the product, demonstrated that the proposed changes had a significant positive impact on the final product.

As a result of the implemented improvements:

  • There was a noticeable decrease in the number of complaints and reimbursement claims.
  • Clients were no longer caught off guard by the need to pay for machine translations.
  • Clients were less likely to enable this option by mistake.


In some cases, a simpler design may not always equate to being easier or more usable. While it’s true that adding more text, icons, colors, and steps may appear to overload the user interface (UI), there are specific areas within the system where users require more guidance.

Providing users with information precisely when they need it is crucial, as it can be the difference between a frustrated client and a satisfied client who becomes an advocate for the product.

It’s important to strike a balance between simplicity and providing the necessary guidance to ensure a positive user experience.

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