Encourage people to fill in their profiles

When I scroll through the Map, it seems to me that the vast majority of profiles for users in the beta do not have a lot of info on them. I was thinking on how to nudge people to have more info on their profiles. Some ideas I had were:

  • Show a progress bar that slowly fills if the profile is filled in more.
  • Compliment the user for filling in their profile. Maybe a “You look great!” pop-up thing when you upload a profile picture?
  • Ask more specific questions. I am personally very bad at answering the ‘tell me something about yourself’ question, so I would be more motivated if I get to answer more specific questions.
  • Show a pop-up urging you to filll in more stuff on your profile if your profile is empty
  • Immediately redirect users to the profile edit page and urge them to fill things in on first login
  • Filter out/give lower search rank to users with minimal profiles when searching, and notify users with minimal profiles of this fact

Do you have more ideas or opinions about these suggestions?


That’s a great idea IMO, what about this variation: you don’t have pictures, you can only search for profiles that don’t have pictures either.

Explain to the user why certain information is needed and how it will improve their host or surf quality.


Yeah I’ve been thinking about this too. Really important at the start for profiles to appear active. For a start, we’re going to send out emails to people from next week if they haven’t filled out a bit of their profile and uploaded a picture, and a reminder (if they haven’t already) will become part of the normal sign-up flow.

A lot of these suggestions are great and we’re going to try a few of these strategies.

I think for the time being it might even be a good idea to not show those profiles on the map, and then later as our search functionality improves, we can filter them out by default but people will have the option to show them. But I think in general our appraoch should be more about encouraging people to fill profiles out.


Yes, I also think encouraging is better than sanctioning. One direction I’d find helpful is also looking beyond the profile and thinking about what we consider valuable contribution to the platform in general. And how we could make these visible on the profile.

For example I think the overview section is a rather generic concept right now. We could probably design that to make it look more like a presentation card that users would like to own and look good. And with space for some more creative information? Like “My favourite place” with the option to link to a city/place entry (that users could have contributed themselves).

It may be helpful for us to build a tool that would easily lets couchers transfer data from couchsurfing to their profile. Ideally the tool would take download data from couchsurfing and automatically fill the relevant data fields. This would decrease a lot of the friction that comes with completing profiles on a new account. I’m sure many of us have profile completion fatigue :smile:. At least I do. So a tool that reduces this friction as much as possible would not only be useful but could become key in gaining more users from the couchsurfing platform. Just a thought

Spot on, Elom. I just had a friend who’s been a long-time host and couchsurfing participant tell me the exact same thing, he just wanted to copy-paste his profile and not deal with it. I know trustroots has already figured out how to do it, maybe they’ll be willing to share.

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