Linktree templates

UI/UX Design

Key points

  • Project goal: increase Linktree's activation rate by developing a templates feature to inspire and help users quickly and easily create a useable Linktree.
  • Research process: conducted workshops, surveys, and reviewed existing quantitative and qualitative research to understand user pain points during onboarding, identifying key issues like lack of inspiration and feeling overwhelmed.
  • Design process: analysed competitor onboarding flows and explored different design approaches, focusing on integrating template selection into the onboarding flow and refining designs based on team feedback.
  • User testing: conducted unmoderated user tests to validate design aspects such as link prompts and dummy links, making iterative improvements based on feedback to ensure clarity and effectiveness.
  • Impact: launched the templates feature, resulting in a 150% increase in activation for the fashion and beauty vertical, later extended to all web users, demonstrating significant user engagement and value.

Project overview

My squad and I were looking to define our roadmap for the quarter and identify how we might best accomplish our goal of increasing Linktree's activation rate. To better understand our users and the problem space, we conducted several workshops and activities. We then aligned on a vision to create a templates feature that would inspire our users and help them create a useable Linktree quickly and easily. The final feature release resulted in a 150% increase in activation - the greatest the squad had ever seen.


  • Understand our users and the problem space through workshops and research
  • Explore solutions with competitor research and ideation workshops
  • Design UI/UX
  • User test and iterate
  • Release and understand impact

Understanding our users and the problem space

The first step was to understand our users and the problems they face, specifically within their onboarding experience. We reviewed all of the existing relevant research that Linktree had previously conducted.
  • Quantitative: survey data, funnel analysis, previous experiment findings.
  • Qualitative: insights studies, personas, previous vision docs and onboarding recordings.
In addition to this, we conducted a cross-functional activation discovery workshop and launched our own activation survey. All of this was synthesised in a document and we were able to identify the key problem areas experienced during onboarding.

This is what we identified as the key reasons for users not activating within the product:
  • unclear value prop and how Linktree can meet my specific needs
  • too many steps to reach value
  • overwhelmed and unsure where to start
  • lack of ideas and inspiration
  • lack of confidence in creating a Linktree.
Through this discovery work, we refined our focus areas to a handful of initiatives for our roadmap. The focus area that resulted in the development of templates feature was 'empower new users'.

Our problem statement for this focus area was: 50% of Linktree users lack inspiration, face difficulties selecting appropriate links and customizing their appearance. This impacts their ability to effectively utilize Linktree from the outset.

Exploring solutions

Next I conducted a competitive analysis to understand how similar products approach user onboarding. I was looking to identify best practices, innovative solutions, and potential opportunities for differentiation.

I reviewed the onboarding experience of several products including Squarespace, Canva and Mailchimp. I chose not to limit my review to only other link-in-bio tools as I felt that even though these products weren't very similar to Linktree, there would be high-quality solutions for similar kinds of problems we were looking to solve.

I created a Miro that documented these onboarding flows with screenshots and insights into the different techniques. I also created a problem/solution tree diagram to clearly outline which solutions solved which problems with each product. This made it easier to uncover solutions for problems similar to our own.

Screenshot of Squarespace used for competitor analysis

Screenshot of templates onboarding

Screenshot of Squarespace used for competitor analysis

Screenshot of Squarespace onboarding
This work, alongside an ideation workshop with the squad, led us to focus in on a solution that utilised templates within the onboarding flow.

Our hypothesis was that allowing users to select a template during onboarding will inspire, delight and support users to easily create a Linktree that meets their specific needs.


Understanding similar functionality within the product
The term 'template' is used frequently by different products but not all templates are the same. Within Linktree, there was already functionality that is similar to a template.
We allowed users to select 'themes'. These were pre-made visual designs that users can use to quickly create visually appealing Linktrees. This included link background colour, button style, etc.  

Linktree themes feature

Screenshot of Linktree themes
On the marketing website, we also had an existing page called 'templates'. A visitor was able to select a template and begin creating a Linktree with the visual design already defined for them. What separated this from themes was that there were more specific and niche templates based on a wide variety of categories. It was also primarily used for SEO as visitors were able to organically discover the template pages, This led to increased signups as visitors were able to view and understand the value of Linktrees without needing to first create an account.

Templates page on marketing website

Screenshot of templates on the Linktree marketing website
Design exploration
I explored different approaches utilising mid to high fidelity designs, looking at things like:
  • Where in the flow would we introduce templates?
  • What exactly are the pre-defined aspects of a Linktree that would be included in a template?
  • What would the experience of selecting a template be like?
  • What would the experience of making changes to your Linktree after selecting a template be like?

WIP design exploration

As I explored, I made sure to share my designs for feedback with my squad and the rest of the design team, and made changes accordingly.
Refined design
While I had explored designs where the user could select templates post-onboarding flow, we felt that having it appear during the onboarding flow would have the most impact. This would guide users when they need it most, simplifying their first mile experience. We also already had some onboarding steps where users are prompted to add links and select their appearance. Since templates would be solving a similar problem, we decided it was best to test it in the same part of the flow. The templates presented were based on the user's category, something that we were already asking users as part of the signup flow.

I felt that it was important to begin the templates flow by simply showing a series of templates that the user could choose from and feel inspired by.  

Template select step

One of the key differentiators from other functionality we had in the product was including a predefined list of link types that users could fill out. Based on my research, I believed this would address one of the key pain points we had discovered - not knowing which kinds of links to add. Templates would also consist of predefined appearance options that allowed users to quickly create visually appealing Linktrees.

Add links step

Templates design
After selecting a template and adding links, we then prompted the user to add a profile picture and bio as the final step to create a Linktree.

Complete profile step

Templates design
A sticking point in this approach was internal disagreement over the order in which the steps were shown to the user. One piece of feedback was that users might find it difficult to find templates that they liked visually and that had the kinds of links that were relevant to them. It was proposed that instead we should first have a generic set of links based on the user's category that they would fill out. Then we would present different versions of their Linktree with different visual options for the user to choose from.

While I understood this reasoning and concerns with the proposed approach, I believed a key part of the feature was being able to see the many templates and pre-made Linktrees that users could choose from. I felt that having this visually engaging step first would inspire users. This step was also easier to complete than adding links and would better utilise the endowment effect. This pattern was also similar to other template experiences I had observed in other products during my competitor analysis.

User testing and iterating

There were some details of the design myself and the Product Manager were unsure of. In order to validate which aspects of the designs worked best, we conducted a series of unmoderated user tests with two different versions of the design. These differences included:
  • how specific or broad we were when prompting users to add certain kinds of links
  • whether or not to include 'dummy links' - if a user chose not to add the URL for one of the links in the template, should we add a placeholder link to encourage them to enter the URL later?
Aside from this, we also wanted to gain an understanding of users' expectations of a template and whether our creation aligned with this. We also wanted to generally test if they had any difficulties during the flow. We used the results to determine our approach and make updates to the copy to improve clarity.


We released the templates experiment against our current onboarding flow, testing only with one of our verticals - fashion and beauty. To our surprise, we saw a massive increase of 150% in activation compared to the control. Given how large this increase was, we had a data analyst review and validate the data. Following this result, templates was released to all web users.


This project is one of my favourite in terms of being able to conduct extensive discovery work as a squad. The final solution came directly from the qualitative and quantitative data we had uncovered about our users and the problems they face within the product. Being able to substantially Increase activation was rewarding and felt impactful in terms of helping our users experience the value of Linktree.