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How Specify increase by 20% their product activation

Specify is a Design API that helps your product team automatically collect, store, and distribute your design tokens and assets.

Design tokens are “the single source of truth to name and store a design decision, distributed so teams can use it across design tools and coding languages.”

Basically, design tokens can be a color, a typeface, a border radius, an icon, a font size, a gradient or even an animation duration.

Many product teams worldwide use Specify to build better products faster, including Pitch, Dashlane, Epic Games, and more.


Founded in 2018, Specify raised €900K in pre seed in 2019. In 2021 the team grew to 14 members and in 2022 they raised a €4M seed round led by Eurazeo.

It helps product teams collect, store and distribute design tokens and assets.

Thanks to a flexible API, all products and platforms will automatically be in sync.

Specify helps designers be autonomous in updating styles, developers to update assets and tokens, and managers scale their org.

The Challenge: nail the product Activation

Specify doesn’t require active usage from users to deliver ongoing value 💜

Instead once it’s properly set up, it generates on-going value by synching in and out tokens and assets.

Hence, the main challenge for Specify was to make sure users complete their setup before the end of the free trial (15 days). When a set up step is skipped, activation is at risk.

Valentin, Specify’s co-founder, decided to follow the setup journey to understand where the main drops happened. He decided to use this information to:

  • provide support with the right timing
  • know which parts of the product need to be improved

The Solution

Improve the set up completion rate

At a user level

Valentin knows what actions users need to take to set up their workspace, and in which order.

To get an overview of how users are moving through these actions, Valentin added each step of the set up to a Funnel, and observe the results at a user level:

Valentin then uses this information to re-engage with users that dropped. He gets their emails by clicking the light purple section of the bar chart, which opens the following menu:

He then exports the emails of the users that dropped and reaches out. In this way, the team can support these users by sending the right material (depending on which step they dropped) or by offering to hop on a call.

Acting with the right timing is essential. To help prioritize who to support first, users with a @gmail domain are filtered out from the report.

At a company level

Not all the members of a workspace need to complete each step of the setup for Specify set up to be successful.

Indeed for most steps, the most important thing is that, at a company level, at least one person completes a step. It does not matter which member of the company completes them.

To understand which company is “overall stucked” Valentin uses milestones, and monitors them at a company-level.

Milestones are defined with the same steps as the funnel. Valentin follows them on the Home:

And on each company profile, you can see how many of the members completed the milestones.

Only accounts that accomplished all the milestones are considered as activated by the Specify team.

Redesign a feature critical during the set up

As mentioned, Valentin and his team uses a funnel to understand where the biggest drops happen during the set up phase. This is where they realize that two strategic features were involved in some of the biggest drops.

Once was connecting a source (“Added Source”), the other one executing a parser (“Parser Executed”).

Some tasks (such as connecting GitHub) are specific to engineers and some (like connecting Figma) to designers. And looking at the overall completion % might be misleading.

To validate that the numbers were relevant, Valentin narrowed down the focus on the repeat audience for each single step.

For the “Added Source”, Valentin used a user trait filter to include only engineers in the audience. If “Designers” or “Managers” didn’t complete this step, it wasn’t a big deal.

Using this approach, Valentin learned that 74% of the engineers completed adding a source. A much higher proportion than the 57.1% displayed in the initial funnel.

The team discussed this number and agreed that the set up completion rate had a big margin of improvement possible. They decided to redesign this step anyway, and the feature that came with it.

Valentin kept using the same feature release report to make sure the product initiatives are producing the desired outcome on the set up.

The Outcome

Thanks to targeted success initiatives and product iterations, Specifies activation increased by around 20% in the last 6 months. In other words 1/5 of their new users got the chance to experience their so-called “Aha! Moment” before the end of their 15-days free trial.

As many became potential paying customers.

Nailing all steps of the Users lifecycle


Nailing all steps of the Users lifecycle


Doubling activation and Fixing remote work at Kosy

Doubling activation and Fixing remote work at Kosy
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June 1.0 - Instant analytics reports built on top of Segment | Product Hunt