User Onboarding: Create an Engaging Onboarding Flow that Drives Results

22 Jun 2021

Onboarding makes a lot of difference when it comes to an app’s success. Well-performed onboarding design can increase the probability of an app’s usage, and poor onboarding will result in the opposite. Retention is an important issue to take into account if we consider that around 40% of users abandon apps within a dozen of uses. 

A well-performed onboarding can incite users to become more interested in using your app. Adhere to our recommendation to boost your app’s performance rate. Let’s get to the bottom of it!

First, let us define what user onboarding is. When we speak about digital product design, user onboarding is the action of leading new users throughout your product with the aim of exposing its value. The main purpose of user onboarding is to engage, convert and retain customers. Let’s dive into the best essential practices that will inspire you. 

1. Keep it simple

Unnecessarily complex onboarding can turn potential customers off. Keep onboarding as simple as possible to increase the probability of users finishing the onboarding process. Think of the elements you can omit during onboarding, as you don’t have to cover every feature during the initial onboarding. Speak about the primary functionality users need to get acquainted with your app. 

2. Stress the value

During the onboarding process, you will want to emphasize the different elements of the app. Consider how each aspect of your app can be of value to your customers. If you can’t define the value of particular features, you may consider leaving them out of the process. It is clear that the more value people see in your app, the higher the probability that they will be interested in using your app. 

3. Introduce a preview

An onboarding process aims to demonstrate to an audience a preview of how your app can be of use. Such a preview should include the primary features and the essence of this app. If potential users see the app’s value, there is a bigger chance they will complete the onboarding process. It is recommended to demonstrate the actual content unless there are security issues (like banking details, for example).

4. Pave the way for permissions

If your app requires different permissions like camera and location access, prepare your audience for granting these permissions. It can be designed as a small pop-up that describes why permission is necessary that leads to a page where they can grant this access. If you prepare users for permissions, you build trust with them that will further result in the proper functionality of your app. If you skip the preparatory part, there is a possibility the users will avoid giving the necessary permissions that are required for optimal app functionality. 

5. Provide an option to skip onboarding

Designers hope that onboarding is an interesting part for every user, although it is not exactly true. Therefore, there should be an option to skip onboarding. There are a couple of reasons why users might want to move along this part. The most widespread reason is that a user might have already used your app, and there is no need to repeat the onboarding process. It is also possible that they are already familiar with the content from visiting your website. Some users prefer to skip this part and dive into using the app themselves without any onboarding. 

6. Include a CTA at the end

Every onboarding flow should end with a CTA. The call to action can be an invitation to use key features of the app. For example, a photo editor app can ask users to upload a picture for adjustments. Or, if it is a social media app, it can encourage users to make their first post. CTA should engage the audience to start using the app immediately. 

You can approach the onboarding experience with different perspectives, but the most important is to keep users’ needs in mind. If your onboarding aims to provide a way to improve user experience, you will end up with better engagement, conversion, and ultimately retention among your users. 

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