A Beginners’ Guide to User Onboarding with Best Practices & Examples

What is user onboarding?

User onboarding is the process in which users first interact with your web or mobile app. Users are shown quickly what they can do with their product and how to do it. Essentially, this is training the users with an interactive introduction, helping users get familiar with product features quickly.

  • Product tour — All new users need a little guidance to use a web or mobile app when they first come to the app. To resolve that, designers often choose to craft easy-to-understand product tours, such as an interactive video, audio or slideshow, to briefly introduce the main features or information that new users may need.
  • Step progress bar — To encourage users to experience and complete the main user flow of a web or mobile app, some designers also design step progress bars to guide users to complete a purchasing, ordering, registration or delivery flow step by step. Showing the users their progress helps to keep users engaged..

Why should your team focus on user onboarding?

User onboarding may have different patterns, but it aims to guide users to quickly get acquainted with your product. Here are the main reasons why user onboarding is so important and valuable:

User onboarding best practices

Now you know why user onboarding is so important for your product teams, we’ve also rounded up a list of best practices and insights you can apply to your website or app:

1.Research your target audience

Not all users want the same thing. To regularly turn new users into returning, loyal customers with a great onboarding process, your team needs to do user research to find the real wants and needs of your target audience.

2.Personalize your onboarding process

Once you know the real needs of your target audience, you should then consider how to personalize your onboarding process. Of course, this does not mean you have to create a different onboarding process for each user. You can just analyze the behaviors and likes of a certain group of users and make onboarding plans for this group as well as allowing each of them to make small changes based on their own needs.

3.Don’t overload features

User onboarding is meant to quickly point out the features that let users know either how to use the product or whether one product is worth purchasing or not. It is not a feature list document or page that lists out all features one by one. New users won’t stay on the website or app forever, so make it fast and useful.

4.Get users interacting with your onboarding

A good user onboarding design is not only a rigid slideshow or presentation, it showcases product information vividly and helps getting new users to interact with your product quickly.

5.Use appealing visuals and effects

Good onboarding design often wow’s users and as a result helps retain new users. Many designers use fabulous visuals, effects and animations to immerse new users in their product.

6.Automate your onboarding

These days, user onboarding starts from the moment a new user tries to sign up and use your product. To create a welcoming user experience, designers often automate their onboarding process with videos and slideshows.

7.Make it fun and intriguing

To immerse users, apart from the appealing visuals and effects, you may try to gamify your user onboarding process, making it fun and intriguing.

8.Fully test every onboarding step with real users

No one can create a successful user onboarding design in one step. Once you’ve completed your onboarding design draft, the next step is to visualize, test, and iterate it with your team before developing it.

The best user onboarding examples

Now let’s dive into some creative user onboarding examples:

1.Github

2.Mailchip

3.Mockplus

4.Duolingo

5.Basesamp

6.Vett App Onboarding

7.Food Delivery App Onboarding

8.Truemoney onboarding

9.Onboarding for Kids Game App

10.Delivery App Onboarding Screens

11.Outside Onboarding Screens

12.WKND Onboarding

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