6 Tips for Providing a Great Mobile App Onboarding Experience


Various apps are constantly being downloaded every minute by thousands of people around the world daily. Unfortunately, according to a study conducted last year, many of these apps will be abandoned or even deleted after being installed or used just once.

A mobile apps company in Dubai says that the onboarding experience plays an important role in getting people to continue using an app or motivating them to delete it a few minutes or days after downloading it.
What is Onboarding?

User onboarding refers to the process of setting up first-time users to be successful in using a mobile app. Once an app is downloaded, an onboarding screen will appear with the purpose of introducing the app and demonstrating what it does or offers to users.
The Ideal Mobile App Onboarding Experience

Since onboarding is crucial in setting users up for success with an app (and reducing the chances of abandonment), it is important to put some thought into its design and process. Below are 6 useful tips and strategies for giving users a good mobile app onboarding experience:

#1. Showcase impressive introductory content

Introductory content is the content that users first see after installing and opening an app. It is important to have introductory content that impresses and piques interest in users.

Great introductory content boasts of the following qualities and features:

• Short and concise
• Has the sufficient amount of brand identifiers (logo and tagline)
• Utilizes appealing images that show the value and functionality of the app
• Has length indicators. This feature helps give new users an idea of how long it’ll take them to get through the introductory content. Some users get discouraged quickly if they keep swiping with no end in sight.
• Has an option to leave the introduction

#2. Make onboarding quick and easy

Most people tend to lose interest in an app that makes them work hard to sign up. As such, the best onboarding experience helps get users to the most valuable part of the process immediately — actually using the app. Users signing up or signing in shouldn’t be hindered by unnecessary roadblocks at the beginning through long or complicated sign-ups.

Many experts say that the single log-in screen is still the best and most preferred by various social media and entertainment apps. Keep the amount of sign-up or log-in fields to a minimum. Also, use minimal copy and include illustrations when possible. Bear in mind that the faster a user can get to actually using the app, the lower the abandonment rate will be.

#3. Give users some level of control

The best way to do this is to allow users to skip ahead if they prefer. After all, an app can still be used even if an individual doesn’t answer all questions on the form or skip the introductory content. In addition, this feature will give users with previous experience using a similar tool or those who prefer to learn at their own pace the benefit of using the app straight away.

#4. Offer other sign up options

Certain apps can make signing up with the use of a smartphone or other mobile device difficult and time-consuming simply because of the size of the screen. Because signing up is often a barrier to actual app use, users should be given other choices that will make the process easier and simpler. This means providing users the option to sign in to the app through a social media platform such as Facebook, G+, Instagram, Twitter, or by using their email address.

#5. Provide users feedback instantly

In the onboarding process, feedback indicates errors or success in completing interactions or instructions. Swift feedback helps make it easier for users to navigate the app and reduces the likelihood of failure.
Good feedback should state clear and contextual errors so that users will know what they did wrong. It should also inform users how to correct the mistake and get them to continue with the onboarding process. Animations have been proven effective in giving users fast and helpful feedback.

#6. Offer guided interactions

Guided interactions enable users to explore the app through a tutorial and other interactive techniques. For many people, this helps them go through the process faster since they are “learning by doing” and not simply reading and following instructions. This method engages users in exploration instead of telling them what to do. A remarkable feature of guided interactions is the way they indicate progress within each step and how the app can introduce new information to the users to take them to the next stage.

Taking note of the views and feedback of users on how they fared with the onboarding procedure will help greatly in giving first-timers a better experience. Integrating user reviews and trying new techniques and strategies should always be part of modifying and improving your mobile app’s onboarding process.

Director, Alpha-Apps (www.alpha-apps.ae) Fueled by my firm belief that the Arab World has a remarkable potential and great content, I founded Alpha Apps in 2011 in Abu Dhabi. My goal is to bring the Arabic Apps industry and content forward to an international and competitive level. I am also a start-up mentor at Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, helping entrepreneurs launch successful app projects and investing in app companies in the region.