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Best UX onboarding practices

Aleksandr Adams

One of the surveys from Quettra startup says – applications lose near 77% of their users within 3 days after installation. There are a lot of other researches, but all show the same – this market is very competitive and if you can’t explain your benefits, you will lose. That’s why you need onboarding.

Types of onboarding

There are three types of onboarding according to purpose. You are able to use this popular and effective tool to demonstrate:

  • top benefits – to show the main advantages;
  • personalization – let clients customize their experience;
  • quick start: explain what users need to do.

Let users decide whether to use onboarding or not

There are always some users who want to do everything by themselves. That’s why your onboarding may be skipped. Nevertheless, at the same time, people can understand they made a mistake and your onboarding should be easily accessible and repeatable.

Different onboarding for different tasks

There are lots of different onboarding tools that you can read about in another article. But you should use it carefully and according to the situation. When the user starts – the better option will be “how to do” screens. When the first action required – you should use smart white space. When the user is going step by step, give him some hints at every stage. Use differing onboarding process forms – make the user experience native so that it will never be exhausting or irritating.

Avoid long tutorials

Did you hear that actually, people read tutorials when something doesn’t work or is broken? There's a grain of truth in every joke, right? No one likes long tutorials. Moreover, remember that your clients want to get some result or receive some experience – they are not eager to study. Don’t make them feel they are not smart enough. Make the barrier, as onboarding may be perceived, not so hard.

Make onboarding native

It’s not good to show hints about some advanced features when users are just getting started. If so – you have a risk to make them one of that 77% who will leave you in 3 days. Think about it logically – most likely, they even forget what you have told. Provide onboarding when it needed and corresponds to the user’s experience.

Get Inspired

Your onboarding should motivate and inspire. Suggest what to do to get the best results. Give the cue where users lose profitable opportunities. Ask about customization, which makes the best results. Become a good friend, but not an annoying one. And don’t forget about “aha moment”. Your user has created his first e-mail listing? Congratulate him on this!

Use good copywriting

When providing any information by onboarding, make it clear and short. It’s impossible without good copywriting. Don’t use slang or jokes – if you are not an app for certain groups of people with specific communication style. But on the other hand, your instructions should be memorable.

Announce new features

It’s an extra option in onboarding – not the main, but an important one. Even if your users are already familiar with your product, they may not be aware of its’ new features. Using this tool, you can inform them about new opportunities, show how the things are going in your company and product development.

Be the coach

The more effective feedback you give to the users, the better results they can achieve. People got used to learn by mistakes. And if you correct them – it helps to improve their performance. It’s very effective if your product is about sport or learning, for example.

Don’t forget which goals are more important

Last, but not least. Of course, you have your goals – that’s why you create your product or application. But don’t forget that users look at your product from their side. And they are worried about how to solve a problem. Actually, it’s a basic of modern marketing – find a “client’s pain” and solve them. Users don’t care about how fast is your app or how innovative it is – it’s useful or useless, nothing else. Remember about it while making onboarding – describe your product regarding the client’s goals, not yours.