Onboarding | Definition

What is User Onboarding?

User onboarding helps new users to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become effective users of a product.

In the onboarding process, your users learn how to use your product. Generally, onboarding is one of the first points of contact with your new users.

It can be designed as a tour or a flow of slides with which the user gets introduced to the product and learns to use it.

Things that you can explain in your onboarding:

  • (Uncommon) gestures of an app
  • A redesigned app with new functionalities and gestures (to inform your current users about changes)
  • The main features of your app (if you provide a large number of features)

Types of Onboarding

There exist three different types of onboarding which you can choose, depending on your business goals and your type of app. You can implement them separately or combine the types.

  • Benefit-Oriented Onboarding
  • Function-Oriented Onboarding
  • Progressive onboarding

Why is Onboarding important?

User Onboarding is the first point of contact with your future active users.

It creates the first impression and lays the foundation for the ongoing relationship between your product and the user. It offers the opportunity to convince customers of you and your product, turn them into enthusiastic and loyal fans, reduce churn rates and dramatically improve customer lifetime value.

On the other hand, no or bad onboarding can have negative effects.

Statistics also show the importance of good user onboarding:

  • 40-60% of users will use their app only once and will never come back after the first free trial.
  • Most revenue comes from existing users. They spend 67% more than new customers.
  • 32% of the customers would leave a brand they loved after just one bad experience.

What are Best Practices for User Onboarding?

  • Understand your customer: You should know your customers exactly. What are his obstacles? What does he expect from your app? Create a customized onboarding experience.
  • Set clear expectations: Show your customer exactly what he can achieve with your app. But make sure that you are clear. Onboarding that promises great things requires an app that can keep its promises.
  • Stay in contact: Some customers may want to watch the onboarding again later (because they are missing something or because they did not want to see the onboarding on their first visit). Give them this opportunity. Be available for further questions by email or other means.
  • Measure success: You can guess if your onboarding is a success, but you should always prove it with data! Collect key figures, analyze sessions and use tools like UXCam that provide you with a comprehensive analysis.
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