6 Tips to Make Better Onboarding Mobile Experiences

This blog will help you improve your onboarding mobile experience through some tips.




August 11, 2016


Mah Noor



The onboarding process is about helping users to successfully take up and fully embrace an app. It is a process where you get a user to try your product or service and make sure that the user can get started with your app.

The onboarding process explains your interface to facilitate the user to use it effectively. It is accomplished by illustrating a set of brief texts, that show users the killer features of the app and show them how to interact with the app.

The study reveals that today 80-90% of the apps get downloaded, are used once, and deleted. 77% of the apps lose mobile users within the first 3 days. This is where onboarding experience comes in.

Providing a good product Onboarding is the place where you activate people to become engaged users and acquire their loyalty and trust. Which is truly necessary for user retention rate.

Onboarding can be of several forms:

  • Tips
  • Introductory video or slides.
  • Interface tour
  • Content samples
  • Hybrid solutions


Onboarding is effective when you instantly teach users how to interact with an app. Use one of the above forms of the Onboarding process for effective communication with users. Choose the one that best suits your app functionality but always remember ‘First Impression Is The Last Impression’.

Here are the 6- Tips for a better Onboarding mobile experience.


Path Of Least Resistance

Make the Onboarding process easy for users to start using the app. Make it as simple as possible. If log-ins, sign-ups, discovering more features, and app navigations are complex for users, higher will be the user abandonment rate.

User Onboarding depends on both importance of the app and if the app concept is new. Different methods of user Onboarding are:

  • Benefits-oriented- Start your Onboarding process with the value proposition of your app and keep it simple. Specify the benefits of your app and notify the users on how to get benefits from it.
  • Function-oriented- Expose the main functionality of your app. Introduce and give the first impression of what your app is, when you can use it and how to use it. Limiting yourself to max three functionalities usually, works for most apps.
  • Progressive-oriented- This method relies on the fact that people learn more quickly by adopting the 'Learn By Doing' approach. It includes guided interactions.


Give the Opt-Out ability to the users at any point. If users don’t want to go through the Onboarding process. So, they can just Opt-Out at any time. Users usually want to try a thing rather than read instructions. For those users, do make sure that your app’s user experience is so good and transparent that the user can understand the app without any instructions.

Follow the path of least resistance. 


Reduce Log-Ins and Sign-Ups Fields

Long forms give a bad impression in the Onboarding process when getting information from users. Especially on mobiles which are having smaller screen sizes.

Avoid tricky Log-in or Sign-ups. The ideal scenario for better Onboarding is to allow users to sign-up or log in through a single field like through social media account. Avoid log-in in or sign-up in the beginning if you can e.g. in shopping apps.

In some apps, you require more information like service-based apps, gather essential information only. If there is a lot of information then make chunks and divide the process into more than one screen.

For better Onboarding, seamlessly collect user information and move on to the next step before the users become frustrated or distracted.


One Screen, One Concept

People absorb information more quickly if the information is precise, focused, and meaningful. Onboarding screens should present one concept per screen.

The show doesn’t tell. Avoid too much text. Avoid overloading the user with information, too much text on a single screen can obsess users.

At Vizteck, we try and limit onboarding screens and getting started screens to max 3 lines per screen.

Present your Onboarding screens in a way it engages users deeply. This practice is important for function and benefit-oriented onboarding where we communicate app value and illustrate key functionalities of the app.


Quick Feedback

Feedback in the Onboarding process indicates errors or success in the validation process. To complete interactions it can also be used through animations.

Quick feedback in the Onboarding process makes it easier for users to navigate the app. It helps reduce failures.

It should indicate clear and contextual error states to let users know what they have done wrong. It should also indicate success states clearly to draw users' attention and let them go on with the Onboarding process.


Guided Interactions

Complex apps use a progressive Onboarding approach. Here Onboarding is presented during the actual usage of the applications i.e. a tutorial and interactive tips.

People don’t learn with texts. Adopt the ‘Learn By Doing” approach. Make guided interactions to dive users into the progress.

Guided interactions engage users in exploration instead of telling them what to do. Indicate progress within each step.

Successive progress provides the user with fun discoveries. As users are completely into your app introduce new information to make them take further steps. Make it feel manageable.

Popular with video games, social apps, and empty states where the user needs to fill or take an action like Evernote, or Snapchat.


Purposefully Animations

Use animations purposefully in the Onboarding process to draw the attention of the user and to help users in the progress. Animations can also be used as feedback which is positive reinforcement for an action taken.

Animation can be used to present new content in the Onboarding process to create user interest. It should be used in a manner that shows something is undiscovered. It should attract the users, not irritate them.

Show users the no of screens and steps remaining with the help of animations. “Light at the end of the tunnel” will help to encourage them to complete progress like pagination dots.

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