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First impressions count: 5 tips for successful onboarding

Posted By: Jason

If you want to impact on user retention rates and lifetime value for your mobile app, then you need to pay close attention to the onboarding process. You want to make it as easy as possible for users to get up and running with your app, by minimising any long winded registration process. But where single screen hybrid resignation is successful for social media and entertainment apps, you may want to demonstrate the benefits and the functionality of your app through a more considered onboarding experience.

Keep it short form

Long forms are a turn off. Your users won't be interested in supplying information that might be of huge value for your analytics but brings no value to their onboarding experience. Gather only the most essential information and try and make it a one screen process.

One screen, one concept

Provide your essential onboarding information in chunks, one concept per screen. If you're demonstrating benefit and value, or key app functionality, don't overwhelm your user. Keep it short, simple and engaging.

Clear, quick feedback combats frustration

Have you ever tried to register with an app and have been unable to do so without knowing why? It's incredibly frustrating, but you can minimise failures by giving clear, consistent and above all contextual feedback that helps your user understand and fix errors with ease.

Guide your user's interaction

For more complex apps that essentially need a tutorial in how to use them, you're wise to create a more interactive and guided process that engages users in exploration of your apps functionality - think of the way a game tutorial gets you up and running in a few minutes. You need to apply those same gamification techniques to guide your users to 'walkthrough' the onboarding experience. Use animation, but only if it adds value and not frustration to the experience.

Do a test run

User abandonment reached levels of 25% in 2015. You don't want your carefully crafted mobile app to become a statistic, unless it's the most downloaded app of the year, so test your onboarding process, using data and feedback to discern patterns of use and identify points of weakness that can frustrate or enhance the onboarding UX.