Technology August 26, 2016 Last updated August 23rd, 2016 1,589 Reads share

3 Killer Strategies to Nail Down Mobile App Onboarding Experience

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Have you ever wondered where those customers are, who used to open your mobile app on a regular basis? Studies reveal that an app loses 77% customers within 3 days, and within 3 months, you have all users gone.

It does not include those top ranked highly rated apps that have the ability to retain their users pretty well. The reason being their primary goal is to retain users from the first visit itself. This turned out to be a motivation factor for the emergence of mobile app onboarding, and a talking point in the mobile app industry.

Bringing a user to a mobile app is far more difficult than getting them on a website. This is because users need to download an app in order to use it, while there is no such thing with a website. Downloading does take some time, and if the app does not live up to the expectations in the onboarding stage itself, users are bound to bounce back from the app.

Acquiring users in the first place is a tough task, and what makes the process even more complicated is retaining them. Until users pass the onboarding stage, they are more like guests, who need to be taken extra care of. Herein lays the excellent opportunity, where you can win over user emotions, and increase the chances of converting them into registered users.

After analyzing different types of the most popular apps, we have boiled down our discussion to three underlying onboarding strategies capable enough to welcome users in the most memorable and user-friendly way possible.

#1. Serving value from the start

Humans are inherently selfish. This underlying psychology even applies here. As soon as they visit an app, the first instance that comes to their mind is, “how beneficial is the app for me?” You can surely take advantage of this psychological thought, and focus on delivering value proposition right on the entry points.

Ensure that your users are able to grasp major takeaways without complications. Aim for 3-4 slides wherein you can explain all the beneficial features in a precise and concise format. Convey all the biggest benefits without fail, so that users can have a glimpse of the true potential of the app. Make use of compelling actions or visuals clearly denote how users can benefit from the app.

Value-oriented onboarding works best when representing relevant benefits fulfilling user needs. If you are not able to deliver as promised things in value oriented onboarding, your app is bound to gather loads of negative reviews. Remember, conveying value before users actually arrive at signup/login screen. Many apps make this mistake of letting users pass through signup/login screen before actually experiencing the onboarding stage. This is a big NO. Users will only register if they are fully convinced regarding the benefits to follow.

#2. Serving functionalities at the start

Many a time, an app is beneficial, but what if complex to handle? Whenever an app is huge with too many things to offer, or somewhat complex to handle, it is better to have sort of a manual in the form of slides explaining how to go about using the app. This will let users comprehend whether they will be able to handle the app, once they invest time to register with the app.

Such a strategy proves to be useful with apps having specialized controls for a gesture, more technical functionalities, or having too many things to offer. Functional-oriented onboarding is very similar to value-oriented onboarding, with the only difference that former offers features before letting users register, opposed to benefits in the latter case.

In simple words, functional-oriented onboarding helps users how to get perks from the app, while value-oriented onboarding tells what perks will be received by users. Herein, since you offering functionalities at the start make the slides as comprehensive and detailed as possible. Avoid listing the functions which are obvious. Such slides enable users to lose interest and flip entire presentation. This leads to users missing important information in that presentation.

#3. Serving a hybrid progressive approach

Progressive onboarding is a midway between value and functional onboarding. It offers the best of both the above strategies. Herein, the app sequentially instructs users to take necessary actions critical in nature. Slowly and gradually users are brought into a complicated workflow. At the same time, allow users to see the benefits involved in using the app. The main motive behind progressive onboarding is users getting completely involved within the app.

In this strategy, you can reach customers at key specific points. This means reaching out to customers, before and after they have used certain features. The onboarding goes beyond various user sessions. The strategy is helpful in letting users discover additional app aspects going unnoticed.

However, progressive onboarding should not be taken far enough. Allow users to take their own time to navigate. Do not provide hints on every single screen. There is a high risk involved in distracting or annoying the customers, if obvious hints provided, with too many prompts. Keep everything on a moderate level.

Some final concluding thoughts

For a lifelong mobile app existence, it is evident to have your mobile app create a lasting first impression. It is important how your users act, feel, and think on the first interaction with the app. This could be the difference maker in simply bringing users to your app, or converting a customer for life.

Using any one, or all three onboarding strategies, will surely get your app on the front seat. Capitalizing on the first impression is the key to success. It is all about delivering an addictive, investable, and enjoyable user experience. The strategies are helpful in winning the odds of users getting engaged with the app repeatedly.

Apps having no appropriate onboarding in place, often leave people confused, by providing halfhearted information on unique functions and benefits, the app has to offer. Remember, your users are looking for solutions to their day-to-day problems. If they are not having a comfortable experience with the onboarding, they are bound to forget about the app.

Therefore, what we have here is building an optimized onboarding process, ultimately leading to a mobile app UI/UX excellence.

Image: Smart phone with social media related icons glowing over screen and soft focus.

Daniel Carter

Daniel Carter

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