How to create the ideal onboarding process for mobile app users

How to create the ideal onboarding process for mobile app users

The key outcome of onboarding is user retention and engagement. If not done correctly, this process can often discourage mobile app users. Onboarding is the first interaction users have with your app, so it’s important to make a good first impression.

So, how exactly do you do that?

  1. Focus on the user experience

It’s important that your users don’t feel overwhelmed. You can achieve this with a clean user interface and opt-in processes. Instructions should be clear and easy to follow. Users should be able to skip certain questions, opt out of submitting non-essential information, or fulfil requests later. Ensure that your “skip” or similar buttons are clear and easily accessible.

Think about how you engage directly with your users. Use user-focused language, include the user’s name once they’ve signed up, and ensure that the focus is on what they receive from your app, rather than what your app can do.

Design best practices say you should use a maximum of three colours and universal icons to provide a clean look and feel. People will engage intuitively with familiar content. For example, a speaker image represents sound, arrows indicate directions, and a magnifying glass is for searches. 

  • Keep data privacy in mind

Data collection and usage have become a huge concern, so it’s important that your mobile app users feel that you’re being transparent and know what you are using their data for. Communicate with your users throughout the process and give them a good level of control and agency. 

In South Africa, we’re also governed by the POPI Act. This means we have very clear guidelines about what you can and can’t do with the private information that you gather from your users.

  • Reward your new users

An important feature in most popular apps is a reward system. Nobody likes filling in forms, so give users some sort of incentive. If feasible, reward engagement through discounts like “sign up and get % off”.

Along with this reward system, it’s helpful for mobile app users to know how far in the process they are. Track progress through simple visuals like a progress bar. Affirming messages with encouraging phrases like “almost there” when users are close to finishing the process work well too. 

Lastly, gamify things where you can and give the user a taste of your app’s features throughout the onboarding process. This will make the process more interesting and keep the user entertained, while creating excitement to start using the app. 

Give your mobile app users the experience they deserve

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