Visualisation of user onboarding in an app

Why user-friendly onboarding is vital for any app (+10 step guide)

First impressions are everything, especially in today’s super-crowded app market. And with such fierce competition, your app's onboarding experience can make or break its success.

Users expect a seamless and engaging introduction, and if they encounter any obstacles or confusion during this initial interaction, they're more likely to abandon the app. 

To ensure your app not only attracts users but also keeps them coming back, it's crucial to invest in a user-friendly and easy onboarding process.

1. Understanding the user journey

To create a user-friendly onboarding process, it's essential to understand the user journey from start to finish. This journey typically includes several critical stages:

  • Awareness: Users discover your app through various channels, such as app stores, ads, or recommendations.
  • Installation: Once users decide to try your app, they download and install it.
  • Sign-up: Users provide their information to create an account.
  • Initial Usage: Users explore your app's core features and functionalities.

Each stage presents an opportunity to engage users effectively and guide them toward becoming active and satisfied users.

2. Clear value proposition

One of the first things users should encounter during onboarding is a clear and compelling value proposition. In a sentence or two, your app should communicate the unique benefits it offers. Users should immediately understand why your app is worth their time. Consider these examples:

Uber: "Get a ride in minutes."

Instagram: "Capture and share the world's moments."

A concise and persuasive value proposition sets the stage for a positive onboarding experience.

3. Minimizing friction

Friction in the onboarding process can deter users. To minimize it:

  • Reduce steps: Keep the registration and setup process as brief as possible.
  • Simplify forms: Use autofill options and minimize required fields.
  • Intuitive UI: Ensure that your app's interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Remember, simplicity is key. Make it easy for users to accomplish their goals within your app.

4. Progressive profiling

Rather than overwhelming users with a lengthy registration form, consider adopting a progressive profiling approach. Collect user information gradually as they interact with your app. For example, ask for basic details during sign-up and request additional information when it's relevant, such as when they make a purchase or engage with specific features. This approach reduces user friction while still gathering valuable data.

5. Guided tutorials and walkthroughs

Guided tutorials and walkthroughs are effective tools for educating users during onboarding. These step-by-step guides help users understand how to use your app's features effectively. Ensure that tutorials are engaging, concise, and non-intrusive. Gamify the experience, if possible, to make learning fun.

6. Personalization

Personalization goes a long way in making users feel valued. Tailor the onboarding experience based on user preferences and behavior. Use data and insights to provide personalized recommendations, content, or even user interface customizations. When users see content or features that align with their interests, they are more likely to engage with your app.

7. Feedback and user assistance

During onboarding, provide channels for user feedback and assistance. Implement features like chatbots, FAQs, or help centers to address common questions and concerns. Actively gather user feedback to identify pain points and areas for improvement. Timely assistance and support can prevent users from abandoning your app due to frustration.

8. Onboarding analytics

Track user behavior and interactions during onboarding with analytics. Monitor key metrics such as drop-off rates, completion times, and user engagement. Analytics provide insights into where users may be struggling or where they find value. Use this data to iterate and optimize the onboarding process continually.

9. A/B testing and iteration

A/B testing is a powerful tool for refining your onboarding process. Experiment with different onboarding elements, such as registration forms, tutorials, or messaging. Test variations to determine what works best for your users. A/B testing allows you to make data-driven decisions and continuously improve the onboarding experience.

10. Mobile vs. web onboarding

Keep in mind that onboarding experiences may differ between mobile apps and web platforms. Consider the unique characteristics of each platform and adapt your onboarding strategy accordingly. Mobile onboarding may require a more streamlined approach, while web onboarding may provide more space for in-depth explanations.


Creating a user-friendly onboarding experience is a strategic investment that can lead to higher user retention and overall app success. By following the steps we outlined above, you can optimize your app's onboarding process for maximum impact.

Remember, the onboarding process is not static. It should evolve and adapt based on user feedback and changing trends. By prioritizing user-friendly onboarding, you'll not only attract users but also keep them engaged and satisfied, ensuring the long-term success of your app.

We hope this comprehensive guide helps you create an onboarding process that sets the stage for a positive app experience!

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