Design user onboarding flows



Business Benefits

Improve ROI by keeping users engaged with a new software, an updated interface or a new feature.

Research users through qualitative surveys, web analytics, and data analysis to find out if they are informed about the benefits of using your tool, app, or site.

Add brief reminders of features and benefits before the registration form if they are not.

Find steps that are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for user retention to design the onboarding experience and set the user up to those steps quickly.

For example, adds a teammate and creates a new project. Focus on all stages of onboarding. Combine email and on-site user onboarding flows for the best results.

Use progress trackers with persistent steps as getting started tactics to set user expectations at the beginning.

Ask only for information that is useful or relevant to the user at each particular onboarding step. Inform them about a short time and the completion of a step, for example, Will take around a minute and You’re all set up! Now you can start inviting people to your team.

Let users skip and add more details later. Use tips below the fields like You should use your full name so that your teammates recognize you. Use a confirmation page of success at the end.

Use social login or require a social channel connection to access and import user contacts.

Pull available information in the user profile from the channel, such as location. If you can delay it, don’t require immediate signup to shorten the distance between the beginning of onboarding and value. Then explain why it is important to create an account when appropriate.

Combine written instructions and required actions to teach what can be accomplished.

This guided tour should be optional for users. Use a progress indicator like Step 1 of 5. Add congratulatory messages for each finished step together with the next required action. Put mandatory steps at the beginning but save optional steps for the end.

Create a simple four-step tutorial using short instructions if a core piece of functionality is complex. If it’s complicated enough to require a long, complex tutorial, it’s likely too complicated to include in a guided tour.

Use selectable options asking what the user intends to do, like Save photos or Take notes, and show instructions and quick tips for each selection.

Using your own product to explain the product is ideal.

Display a confirmation dialog prompting users to enable push notifications.

This is a stronger re-engagement messaging system than emails.

Check long-term use to see if your onboarding is successful.

See if more people keep logging in for longer; if new users perform tasks that have signaled long-term use in the past. For example, Facebook has a seven friends in 10 days metric. Even if successful, you should still continue optimizing.

Use onboarding tools such as Whatfix to build automated and interactive walkthroughs, in-app messages and tooltips, and personalized onboarding experiences.

Other useful onboarding tools are Tour My App, The Joyride Kit, Helppier, Appcues, Inline Manual, Intercom, Evergage, Nickelled, and WalkMe.