App Onboarding Tips To Increase User Engagement & Retention

A seamless mobile app onboarding process doesn’t just increase ease of use; it also lowers abandonment rates and increases long term success metrics like user retention, engagement, and lifetime value. It is therefore an important facet of any mobile app development project.

Here are 6 user onboarding tips that will help convert downloads into loyal, engaged app users.

Make App Onboarding Frictionless

The best user onboarding experiences are the ones that are simple and frictionless. The more complex the app onboarding experience, the higher user abandonment rates. The aim should be to onboard users in a way that lets them begin using your app as easily as possible with the least resistance.Depending on the nature of your app, a single screen could be sufficient. This is common for many social media apps – Instagram being the perfect example. However, some applications are inherently more complex and thus require more than one screen. The utility of your app will often influence the type of app onboarding method you use (benefits-oriented, function-oriented, progressive, or a hybrid model), but regardless you want to eliminate as many barriers as possible.

One Screen, One Concept

People consume and understand information more easily if it is focused. The one screen, one concept rule takes this into account by “chunking” information, using a single screen to describe a concept or feature without overwhelming the user.For apps that use function-oriented or benefits-oriented app onboarding with the purpose of demonstrating app functionality or communicating value, this is particularly important.

Fewer Fields = Better User Experience

The ideal scenario is to make user onboarding a single screen process. However, some apps will necessarily require multiple fields as by their nature they need a certain amount of user information to properly function.If this is the case, you will want to limit the information collected as much as possible so that only essential data is collected during app onboarding. For apps that require a lot of information, you may want to consider breaking up the process into more than one screen for both aesthetic and usability purposes (too many fields on a single screen can overwhelm the user and look ugly). Below is an example of an application that requires 4 fields for account creation and divides the process into 2 screens.App onboarding 1Give Contextual Feedback, Quickly

Sometimes, despite best efforts, users run into trouble when onboarding. Without feedback to guide them through the process, they are likely to abandon your app altogether.Therefore it is important to provide feedback immediately that indicates where the user erred and how to correct it so they can progress. Feedback can also be used to validate successes in the process in order to indicate to the user that they are making progress.Keep in mind that error states should always be clear and contextual so that the user knows what they’ve done wrong, which helps reduce failures and makes it easier for users to navigate the app.

Drive Progress With Guided Interaction

Guided interactions engage the user in exploration so they can learn to use the app. Rather than dictating via tutorials, it allows the users to navigate features and guides them along the process of discovery as they access each feature or functionality. This concept is very popular in video games; instead of lengthy tutorials, users play through the actions in order to become familiar with the controls and environment.Guided interaction is especially important in apps with empty states where users need to take action in order for content to display, for example apps like Evernote, where a user must add notes for the app to populate.App onboarding 2Use Animation With Purpose

Animations can be used in the app onboarding process to:

● Draw attention to elements that help progress.

● Provide feedback

● Create a concept or feeling of spaceMake sure you use animation only with purpose, drawing attention to elements but not irritating the user.

Best practices include subtle animations that show something is undiscovered or pagination dots to show progress in the app onboarding process.Following these best practices will ensure that you create a highly effective app onboarding process that will drive user engagement, enhance the user experience, and ultimately boost user retention.

Author Bio: Dan Kosir is Content Marketing Manager at Clearbridge Mobile, a North American mobile app development company that provides enterprises and rapid-growth startups with user-centric product design and engineering services.

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