The goal of onboarding is not only to teach newcomers using apps. Its importance goes much further

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Programmers often see user onboarding as a fixed part of apps. However, onboarding is a separate discipline, which requires detailed preparation.

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Many digital product creators do not know what exactly onboarding is. What is worse, many of those who know and use it as part of their service, have misled ideas about it.

They see it as a separate part of the app, which they create, cross out of the to-do list and do not deal with it anymore. They neither measure, nor update it. Onboarding has its own life in the app.

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However, if the creators knew the real nature of onboarding, they could avoid many defects of the app. We have presented the most frequent defects of onboarding in one of our previous articles.

Let us come back to why not to see onboarding as a one-off activity, but more like a long-term independent process which requires development?

1. Final version is not always the best one

Onboarding deserves much more attention, as it is a part of the service the users come into contact immediately after the first start of the app. Their first impression decides whether they continue using the app or uninstall it.

If your users leave the app sooner than getting the hang of it, one of the reasons may be insufficient onboarding. This is a good reason why you should pay attention to user onboarding after letting it out into the world.

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You can find the defects of your onboarding process by analytic tools and user testing services.

You can find the basic data on evaluating whether the onboarding guide is good or bad in the analytical part of our user onboarding platform of YesElf.

Based on the defects, you can continue developing your onboarding and provide relevant information to the users, who will be able to use the app efficiently.

2. Innovations deserve to be presented

Imagine you spend a lot of effort, money and time on continuous improvement of your app, but the users learn about it at best in the What’s new section of Google Play.

Use the guide for presentation of new features. Show your users how the novelties can make their lives easier and teach them how to use them efficiently. This is a good reason why you should be upgrading the onboarding process (next to the app itself).

3. The goal of onboarding is to get your users back

Are you looking at onboarding only as the start guide which informs the users about the main features of the app when starting using it? You miss many opportunities user onboarding offers.

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When designing the onboarding strategy, you should not rely only on guides providing tips only. Use also other additional channels, like in-app notifications or e-mail messages.

Let us explain why using this example:

You give the users of your app the possibility to use the free version for the first 14 days. In this time, they will be working with the app, but it will be interesting to watch what happens after the trial version times out.

Let us assume that most users will go silent for a while. In this moment, you can use onboarding in the form of in-app messages, notifications or e-mails to motivate them to return to the app.

As in marketing, there is the well-known rule that it is simpler to retain an existing customer (user) than to get a new one.

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Example of an e-mail notification motivating users to return to the Mention service.

4. User level changes – onboarding should adjust

User onboarding may be defined as a process changing newcomers to experienced users. The content of the guide should adjust at the same rate as the user experience develops.

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The proof of that onboarding needs a comprehensive strategy is that people need to get relevant contents which changes in time. Information valuable for newcomers is not interesting for seasoned users.

Before starting designing onboarding, set the “survival criteria” for the individual user types. They will help you to create personalized onboarding, which will differ based on the user role or previous experience of the users.

Summary

As you can see, the goal of onboarding is not only to teach new users to use apps. It can be used to present the advantages of your services and present its strengths in an attractive form, too.

However, the importance of the guide may go much further, as it can be used to educate newcomers, as well as seasoned users. This proves that onboarding is not an one-off section of the app. It can cover the full feature ecosystem of your app.

Are you already using onboarding process in your digital service? If you do not, use the onboarding platform of YesElf. We can help you implementing it into your app. Just contact us. 🙂

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