Onboarding is the handshake (or hug) from a product to its users.
It’s the first experience a user will see and interact with, so it sets a precedent for the entire product as a whole—first impressions count.
Regardless of the product, the key to a successful onboarding experience is to focus on the value of the product to the user.
Onboarding isn’t an orientation exercise, it’s your chance to delight your users.
Here’s a few simple steps to help your users feel warm inside and delighted to use a product.
1. Setting the Scene
Whether it’s packaging or a splash screen, the first contact your users have with the product is the clearest reflection of what’s to come.
It needs to be clear what the product is and does, as well as whether or not you’ll need to sign up or register to access the product.
2. Ease of Access
Most digital products will require you to sign up or register; that’s fairly normal, especially when you’re looking at the world of mobile apps.
Don’t bloat the signup process. Where possible, remove any data or information that isn’t 100% necessary at this stage. Some products ask for far too much information far too early on, and that acts as a total barrier to entry.
3. Managing Expectations
Make it clear from the start how this product will be helpful to the user and the value it provides. Use images to illustrate the process and manage expectations from the very beginning.
Keep things short and concise—there’s no need for a mission statement here. Talk about the steps needed to move forward.
4. Call to Action
Any good onboarding process will end with a call to action. Whether that leads users into another workflow or straight into the app, there’s a clear direction.
Never leave users in limbo. Guide them to the next stage and continue to look after them moving forward.
These simple steps can be found in almost every onboarding process. Some are longer, some shorter and quicker.
If nothing else, remember that onboarding is your first (and sometimes last) chance to wow and impress your users.
Be delightful in what you do and look at onboarding as an uplifting introduction from you to your users.
Want to learn more about onboarding? Check out some interesting breakdowns here:
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