Just imagine this scenario: you go to buy a coffee and as you approach the waiter, he/she does not say hello, gives you a set of requirements you have to fulfill to buy that coffee, while also asking you access to your contacts and phone number. After you comply with all of this - if you do -, he/she gives you the coffee without even asking how you like it. Unfortunately, this is very similar to how some mobile apps operate nowadays. No wonder many mobile apps that are being downloaded are abandoned within a couple of weeks, even days.
As I started to learn more about user-experience design, you know what I learned? I learned that every interaction the user has with an interface is somewhat similar to a human-to-human conversation. A simple idea that, for me, it was like a powerful insight. So how do we make this “conversation” an easy one? Onboarding is one answer.
What is onboarding?
The onboarding process refers to helping people to successfully adopt and fully embrace a product. Especially on a mobile phone, sometimes complex applications can confuse users, without instructions of what to do there. A mobile interface is directed towards accomplishing goals or tasks because the users do not have the time or attention to process complexity.
Case study - Onboarding new users for a health app
NOTE: this following design flow is based on assumptions, being constructed on design and psychological best practices. Thus, I stress the importance of gaining an understanding of your app’s users needs through quantitative methods (like testing and optimization) and qualitative research (like usability testing) before designing an user flow. This will help you best understand what onboarding strategies are most effective for your unique app.
1) Main screen
2) Login screen
3) Welcome screen
4) Empty state screen
Hope you enjoyed this simple onboarding walk-through example. Helping people navigate your mobile app in the beginning is the simplest way to help them understand and use the app.
*Illustrations source: Google images.