Product onboarding is the process of getting a user to try your product or service by making them go through a few steps, starting from the signup form and leading up to the welcome email. This process involves explaining your interface to enable the user to use it effectively to solve their problems. When it comes to SaaS, user onboarding becomes even more crucial due to the fact that SaaS apps/websites are created for the sole purpose of helping people to do something (which could be anything).
Usefulness and efficiency of SaaS apps is more important because people generally do not use these apps for fun. Instead, they need them to perform numerous tasks depending on the type of app they are using. That said, if you do not provide a good, streamlined app that features an excellent onboarding flow, you are very likely to lose your users.
The first impression usually lasts, and by providing a good product onboarding in the first place, you put yourself in the correct position to gain loyalty and trust from your consumers – which is absolutely vital for your customer retention rate.
The onboarding process implemented in an app depends on its type. These apps are generally divided into three distinct categories:
- Simple SaaS (with a few features)
- Complex SaaS (with many features)
- SaaS apps requiring initial configurations
These apps are aimed at providing solutions to particular problem. If these apps have minimalistic interfaces that get the job done in just a few steps, then users will not have any problems finding their way around. A simple onboarding process will suffice.
These apps are typically feature-rich and can offer a number of solutions for various problems. In such cases, the UX has to be straightforward and self-explanatory to prevent users from getting confused. A good user onboarding flow must be implemented to help users get started and familiarize them with all the features of the app. A complex interface will increase your retention rates.
SaaS apps requiring initial configurations
The third type of SaaS apps require some sort of configuration before the app can be used. One example is the HootSuite app, which is a social media management app and requires a user to configure their accounts before they can use it to manage their social media presence.
Yet again, a good onboarding process is a necessity rather than a luxury to help users through the configuration steps.
Mobile Apps and Onboarding
It is extremely common to display an onboarding screen on mobile apps in order to get first-time users to understand the features and functionality of the application. Often referred to as walkthroughs, this onboarding process has to be efficient enough to get the users onboard within a minute or two. Gone are the days when users were willing to spend a big chunk of their time to configure software – now, it’s all about being quick and efficient.
The Three Mobile Onboarding Techniques
There are three common onboarding techniques to choose from when implementing an onboarding flow for a mobile app. These are:
- Function-oriented onboarding
- Benefits-oriented onboarding
- Progressive onboarding
This technique gives emphasis to the app’s main functionality. For this process , the following information is communicated to the user:
- The key functionality of the app and how to get started
- When the functionality can be used
- How the functionality can be used
This technique gives emphasis to the benefits offered by the app. When this process is used, the following information is communicated to the user:
- What the app does
- How the user can use it to their advantage
- How they will benefit from using this app
The majority of people learn by doing – this explains why progressive onboarding is so popular. This method presents information to users as they use the app’s different features. For instance, when they are on the app dashboard, they will only be shown information related to the dashboard. When they move on to another section, information related to that section will be displayed.
Top iOS Apps That Feature Great Onboarding Screen Flow
According to research, 22 percent of all downloaded apps are used only once. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to give a good first impression to effectively engage the users.
Now, we’ll talk about some of the iOS apps that feature great onboarding screen flow.
Spring is an app that promises to enhance consumers’ shopping experiences by listing the latest collections from famous brands. It has one of the best onboarding flow out there. Starting with a tutorial, the app guides the user using a ‘benefits-oriented approach’. Users have the option of either using their Facebook accounts or signing up, before they begin using the app.
HootSuite is a powerful social media management application that allows users to manage their social media networks, engage audience, schedule messages, and measure return on investment (ROI), right from HootSuite’s dashboard.
The onboarding process used here is ‘function-oriented’ and starts with a tutorial that explains the features of HootSuite. Afterward, users can sign in using their Twitter, Facebook or Google+ accounts. They also have the option of creating a HootSuite account.
SwiftKey is a famous alternate keyboard app that offers a great user onboarding experience, allowing users onboard in a maximum of a few minutes. It begins with a tutorial of how the app can be used, followed by setup instructions. The instructions are well-laid out and the keyboard can be set up in no time, even by novice smartphone users – thanks to the streamlined onboarding process.
Featuring one of the simplest, yet effective, onboarding flows in all of the apps listed here, Hyperlapse gets a user started within a few seconds at most. Using a minimalistic benefit-oriented onboarding approach, users learn what the app offers in the first few screens, followed by getting immediate value. This is one of the finest examples of mobile onboarding ever.
Simple is an app for managing your finances. It boasts a decent onboarding flow that includes a welcome screen and a tutorial to get users started. With its minimalistic, user-friendly approach, the designers of this app have done a great job in enhancing user retention rates.
It uses a benefits-oriented approach for onboarding and tells users how they will benefit by using the app.
Airbnb allows users to explore and book their journey right through the app. A tutorial follows the splash screen which informs the user what they can do using this app. After the tutorial, users get started by logging in and searching to their heart’s content.
In this post, we looked in detail at the importance of product onboarding, particularly concerning mobile apps. We also talked about various techniques used to get users started with mobile apps. I hope that you have gained some valuable insight into the fabulous world of user onboarding.
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