This blog post is the first part of a two-part series.
Build it, and they will come.
This is what every app developer dreams of -- but there should be more to that dream than just accumulating downloads.
What you really want is for them to come and stay – as passionate, loyal users of your app.
On average, 80% of apps are deleted after the first use. This makes the first-time user experience essential to your app’s success.
By improving the onboarding process, you can increase user retention rates, improve satisfaction with your app, and create a better overall app experience.
Onboarding is the process in which users learn the functionality and value of an app. The purpose of onboarding is to introduce the app and demonstrate what it does. This can be done in several ways:
- Introductory slides or video
- Pop up tips for new users
- An interface tour
- Sample content that demonstrates the app’s functions
Choose a method that makes sense to your app and target audience. No matter what you choose, following the best practices for onboarding will generate better user retention rates and app success.
Simplicity is Key
Choose between one and three key features that are essential for your users to understand when opening your app for the first time. Overwhelming users with too much information might just cause them to back out.
Decide what your app’s core functionality is and focus on conveying that. You just need to teach the user the basics. As they interact with the app and learn more, you can phase in new information about features. This uses the app itself to invite them to explore deeper.
Don’t waste users’ time on explaining common interface elements. For example, an “x” pretty standard for “exit” or “close,” so it doesn’t need to be explained. Instead of cluttering things up by explaining everything, focus on showing new users the key pieces of your app’s interface.
What does your user want to achieve?
In order to create a positive and engaging onboarding experience, your app must demonstrate value. By the time a user has finished onboarding, they should understand:
- Why they need your app
- What your app can do for them
- Its most important features
- How to use these features
Your goal is to make them want to come back to your app. Remember that users are downloading your app to fulfill a need. Make the purpose of your app clear and simple.
The Use of Video
Video is one of the most effective ways to teach users how to use your app in an engaging way. In using video as an onboarding method, you can explore how your app works and how it can help your audience while showing the interface of the app.
The advantages of a video onboarding experience include:
- Showing your app in action, rather than in a series of slides
- Video is more appealing than text and easier for users to understand
- The ability to show users examples of the best way to use your app
- Video is an efficient way to convey a lot of information in a short period of time
The goal should be to trigger positive emotions in the user; so keep it short and clear – communicating only the key functions of the app and anything the user needs to know to get started. That way, your user will be excited to dive into the app itself.
An effective onboarding video will also be well planned, crisp and clear, and have an engaging script and a professional voice-over. Having these elements will give your users a good first impression, which is what you need to make them come back.
After all, your best marketing tool is your app itself. So show it off with a great video.
This is Part 1 of a two-part series on how to improve mobile app onboarding. Check out Part 2 here.