6 Tips To Create An Effective Mobile App Onboarding Process

6 Tips To Create An Effective Mobile App Onboarding Process

The mobile app onboarding process is an important step that determines whether the user will continue to use an app or not. Here are some tips to help you create a smooth app onboarding process.

By: Akshata Shirsath | 5 mins read
Published: Apr 9, 2021 2:10:05 PM | Updated: Feb 22, 2024 12:37:24 PM

There are new apps launching every day in the market. With the growing technology, consumers are looking for quick and easy solutions that make their life simpler. People rely on apps to get things done efficiently. There are so many categories of apps available which users need for different purposes. The real challenge for any app is to keep the user’s attention. The greater the number of apps, the greater the competition. Businesses need to focus on their design strategies to make their app stand out.

Localytics reported that 25% of users abandon an app after only one use. As we know it is hard to capture the user’s attention and encourage them to keep using an app. The mobile app onboarding process is an important step that determines whether the user will continue to use an app or not. In this article we will discuss the mobile app onboarding process and some strategies that can help make it effective.

What is Mobile App Onboarding?

The purpose of an onboarding process is to give users a brief introduction of your app. These onboarding screens may show the users how to use an app or talk about various features. The onboarding screens work as a guide highlighting the key elements of the app.

Let’s look at the types of onboarding processes.

Types of Mobile App Onboarding Processes


The benefits-oriented approach focuses on highlighting important features of the app that provide certain benefits to the target user. It shows the users what value they can get from the various features included in the app. The aim of this approach is to encourage and drive users to engage with the app. This method can help boost your conversion rate. It is a great way to educate users about different features of your app which gets users curious about exploring them.


This approach shows the users how to operate your app. It guides the users through some basic functions of your app so that a user can confidently use an app. It can be done by giving users a demo which allows users to take actions and test out the functions. Or there may be a set of screens that provide information about these basic functions.

Account creation

This type of onboarding process asks users to first set up their account before proceeding to use the app. It will require users input to fill up forms and enter personal details. This approach is commonly seen on various social media and instant messaging apps. These apps require users to create an account or set up their phone number to proceed.

Interactive onboarding

With interactive onboarding users can practice using the common function or features during the process. Users can interact with various features to help them better get a hang of the app. This type of method can be seen in various gaming apps, which teach users how the game works. This type of process can be fun and interesting for the user.

Combination onboarding

The combination uses multiple onboarding approaches to interact with new users. For example, apps may use both the functions and benefits onboarding approach. Some can show the use of basic functions and ask them to immediately sign up.

There are different onboarding types, and they should be used depending on your app and target audience. Understand which type of onboarding process works better for your app and it should be effective in capturing your user’s attention. You can also use multiple approaches as discussed above, it all depends on what type of experience you want to create for the users who are interacting with your app for the very first time.

Mobile App Onboarding Tips

Illustrate the value of your app

It is good to talk about all the innovative features your app offers, but it is always better to highlight the value that customers can get out of it. Relate to your customers by showing them how your app is going to add value to their life. Get to know your audience better first. Look at your user personas and understand what can solve your user’s problems. If you can help them achieve their goals or solve their problems, your app is going to be of value to them.

Talking about your most impressive features generally is not going to attract the attention of your target audience. Instead, be more specific about how your app can be useful to them. Your app should be the tool that could help customers achieve their goal. Show them how using your app can be beneficial to their most specific needs. This will let the customers connect with your app and help you boost engagement.

Limit permission requests

Typically, when users download an app for the first time, they are bombarded with permission requests. This does not work well and may leave the user annoyed. Multiple permission requests, especially at the beginning, can discourage users from further engaging with your app. In the beginning, limit on asking for permissions that are very important. And even later, ask for permissions that are relevant. Irrelevant permission requests can leave the users confused and they may not trust your app. If they don’t feel secure, then they will simply uninstall your app. Hence, only ask for limited and necessary permission requests.

Keep onboarding process precise

Onboarding process is to highlight a few important elements of your app or give a brief overview. Don’t make this a lengthy process. Keep it short, precise and on-point. Limit yourself to using only a few screens to get all the important information covered. If you create a set of never-ending screens, it’s going to leave the users bored and irritated.

If your app’s functions are a little complex, break it down into small steps. You can also use the interactive onboarding approach to make the process more fun, quick, and interesting. Create a quick guide that does not require the users to give too much focus or attention. When things get complicated, users will grow impatient and give up. A step-by-step approach is the way to go.

Avoid using too much text

This ties up with the point mentioned above. Don’t overload the screen with too much text. Limit using only a few short sentences per screen. There should be no lengthy paragraphs that require a user to put too much energy into understanding it. Visual elements should be included along with text to illustrate your message. Moreover, the text font should be legible and appropriately sized. This helps create a good user experience for your audience.

Easy account creation

The sign-up or account creation process should be easy, if this is the first thing users must do to access your app. Ideally, it's best to leave the sign-up process for a later stage when your user has had a chance to explore your app. If the sign-up process is required before they can access the app, then users may not engage further. Users need to get a feel of your app before they give out their personal details.

The sign-up process should be simple, easy and require minimal user input. Too many fields in a form can make the users impatient and they may not go through with it. Ask only important questions that are relevant to the app. You can also include a sign-up option from the user’s Google or Facebook accounts. This way they can sign-up easily without having to enter all redundant details. Various auto-fill options, especially for address, can make their lives easier. Integrate tools and options that can allow them to fill these details out quickly without too much effort. Make this process quick and easy for your users.

Analyze app onboarding screens

Analytics is an important part for any app or website to track the performance. Data can give you valuable insights that help you make improvements to your app. For onboarding, you can use various visual analytics tools to help track the user behavior on your app. This can show you how your users interact with the onboarding process. Use heatmaps to track which part of the screen your user clicked or the scrolling behavior. Heatmaps give visual data where the users clicked on your screen. This is a way to understand if users are interacting the way you want them to with your onboarding screens.

Using real-time reporting can help you track what your users are doing on your app at a certain moment. Moreover, tracking a user’s navigation can give you an insight into user behavior. You can see if the majority of your users are quickly scrolling past the screen without reading, then maybe it did not capture a user’s attention. Or if the majority of them are leaving midway in the onboarding process, that means your process may be too long and boring. Based on user behavior, you can make improvements to your onboarding process. Always analyze your audience behavior to get valuable insights.

Onboarding process is a key factor to help users engage with your app. So, make sure that you are following these steps mentioned above to create a seamless mobile app onboarding for your users. Analyze your current onboarding process and see if you are making some mistakes mentioned in this article, then it is never too late to correct it. A smooth onboarding can get users interested in your app and retain them for a long time.

Found this helpful? Check out more interesting articles from our blog.