Looking at the onboarding process as a user

What is onboarding?

Hanna Kim
Jun 23, 2016 · 6 min read

Onboarding is a human resources term that we in the UX field have borrowed as a label for the process of getting someone “up and running” with your site, app, or service. The onboarding process is a critical step in setting your users up for success with your product, but there are a number of considerations and hard decisions to be made when you are designing your onboarding to define how best to get your users familiar with your product and its value.
- Up & Running: 3 Tips For An Awesome Onboarding UX

I understand ‘onboarding’ as a way to make users know the value of your site, app, or service easily and get used to it quickly. Users staying or pushing the go back button depends on how well you did at ‘onboarding’. Therefore, onboarding is important.

So, I went through the onboarding process onto LingQ website and app, and wrote about it.

Home page

This was the first page when I searched ‘www.lingq.com’. The review of LingQ was interesting and made me want to join, but I didn’t pay much attention to the play button. I could guess it was a video but there is no title or any explanation about it. It didn’t interest me. This is why I didn’t click it at first and I feel sad because this is a good introduction video! It would be better if it had a title or image.

When I clicked the play button, the video came up and told me about Steve and LingQ briefly. Much better than just pictures and explanations. I like Steve Kaufmann’s method and the LingQ system, seeing a video makes me excite to use the site.

As you can see in top bar of the page, I can look up most of the information about LingQ before sign up. Pricing, FAQ, and Testimonials gave me lots of important information and helped me to make the decision to finally sign up.

Sign up

There’s no reason not to try LingQ because I can start with a free trial! Also I like that I can use my Facebook account or Google account for sign up and log-in which is simple and easy. I would hesitate before sign up if I had to offer much of my information.

After sign up

If I use LingQ in English, it’s fine. But when I tried to change the interface language -which is at the top of the page mostly- it was hard to find. At first I thought the little bar, that has many options in a variety of languages, was the interface options. But It was about choosing the language that I wanted to learn. After I asked Mark, I figured out that it was in the profile of the settings page.

To return, the pop-up helped me to understand how to use the site. Therefore, I made a new lesson.

When I open my new lesson, still the pop-up helps me to follow. Sadly, only one time. After this pop-up is gone, they just give me bunch of information in one pop-up,

like this! It would be better if the pop-up showed me where exactly I should click or what I should do step by step.

It’s an old-design example. It hasn’t being uploaded. This is another thing users could be disappointed by.


Most Koreans use smartphones a lot. They are almost addicted. We do everything with smartphones. We have wifi everywhere even on the subway and Korea has the world’s fastest Internet connection speed. That is why the mobile business market is really important in Korea. It’s really easy to find reports about people using smartphones much more than computers these days. If they have an option to use both app and web, they use app more. And I’m sure it’s not something just in Korea, but in every country. For this reason, I think mobile UX is really important to catch users.

The avatar explains how to start and how to use the app very simply and clearly in order. For my experience, it was much easier to use the app than the web.

I like the idea that I can see this tutorial again whenever I want. It’s good to mention at the end.

I can edit a flash card if I I stop tapping the screen. But the avatar didn’t mention that. It would be better to mention it once.

I’m so sad that there’s a button to go to the next lesson but no button for the list of lessons.

I like that I can delete MP3 files if I want. It’s useful when I don’t have space on my phone.

Although, I cannot change the interface language I don’t think it’s a big deal because if someone who knows how to use the Web, they will know how to use the app pretty easily and intuitively, also the App tutorial is good. But still it would be better if I could change the interface language on the first page because for the people who download and use the App first.

The part of the system I like the most is I can continue to listen even when I push the hold button or use other Apps like message, search in google, etc.


After I signed up at LingQ, I got two types of emails. One is ‘English LingQs of the day’, another is ‘Weekly progress report’. The good part of these emails are I don’t have to open the site and log-in to check my words and progress everytime. I’m not that hard-working person, to be honest. Of course it would be better to use “Flash Cards” in the site but sometimes, especially when I got so tired, I prefer to just check words in email than doing the flash cards. Better than not doing at all. And ‘Weekly progress report’ and other emails like “Steve’s Tip of the Week” helps me to have a motivation, in my experience.

Some people might think that getting email every day is annoying or they prefer notifications. For those people, there are a few options that they can change and set concerning notifications and emails, like this.

After I concentrated on the onboarding process on the website and app, I learned it’s really hard to do it well. Because everyone thinks differently and it’s impossible to make it perfect for everybody. But still it’s important to make it better to use, for sure. It was great to learn about onboarding.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I covered the onboarding process well. Although I did my best. So, feel free to tell me some ideas or thoughts you have in mind, and let me know in the comments. Thank you.

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