5 inspiring user onboarding examples: great UX, better user engagement
Our top 5 user onboarding flows will inspire you to prototype excellent onboarding experiences for web and mobile apps
Intuitive user interfaces are the Holy Grail for UI designers and digital product managers. But it’s not always realistic to expect 100% of users to dominate a mobile or web app’s features from the get-go. This is particularly true for intricate enterprise application interfaces requiring intimate knowledge of an organization’s workflow; however, it can also true of relatively simple products aimed at a wide variety of users, or a product with frequently updated features.
All users appreciate a helping hand to get them started on a product or feature sometimes. And that’s where user onboarding comes in.
User onboarding: the basics & the benefits
User onboarding flows come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all of them aim to help users make the most of a web or mobile app, fast. To do this, onboarding flows might:
- introduce new users to a mobile or web app, walking them through features or account management
- explain an app’s most popular actions or features
- introduce a new feature and why users should try it
- all of the above
The benefits of building user-centric onboarding flows revolve around the impact on user retention and user engagement. Whereas ineffective onboarding leads to high churn rates, decreased product renewals and a disappointing rate of conversion from free products to paid versions, good user onboarding flows reverse downward trends, improving user return rates, engagement and sales funnel strength.
A user onboarding flow should guide users through potentially confusing or difficult moments, improving their experience of the product and converting them into loyal users.
If all this is reminding you of Clippy, Microsoft’s well-meaning but intrusive Office Assistant paperclip, the it’s time you got up to date with these 5 examples of inspiring user boarding flows that boost user rentention and improve user experiences.
Basecamp: onboarding new users with great UX
When we interviewed Basecamp‘s UI Designer Jonas Downey, he told us that his team aims to make Basecamp “an enjoyable collaborative space“. That design idiology is obvious from Basecamp’s onboarding process for new users: starting from a landing page with a distinctly approachable vibe (witness the client testimonials and distinctly homey design aesthetic), Basecamp moves users along a conveyor belt that includes account creation, and a personal note from Basecamp’s friendly looking CEO.
This is all great, but then comes the real onboarding juice: the flow asks new users which projects they’ve got going on right now, and takes them straight over the project template they need. Say you want to set up a company HQ, a central point for shared documentation and news — Basecamp directs new users through that set up in 3 steps.
Basecamp also provides new users with sample projects in the Account page, which users can use as templates to build out their own projects. Users are encouraged to upload information, add members and start working with the tool almost without realizing. The onboarding flow is unobtrusive, useful and helps boost retention by ensuring users upload documentation sooner rather than later.