Just Right Part 1: Onboarding & Personalization In Blockchain Products

By Kate Garrigan on ALTCOIN MAGAZINE

Kate Garrigan
The Dark Side
Published in
3 min readJul 21, 2019
woman checking her mobile phone

As blockchain technology matures, product makers are faced with a user base that has a broad spectrum of needs. How can you use onboarding and app personalization to ensure successful, long-lasting products that all users want to use?

Onboarding and app personalization are buzzwords zooming in the blockchain space this year. They promise to increase user retention, spur adoption, reduce help tickets and generally act as a panacea to all product-ills. But what, exactly, does onboarding entail? Where does app personalization belong in the blockchain technology space?

Part One: Onboarding

Onboarding simply involves setting up a user for success in your product — converting a possible party into an expert user that regularly uses your product. This often takes the form of a short tutorial when a user first opens the app or a quick series of informative slides.

The end-goal of onboarding should be to show the immediate value of your product to the user and reduce any friction that may be encountered and turn the user into an expert. Onboarding is the place to give user information, help them learn and instantly see the value. It is not the best place to ask users questions about their preferences, settings or ask for any personal information. Users expect a seamless, quick experience that will get them to where they want to be.

This is the user’s first impression of your product, and you only get to make that impression once. Done well, onboarding will increase retention and growth. Done poorly, and it can harm your product’s growth.

How can you onboard well in the blockchain space? Much like you would in traditional products.

Look To The Data

Who are your users? What do they need to know to get started? How can you express this to those users?

For the blockchain — what do users need to know about the blockchain to use your product? Helpful definitions, short explanations, and other info to prepare users when they first start may decrease pain points down the line. The areas of blockchain technology interactions that will be new to many users are holding private keys and recovery phrases, irreversible transactions, transaction fees, and time to complete transactions.

Talk To Your Users

Your product helps users complete some sort of goal — holding cryptocurrency, watching the markets, or reading information. Or something else! To give your users helpful information when they first open the app — talk to them. Put your app or website in front of people and listen to what they say — what are they expecting? Did they only realize the importance of a recovery phrase two steps past? What one piece of information could have made a slow step faster?

Boil down those observations into the top helpful information that will help the user achieve their goals, whatever they are doing with your app, site, etc., faster. A couple of slides on the screen is one way to share information; tooltips pointing out new features or parts of the screen is another way.

Once you have your onboarding — keep looking. Is it helping? What are users saying about it?


Don’t be afraid to adjust and iterate. Initial go didn’t increase retention as much as you’d like? Look to the data. Talk to your users. Figure out what the stumbling points are, and adjust.

Communication is key.

Once you’ve got your users onboard to your app, personalization comes in. Continue to read about app personalization on the blockchain in Part 2 here.



Kate Garrigan
The Dark Side

UX Designer, Blockchain + Cryptocurrency