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Best Product Onboarding Examples & Best Practices

First impressions matter. In the digital world, your product's onboarding experience acts as that crucial handshake, setting the tone for your relationship with new users.
Written by
Aysenur Zaza
Published on
February 22, 2023

This article dives deep into exemplary product onboarding examples, dissects their winning strategies, and equips you with best practices to guide your own users from newbie to pro.

First impressions matter. In the digital world, your product's onboarding experience acts as that crucial handshake, setting the tone for your relationship with new users. 

A smooth, engaging onboarding not only helps users discover the value of your product quickly but also increases retention and boosts conversion rates.

So, how do you craft an onboarding experience that wows instead of woes? By learning from the best! 

This article dives deep into exemplary product onboarding examples, dissects their winning strategies, and equips you with best practices to guide your own users from newbie to pro.

But first, let’s answer the question of what is onboarding.

What is Product Onboarding?

Product onboarding is the process of welcoming new users, educating them on core features and functionalities, and guiding them towards achieving their desired outcomes within your product.

It's like building a bridge between acquisition and activation, ensuring users understand the "why" and "how" of your product, ultimately converting them into loyal advocates.

Think of it this way: you wouldn't toss your guests a manual and expect them to navigate your house party. Onboarding is your chance to be the friendly host, showing them the ropes, highlighting hidden gems, and making them feel comfortable and excited to explore further.

What are the Benefits of Product Onboarding?

 Let's delve into the benefits of a greatly designed product onboarding process brings to the forefront.

1. Reduced Friction for Seamless User Adoption

A meticulously crafted product onboarding experience minimizes user confusion and frustration. By offering clear guidance and eliminating potential stumbling blocks, it paves the way for users to seamlessly adopt the product without encountering unnecessary obstacles.

2. Faster Time to Value Realization

The essence of product onboarding lies in accelerating the time it takes for users to derive tangible value from the product. A well-structured onboarding process ensures that users swiftly grasp the core functionalities, enabling them to experience the product's benefits more rapidly.

This, in turn, contributes to heightened user satisfaction and loyalty.

3. Enhanced User Engagement 

Beyond mere functionality introduction, product onboarding is an opportunity for educational interaction. Engaging users with informative content, interactive tutorials, and insightful tooltips fosters a deeper understanding of the product.

This not only enhances user engagement but also establishes a connection that goes beyond surface-level interaction.

4. Strategic User Retention

A robust onboarding process is a powerful antidote to high churn rates. By ensuring users feel competent and comfortable navigating the product early on, the likelihood of them abandoning the platform diminishes significantly.

This strategic approach to user retention becomes increasingly valuable in a competitive digital landscape.

5. User Empowerment and Confidence Building

Well-structured onboarding instills a sense of empowerment in users. As they become proficient in utilizing the product's features, their confidence in its capabilities grows.

This empowerment not only enhances the overall user experience but also encourages users to explore advanced features and functionalities.

6. Insightful User Data Collection

Product onboarding serves as an opportune moment to collect valuable user data. By tracking user interactions during onboarding, businesses can gain insights into user preferences, pain points, and behaviors.

This data, when strategically analyzed, can inform future product enhancements and marketing strategies.

7. Positive Brand Perception

The onboarding experience is often the first significant interaction users have with a product. A positive onboarding experience contributes to a favorable initial impression, shaping users' perceptions of the brand.

This positive association can extend beyond the onboarding phase, influencing long-term brand loyalty.

Product Onboarding Examples & Best Practices

Here are some best practices for creating an effective product onboarding experience:

Best Practices

Keep it simple: The onboarding process should be simple and easy to understand. Avoid overwhelming users with too much information at once.

Make it interactive: Interactive onboarding experiences are more engaging and memorable. Use videos, animations, and quizzes to make the process more interactive.

Personalize the experience: Personalization is key to creating a great onboarding experience. Use data to personalize the onboarding process for each user.

Provide guidance: Provide guidance throughout the onboarding process to help users achieve their goals. Use tooltips, walkthroughs, and other guidance tools to help users navigate the product.

Measure success: Measure the success of your onboarding process to identify areas for improvement. Use analytics to track user behavior and engagement.

Best Examples

Now, let's delve into some stellar product onboarding examples.

1. Slack

slack homepage

Personalized welcome: Slack greets users with a warm welcome message and an avatar customization option, fostering a sense of ownership from the get-go.

Interactive walkthrough: A friendly onboarding bot guides users through essential features, making the process feel seamless and engaging.

Contextual prompts: Empty states within the interface provide helpful tips and guidance, ensuring users always know what to do next.

Best practice takeaways: Personalize, utilize interactive elements, and leverage contextual guidance to keep users engaged throughout the process.

2. Duolingo

duolingo homepage

Immersive experience: Duolingo throws users right into the learning process, starting with simple phrases and gradually increasing complexity.

Game-like elements: Points, badges, and leaderboards make the learning experience fun and motivating, encouraging users to come back for more.

Clear progress tracking: Users can easily visualize their progress, keeping them invested and celebrating their achievements.

Best practice takeaways: Gamify the experience, prioritize user engagement, and provide clear progress tracking to fuel intrinsic motivation.

3. Dropbox

dropbox homepage

Simple setup: Dropbox keeps the signup process short and sweet, emphasizing the core functionality of file storage and sharing.

Immediate value proposition: Users can upload files right away, showcasing the product's utility before getting bogged down in details.

Progressive feature discovery: Advanced features are introduced later through contextual tips and tutorials, ensuring users don't get overwhelmed at the outset.

Best practice takeaways: Focus on core value, prioritize immediate user experience, and introduce advanced features progressively.

4. Asana


Personalized onboarding based on user goals: Asana tailors the onboarding experience based on the user's chosen role (e.g., project manager, individual contributor), ensuring relevant workflows and tutorials.

Interactive checklists and templates: Users can quickly get started with pre-built project templates and guided checklists, eliminating the need to reinvent the wheel.

Community support: Asana provides access to a vibrant community forum, allowing users to seek help and connect with peers.

Best practice takeaways: Personalize based on user roles, provide pre-built workflows and templates, and foster a supportive community.

5. Grammarly

grammarly homepage

Real-time feedback and suggestions: Grammarly seamlessly integrates into users' writing workflows, offering instant feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Focus on learning and progression: Grammarly provides educational explanations alongside suggestions, helping users understand the reasoning behind the corrections.

Tailored learning recommendations: Based on user performance, Grammarly offers personalized learning paths to address specific writing weaknesses.

Best practice takeaways: Integrate your product into user workflows, provide real-time feedback, and personalize the learning experience to drive individual growth.

Final Words

In the competitive world of digital products, a stellar onboarding experience can be a differentiator that sets your product apart. 

By understanding what product onboarding entails, exploring successful examples, and adopting best practices, you can create an onboarding process that not only introduces users to your product but leaves a lasting positive impression. 

Invest time and effort in crafting an onboarding journey that guides users seamlessly, ensuring they embark on a journey of discovery and value from the moment they first interact with your product.


What is product onboarding?

Product onboarding is the process through which users are introduced to and guided through the features and functionalities of a new product or service. It aims to familiarize users with the product, ensuring they can use it effectively and derive maximum value.

What is an example of a customer onboarding process?

An exemplary customer onboarding process is the one employed by Slack, which utilizes interactive guided tours to introduce users to key features gradually. This approach helps users understand the platform without feeling overwhelmed.

What is the difference between product and user onboarding?

While product onboarding focuses on introducing users to the features and functionalities of a product, user onboarding is a broader term that encompasses the entire experience a user has when interacting with a product or service.

How can you improve the onboarding experience of a product?

To enhance the onboarding experience of a product, consider implementing interactive guided tours, incorporating gamification elements, and leveraging user data to provide personalized experiences. Gradual introductions to key features and ensuring a user-friendly interface are also crucial for a successful onboarding process.

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