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User Onboarding Checklists - Best Practices, Examples, and Best Tools

The realization that user onboarding checklists can make or break the user's initial interaction with a product has fueled my curiosity. Because, it is what separates users who move with direction, confidence, and motivation when using products, from those who walk around in confusion, searching in a labyrinth.
Written by
Aysenur Zaza
Published on
February 22, 2023

So, let’s explore together the world of user onboarding checklists – from knowing what they are, down to revealing the dos and don’ts, real-life cases, and the most efficient instruments to make one for your start-up

But, first things first; What is a user onboarding checklist?

What is a User Onboarding Checklist?

User onboarding checklist is defined as a series of steps that informs a newcomer on how to get involved in such products as a webpage or a certain application. It gives a hand to a user to understand what is this product, what functions it possesses, and how to make the most out of it offering some needed action steps on the side.

User onboarding checklists are in many instances interactive guides, tooltips, walkthroughs, as well as simple lists. 

It entails offering users ease of entry into succeeding as they have an initial pleasing and interesting experience.

Why is a User Onboarding Checklist Important?

Generally, user onboarding is the first point where a user interacts with your product or service. 

It’s as though the opening paragraphs of a story if it does not hook people in properly and help direct them may have the effect of putting them off completely; forever turning the page shut. 

Here's why a user onboarding checklist is crucial:

1. Reduces Friction

A well-designed checklist eliminates confusion and frustration, making it easier for users to understand how to use your product.

2. Faster Time-to-Value 

Users can quickly grasp the core features and benefits, accelerating their time-to-value and increasing satisfaction.

3. Higher Adoption Rates

Guiding users through the onboarding process increases the likelihood that they'll engage with more features and become long-term customers.

4. Lower Churn 

Effective onboarding decreases the chances of users giving up due to a steep learning curve or a lack of understanding.

Now that we understand the importance of user onboarding checklists, let's explore best practices and examples.

User Onboarding Checklists - Best Practices and Examples

Developing a good onboarding checklist for users involves both an art and a science. Here are some best practices along with real-world examples to inspire your onboarding process:

Best Practices:

1. Simplicity and Clarity

When designing your user onboarding checklist, prioritize simplicity and clarity above all else. 

Avoid overwhelming users with too much information or too many tasks at once. Each checklist item should be easy to understand and follow.

2. Progress Tracking and Milestones:

Implement a progress-tracking system within your checklist. 

Show users how far they've come and how much is left to complete. 

This visual representation of progress gives users a sense of accomplishment and motivates them to continue.

3. Personalization and Segmentation

Tailor your checklist to each user's specific needs and goals. 

Personalization can significantly enhance the onboarding experience. 

Consider segmenting users based on their roles, preferences, or previous interactions with your product to provide a more relevant checklist.

4. Clear Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Include clear and concise calls-to-action (CTAs) for each checklist item. 

Make it unmistakably evident what users need to do next to progress. 

Use action verbs and avoid vague language.

5. Feedback Loops and User Input

Incorporate feedback loops within the checklist. 

Allow users to provide input or feedback at various stages of onboarding. 

This not only helps users feel heard but also provides valuable insights for continuous improvement.

6. Mobile Responsiveness

Ensure that your checklist is fully responsive and functional across all devices, particularly mobile. 

Many users access products on smartphones or tablets, so a mobile-friendly checklist is essential for a seamless onboarding experience.

7. A/B Testing and Iteration

Don't settle for a single checklist design. 

Conduct A/B testing to experiment with different variations and layouts. 

Analyze the data to identify which checklist elements are most effective, and iterate accordingly to refine the onboarding process continually.

8. Gamification Elements

Consider incorporating gamification elements into your checklist. 

Gamification can make the onboarding process more engaging and enjoyable. 

Features like badges, rewards, or progress bars can motivate users to complete tasks and explore more of your product.

Real-world Examples

1. Duolingo

duolingo onboarding

One of such apps is Duolingo, an online game with which it is actually enjoyable to learn new languages. Its onboarding process is simple and straightforward:

Upon entering, an individual is requested to select a language of their choice.

It next makes them agree on the maximum number of hours that they wish to devote to learning each day.

Subsequently, the app gives users a general overview of the app’s basic functions like how to finish lessons, score, or up their levels.

In conclusion, the app presents customers with a brief test that is used to gauge an individual’s language proficiency.

2. Headspace

headspace onboarding

Headspace is a meditation app on mindfulness based stress reduction for wellness. Its onboarding process is designed to be calming and relaxing:

Upon downloading the app, new users are asked to register to access their services.

After that, it requires they select a goal of meditating like reducing anxiety and promoting good sleep.

Following this, a user gets an introduction to the essential parts of the app, including starting a mediation session and monitoring development.

To conclude, the application leads users through brief mindfulness exercises.

3. Robinhood

robinhood onboarding

Robinhood, an app that makes investing in stocks for everyone possible. Its onboarding process is designed to be educational and informative:

After installing the application, users are asked to sign up for an account.

Afterward, it requires them to take a brief test that gauges their investing knowledge.

The application then educates the audience about some introductory aspects of the app including browsing for stocks, placing orders, and following a portfolio.

Lastly, the app provides their clients with some cash and a chance to invest it into stock.

Since we have been talking about best practices and cases, let us look at the tools that could assist in creating an excellent User Onboarding Checklist.

Top 3 Tools to Create User Onboarding Checklists

The right tools make it easy to create user onboarding checklists. Here are three top-notch options to consider:

1. UserGuiding

userguiding homepage

UserGuiding is among the best platforms that can be used to make comprehensive and attractive user onboarding checklists. It offers a range of features, including:

  • Drag-and-Drop Builder: Build onboarding flows and checklists that are simple with a user-friendly interface.
  • Segmentation: Personalize checklists for different user segments, ensuring a tailored onboarding experience.
  • Analytics: Track user progress, drop-off points, and engagement levels to optimize your onboarding checklist continually.
  • User Feedback: Collect feedback directly within the checklist to understand user pain points and improve the onboarding process.
  • Integrations: UserGuiding integrates with popular tools like Slack, Intercom, and Zendesk, making it a seamless addition to your existing tech stack.

With UserGuiding, you can create onboarding experiences that leave a lasting impression on your users and drive product adoption.

2. Appcues

appcues homepage

Appcues is another user onboarding platform that offers a variety of features for creating interactive checklists, product tours, and tutorials. 

  • In-app feedback: With Appcues, you can get feedback from users while within your app. Such type of feedback will assist you in identifying weak points in your onboarding process.
  • Product analytics: Appcues provides detailed analytics on how users interact with your product. This data can help you identify areas for improvement in your onboarding experience and overall product design.

3. WalkMe

walkme homepage

WalkMe helps you guide users through your product or service. 

It has several options for making interactive checklists, product tours, etc. 

WalkMe also offers a number of features that are specifically designed for enterprise customers, such as:

  • Integrations with other enterprise systems: The WalkMe solution is appropriate for most enterprise systems such as CRM systems, HR systems, and ERP systems. With customization, you can design specialized onboarding experiences to meet the specific needs of your firm.
  • Security and compliance: WalkMe is secure and meets relevant standards for the industry such as SOC2, and HIPAA. This is important for enterprise customers who need to ensure that their user onboarding experiences are secure and compliant.

Final Words

So, long story short; These are the architects of first impressions—the architects of success.

Following the best practices, getting inspired from real-world cases, and leveraging the strength of innovation tools move us towards creating unforgettable onboarding experiences for our users.

Therefore, start crafting your user-onboarding checklist offering them unforgettable, wonderful user experiences. Happy onboarding!

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