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User Onboarding Examples and Best Practices To Get Inspired By

User onboarding is the crucial point where that first-time visitor has ventured into the online world created by you. User’s perception during the first few minutes could dictate their journey as a whole.
Written by
Hilal Yıldırım
Published on
February 22, 2023

Let us go for an exploration into the world of user onboarding. The first questions we’ll address include what exactly is user onboarding, why it’s so essential, and mainly – the best practices capable of transforming average to excellent online onboarding.

This will direct us toward the explored samples of the best user onboarding examples from different areas of the digitized globe. 

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

What is User Onboarding

User Onboarding is where new users are guided into your product or services, and help them begin and become productive. This is the first encounter you are offering; it is the deciding point whether the user continues or abandons further usage- mostly.

User onboarding is effective when it combines good user interface design, and instructional material with interactive features that lead a user through all the product’s features and advantages.

From the time your user signs up for your product, the aim is to give them a friendly and thrilling experience that makes them feel comfortable, confident, and happy.

User Onboarding Best Practices

So now that we have determined what user onboarding is, let’s discuss best practices for creating a great user onboarding experience. 

Such practices may enable you to prevent ‘churn’ at the outset – making sure that these individuals have a good first experience using your product so that they are more likely to stick around for longer.

1. Understand Your Users

To develop a successful onboarding experience, begin by understanding your target audience. 

Who are your users? What are their needs, pain points, and goals? 

Conduct user research and gather data to create user personas. This information will help you tailor your onboarding process to meet their specific needs and expectations.

2. Keep it Simple

Simplicity is key in user onboarding. Avoid overwhelming users with too much information or too many features all at once. 

Introduce basic features at first, then move the customers to advanced features. 

It is worth mentioning that having a clear and simple design of the UI (User Interface) can change the perception of your product.

3. Provide Clear Guidance

Clear and concise guidance is essential during onboarding. Use tooltips, pop-ups, and walkthroughs to explain key features and actions. 

Make sure your instructions are easy to understand, and consider using visuals to reinforce your messages. 

Remember, users should feel like they can accomplish tasks without having to consult a user manual.

4. Set Milestones and Goals

Help users see the value in your product by setting clear milestones and goals for them to achieve. 

These goals can serve as motivation and give users a sense of accomplishment. 

Celebrate their achievements along the way to keep them engaged and encouraged.

5. Personalization

Personalizing the onboarding experience can significantly enhance user engagement. 

Use data you've collected about your users to customize the onboarding journey. 

Tailor recommendations and content based on their preferences and behavior within your product.

6. Feedback Loops

Create opportunities for users to provide feedback during onboarding and beyond. 

With feedback, you can tell what challenges users are facing and make adjustments. 

By doing so, you show respect for their input which is very critical in creating a sense of community and trust.

7. A/B Testing

Go ahead and try a variety of onboarding approaches. 

With A/B testing you can determine what elements of your onboarding process have a higher conversion rate of users and keep them engaged.

A/B testing can help you identify which onboarding elements are most effective in converting users and keeping them engaged. 

Continuously optimize the onboarding process based on the results of these tests.

8. Mobile Optimization

The onboarding experience should be mobile-friendly since we live in a mobile world. 

One important user consideration is that many people will use your product from multiple screens including tablets and phones. 

So ensure smooth onboarding across all devices.

9. Analytics and Monitoring

Implement analytics tools to track user behavior during onboarding. 

Monitor user drop-off points, completion rates, and the time it takes for users to complete the onboarding process. 

Use this data to make informed adjustments and improvements.

10. Continuous Improvement

Onboarding users is not something that happens just once. 

This is a never-ending process, which grows with your products and users. 

Continuously gather user feedback, analyze data, and refine your onboarding experience to meet changing user needs and expectations.

Best User Onboarding Examples

Now that we've covered the best practices, let's take a closer look at some inspiring user onboarding examples from various industries. 

These examples illustrate how companies have successfully implemented user onboarding to create exceptional first impressions and drive user engagement.

1. Toggl

toggle homepage

Toggl is a time-tracking app that offers a personalized onboarding experience. 

New users are asked to complete a short questionnaire, which helps Toggl to learn about their work habits and goals. 

Toggl then provides users with tailored recommendations and tips on how to use the app most effectively.

2. Bubble

bubble homepage

Bubble is a no-code app-making tool with a comprehensive onboarding service. 

On Bubble, visitors can find several helpful resources such as tutorials, the website’s manual, and video classes. 

The company’s solution has been complemented by the creation of Bubble Community, an online platform providing its customers with a chance for sharing.

3. Hotjar

hotjar homepage

Hotjar is a suite of UX analytics tools that has many onboarding methods to serve the various needs of various users. 

With a guided tour or through video tutorials, it’s possible for new users to look at it in a step-by-step manner. 

In addition, Hotjar offers several types of templates and materials that facilitate an efficient analysis of user data for end-users.

4. Notion

notion homepage

Notion has a very customizable process for a note-taking and productivity tool. 

There are two options for new users: a blank template and numerous pre-made templates provided by Notion. 

Notion gives its users many tips and tutorial on how to properly utilize the product features.

5. Trello

trello homepage

Trello's onboarding is straightforward and visually appealing. Users are introduced to the concept of boards, lists, and cards through an interactive tutorial. 

Trello encourages users to create their first board, helping them see the practical application of the tool right away. The drag-and-drop interface makes it simple to organize tasks and projects.

To Sum Up

In essence, one of the most important factors for the success of virtually any product or service is user onboarding. 

Creating an engaging onboarding process by following best practices and leveraging on successful examples will keep your users on your product.

However, keep in mind that user onboarding never finishes – it is a continuous process requiring improvements. 

Keep listening to users, and adapt to their changing needs using data-driven information for the betterment of the onboarding process.

Dedicate yourself to creating the perfect onboarding journey that will leave a lasting positive impression on your users and pave the way for future success.

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