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User Onboarding: A crucial step for users

How your user onboarding can make a great first impression

intercom.com

User Onboarding: The Great First Impression

Like the early stages of a burgeoning relationship, multiple steps shape the outcome and determine whether the relationship between you and the user will be a wild success, an unremarkable encounter or a dismal failure.

The goal of onboarding isn’t to show new users where features ...

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Three core components make up successful onboarding:

  • UI design patterns
  • Contextual educational content
  • Contextual communication

It is vital to consider how these components interact throughout the customer lifecycle and in different channels, but t...

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To build that lasting first impression, first understand the actions your users should take and how to motivate them.

  • What do you need to know about your users to provide them with a great experience?
  • What do users need to do to get value from your app?
  • What are the cos...

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Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. The first time someone uses your product, they’re likely a little disoriented as they attempt to familiarize themselves with the new environment – your app’s UI. They’ll be searching for cues to find their way.

UI design patterns like empty...

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They might seem incredibly simple but a considered welcome message can make or break your tour.

This is your first opportunity to greet your new user, so it’s important to be warm and approachable and give them a reason to engage.

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A large window that takes priority on your screen, most often dimming the background, the modal is an effective design pattern for focusing the user’s attention.

But it may come across as noisy if not used well. You’ll often see a modal when you sign up for a product and are asked for you...

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Empty states are how your app or product looks on first use before it’s filled with user content. An empty product or app can appear like a blank page to a novice writer – it can feel overwhelming.

Not only are users trying to get oriented with this new space, they’re excited to jump in an...

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Inline hints and tips are subtle and look as though they fit in with the rest of the content on the page. Their subtlety is what sets them apart from the other UI design pattern. As a result, they should be used to enhance a user’s success in your product, for instance by providing additional inf...

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Interactive product tours excel at helping users overcome those early moments of disorientation in a new app. Product tours are usually action-driven pointer messages that look similar to tooltips, but rather than being available as a consistent part of the UI, they appear only during an onboardi...

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The design patterns discussed above are by no means a definitive or ranked list, but they’re the most common patterns used for onboarding. However, too often they’re implemented without any user context, a core aspect of effective onboarding.

Without user context, these patterns become a on...

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