Servage Magazine

Information about YOUR hosting company – where we give you a clear picture of what we think and do!

Better onboarding techniques

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by Servage

Onboarding TechniquesDisplaying onboarding screens for first-time-user may or may not be helpful to you and your users. In most cases, it gives a good impression for most users when being presented with nice-looking and relevant information and that stage. Therefore, learning various onboarding techniques in contemporary design is an essential step towards success with higher conversion rates.

There are always some conventions and standards prevailing in web designing and development. Conventions and smart UI elements are helpful for better user experiences. Convention assure the familiarity with prevailing UI elements for your targeted audiences. Whereas smart UI elements guide them intelligently without much text. Make use of both, so your user gets the best possible initial impression with your website.

Therefore, the ideal practice for web and mobile app development is to do explain things to the user in intelligent and intuitive ways, so the user does not need to go for additional help while traveling through each screen or UI for your site. Unfortunately, this is not always easy to reach. In due course, we have to offer additional assistance to the users (first time users in particular), in form of additional info/help/support-pages or even tutorials, demos, etc.

Types of onboarding techniques

There are several onboarding techniques prevailing in the market, but for the sake of simplicity we can segment them in the following sections:

  • Benefits-depicting onboarding
  • Function-depicting onboarding
  • Progressive onboarding

Benefits Depicting Onboarding

This is the most common and self-explanatory technique of onboarding, as we all want to first engage our users by depicting the advantages they will gain by using our applications. If users don’t see any value-addition in life or business through your app, they will abandon your app immediately. Thus, this technique of onboarding is useful for such cases. If your app needs registration, you need to describe the importance and how it can easily be done in your onboarding presentations.

Function Depicting Onboarding

In general terms, this technique is referred as Coach Mark, as you have to give straightforward coaching of the functionality – like what are the key functions, and how easy it is to use them. These coaching approaches are greatly useful in “getting started” phases for new users, but should be left hidden for returning/existing users. Otherwise, you will kill the existing users’ experience, since you are repeating what they already know.

Progressive Onboarding

This onboarding technique is the most difficult, as it requires you to display information that the user would feel is relevant, and a correct point in time, when user is actually in need of the information. Whereas Benefit or Function centric approaches are more like billboard-advertising, the Progressive approach is like hyper-targeted nice-advertising. In all its essence, it’s about giving the information relevant to the current stage of the customer. E.g. show tooltips over an element the user is investigating, or display contextual extra information when a user engages a certain part of a page, form or application.

Usually a good combination of the different on boarding techniques will lead to the best experience for users, so don’t get a theoretical limitation to one approach. The Benefits & Function approaches are good for front pages or feature pages, whereas the progressive approach is better for forms or demos.

References & More Reading

Better onboarding techniques, 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
Categories: Business


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

No comments yet (leave a comment)

You are welcome to initiate a conversation about this blog entry.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.