The DO’s and DON’Ts of Mobile App Onboarding


It’s hard to get people to sign up for a mobile app.

Businesses invest so much effort into acquiring new users, only to lose most of them shortly after first use. Are these low retention rates the product of poorly crafted apps? Sometimes the answer is yes. But not always.

To ensure that users do not uninstall your app after using it for the first time, you can teach them how to complete key tasks, making them want to return for more. 

App Developer in Dubai will provide some common onboarding strategies for mobile apps in this post, as well as tips on the do and don’ts of each. These on-board techniques will help you deliver the best user experience right from the beginning.

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is a term for human resources that UX designers borrowed and is described as a way to familiarize someone with an app.

Onboarding is a critical step in setting up users with your app for success because successful onboarding increases the probability of users becoming full-time users for the first time.

Strategy for onboarding app:

  • It contains non-standard interactions (e.g. an app that uses custom movements as the primary communication method).
  • Has a relatively complex interface or performs complex tasks (e.g. a complex business system with several user functions, each with different access rights and restrictions).
  • It requires users to fill in the information as their default state is null.
  • Has undergone a major redesign and you would like to introduce new functionality and changes to existing users.
  • It presents itself as a brand new idea. Users may be unfamiliar with the concept.


  • Walk-throughs and tutorials:

Don’t: Long up front-static tutorial:

A walkthrough/tutorial swipe-through is almost normal for today’s industry. During the first release of a mobile app, every second app on the market shows this sort of onboarding.

A walkthrough/tutorial is either aimed at demonstrating what an app does (value proposition tour) or at teaching users about how to communicate with the app by explaining key behavior.

A consumer communicates with the first set of screens setting the app’s user expectations. Don’t use them to spout all your code does.

Do: Short and focused set of the screen:

If you use up-front walkthroughs in your app, make sure they clarify only the most relevant features. That way, the user gets to know about the app without getting bored or slowed down by too much data. And don’t forget to give your impatient or tech-savvy users of the mobile app a “skip tutorial” option.

Do Reactive and Proactive guidance:

Through offering a fully integrated and immersive experience, it is most successful to guide users through the functionality of an app rather than delivering a slideshow or static tutorial before users start.

The immersive tour is one way to achieve this. Interactive tours are a user-guided tour, where tutorials are enabled only when the user in their experience reaches the correct stage.

2)     Visual hunts:

Don’t: Multiple coach mark:

This approach looks pretty good at first glance. What might make it a bad choice? There are a couple of reasons for this, but the main reason is clear: a lack of background.

The first-time user knows exactly what the app is doing, but is still forced to read directions for all possible actions.

Don’t: A chain of tips:

The showing of multiple coach marks or tips in a row that looks like a solution to the above problem. Hints that often appear on the screen cause users to easily ignore them, regardless of how helpful that might be. This also makes it too difficult for new users to see an app.

Do Focused contextual hints:

  • Effective contextual hints are: important— obvious things should not be clarified.
  • Prioritized — Since the emphasis should be on first-time user experience, apps should only display the primary features and allow users to explore secondary features over time.
  • Succinct — Keep them as short as possible when creating tips and other forms of suggestions for mobile apps.

Stop and think about what kind of first-time users experience they deserve before designing the onboarding of your app. Freelance App Developer Dubai give some thought to what you are trying to accomplish and the most effective techniques.

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