How to Increase User Retention With Mobile App Onboarding

Having an effective mobile app onboarding experience is critical. Great user onboarding not only lowers abandonment rates, but can also help boost long-term success metrics like user retention and user lifetime value.

To boost retention, your apps needs to be cutting-edge and offer a seamless user experience, which involves design, customer delight, and adding a great deal of value. This post describes the best practices for creating an effective user onboarding experience that will turn initial downloads into highly engaged users. Build The Path of Least Resistance User onboarding is about making Mobile application development in Atlanta it as easy as possible for the user to start using the app. The more complex it is for users to log in or sign-up, discover features, or navigate the app, the higher the rate of user abandonment. Therefore, you want to go with the path of least resistance. But this isn’t always the best route. There are different methods of user onboarding which depend on both the utility of the app, and whether the concept of the app is new:

Benefits-oriented onboarding: communicate the value of the app. What does the app do? What value will the app provide the user?

Slack keeps their mobile user onboarding concise when demonstrating the benefits that the product provides.

Function-oriented onboarding: you aren’t demonstrating the benefits, but the key functionalities. This is when you highlight specific functionalities that show the user actions they can take, how the functionality is used, and when it should be used. Don’t add too many functionalities or it will look too complicated for the user. Include around 3 or 4 at the most.


Progressive onboarding: educating users through guided interactions. Users want to discover the app on their own terms. This onboarding process is interactive, providing the user with instructions as they actually use the app. If your app has an intricate workflow, multiple sections, hidden functionalities, and/or gesture-driven interactions, then progressive onboarding is a great approach.


Hybrid: a combination of two or all of the above


Regardless of the most appropriate user onboarding method, the goal is to make it as easy as possible for users to begin using the app.

  1. Reduce Sign-up/Log In Fields

Long forms are a bad idea, especially on mobile where screen sizes are smaller. The ideal scenario is allowing users to sign-up or log in via a single field, like a social media account. However, some apps will require more information, for example, a service-based app that has a user base of existing customers.


In cases like these, you want to gather only information that is essential. If that is a lot of information, you can consider breaking the process into more than one screen.

  1. Follow The “One Screen, One Concept” Rule

People are able to absorb information more easily if that information is precise and focused. Onboarding screens should “chunk” information, using a single screen to describe a concept to avoid overloading the user with information.


This practice is particularly important for function-oriented and benefits-oriented onboarding, where the purpose is to demonstrate key app functionalities or communicate value.

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