Mobile Design
< 5 minute read

Retain Users With These Mobile App Onboarding Inspirations

Michael is an experienced UI/UX designer whose background in marketing and data analysis helps him make well-informed design decisions.

In a world where 90 percent of all downloaded apps are used once and then deleted by users, flawless onboarding is essential.

It’s unlikely users will come back to your app if they don’t understand how it works or how it will make their lives better the first time around. Therefore, a successful onboarding process should have more than just flashy graphics; it needs to effectively communicate an app’s value.

While all apps have different purposes, you can still get inspired by others’ onboarding experiences. To get you started, we’ve put together a collection of onboarding processes to inspire you.

Google Docs

google docs onboarding

Credit: Divan Raj


In the Google Docs app onboarding, Google illustrates the contexts in which Docs will change how users handle their documents. So, rather than spending the user’s first seconds showing them where the fonts are, Google explains how interacting with its product will transform how you think about working with documents.

Dropbox

dropbox onboarding

Credit: Dropbox


This is an excellent example of a product illustrating how an app will benefit users in specific life contexts, rather than simply listing features. Being able to backup photos on the bus and quickly send videos to friends means much more to users than a list of features.

Boomer App

boomer app onboarding

Credit: Parallel Labs


This product effectively illustrates the human interactions that the app can improve, such as potential conversations and city contexts. Illustrations are important, but if they don’t communicate value to users, then they’re useless.

Citrus App

citrus mobile app onboarding

Credit: Parallel Labs


HubSpot

hubspot onboarding

Credit: Stephen Crowley


HubSpot shows that their new widgets enable customization, how this will appear on the device, and what that means for their product as a whole. The bold copy text in this onboarding process is succinct and leaves no room for questions.

Bot Onboarding

bot onboarding

Credit: Ilya Tsuprun


The end of apps is an increasingly contentious topic. Many products are trading in their apps for chatbots that operate within a messenger. As with apps, bots need to introduce themselves too. The personal quality of bots has thus far been a friendly way to get signup information from users.

McDonalds

mcdonalds onboarding

Credit: Dmitry Mokhar


These McDonalds animations beautifully transition from frame-to-frame, all with the single dot. The quality of this sequence instills confidence in the user that the rest of their experience with the product will be as polished.

Delibarry

delibarry onboarding

Credit: Pavel Novák


Sometimes users don’t ever get past the onboarding. So, how can a delivery service defend its unique value? In this case, Delibarry illustrates its delivery efficiency, so users might be so impressed that they have to try it just once.

Survey

survey mobile app onboarding

Credit: Udhaya chandran


The communicated action for this onboarding is pretty simple, but the designer used the opportunity to experiment with a type of animation that is less common than the average flat graphics. Viewers might be so intrigued with the image that they’ll have to comply with the survey.

Percolate Mobile

percolate mobile onboarding
In some cases, the onboarding process displays itself in action. If a product requires a slightly more complex interface, then this can be a great way to walk users through the basics of using the app. Just don’t bore them to death.

Dating App

dating app onboarding

Credit: Jason Fallas


Onboarding presents an opportunity to secure information from users. Sign up sheets are obviously a big turn off. This dating app makes it enjoyable with its interactive method.

Local Delivery

local delivery onboarding


This onboarding process keeps the copy simple, which implies that the service itself is simple. If your onboarding requires users to read a wall of text, they may be put off that your product will be tedious as well. Generally, try to communicate to users as efficiently as possible.

Friendly App

friendly app onboarding

Credit: Friendly


Simulating the potential conversations that could take place within this app is a great way to instill confidence that the service will lead to great experiences. In this case, meeting strangers can be intimidating, so this friendly interface could go a long way.

Don’t be the app that gets deleted.

There may not be an onboarding process here that perfectly fits your app, but that doesn’t mean they’re useless. By understanding successful apps’ onboarding flows, you can get inspired to create your own unique experience that perfectly suits your app.