Best Practices

The elements of a good onboarding experience

A great new user experience should feel more like showing up to a dinner party than being handed a welcome packet at a conference. Be a good host to your new users.🍷🍽️

Imagine that your customer is arriving at your house for a dinner party. You’d probably help them with their coat or bag, show them where the bathrooms are, and get them a drink. For a great introduction to anything, you want the new user to feel welcomed and like they have their bearings. 

Three steps for a good new user experience

Reduce cognitive load

Strip down the elements of your user interface during onboarding to help them visually focus on only the things that matter. This is akin to greeting someone at the door and taking their coat. The adjustment should not be overwhelming. Take their coat.  

Pick three things

What are the most necessary parts of your product for users to become familiar with? Think of the core loops that people engage in most often. At the end of your onboarding experience, the user should be able to answer 3 questions that show they "get" how to use your app. What would you ask?

Limit the number of concepts to three, but don't let that dictate how to deliver your new user experience. There can be multiple steps for each concept, if at each step, the user understands "where" they are and what they are doing.

Take it from first principles

These three concepts are often not the more complex workflows or “killer” functionality that your market might tout. Any value that someone gets from your product happens after they understand what they can do with it.

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