There are millions of apps available in the app marketplace, and thus getting your own app noticed by the users can be horrendously challenging. Even if, your mobile application is used once, it might not be opened again by your users. And so, it becomes necessary to take required measures that help improves your app retention rate. To do so, you need to encourage users to come back and use your application.

Sadly, there are several factors that can affect your app retention rate. And the first factor that you need to pay attention to is the app onboarding screen. In fact, showing up such screens to the first time app users, has become a common practice nowadays. The onboarding screens – can be called as walkthroughs – that help users understand how they need to use an app and what can be accomplished using it. Since users are able to understand what your app is about and what it does, the likelihood that those users will return to use the app increases.

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When it comes to designing a mobile application’s onboarding screen, it is recommended that it needs to be created in a user-friendly manner. Unfortunately, many app creators often end up designing onboarding screens that rather confuses the users. And thus, it is very important for you to avoid such a situation from happening in the first place.

In this post, we’ll review some onboarding techniques that you should be aware of. In addition, we’ll talk about some of the best practices you should follow for delivering a refined onboarding experience to your mobile app users.

Best Techniques Mobile App Onboarding

There are three techniques, you need to implement when designing an onboarding screen for your app. When implementing these techniques, you must adhere to a few guidelines to provide best onboarding experience for users. Let’s have a look at those techniques and guidelines you need to consider:

1. Benefits-oriented onboarding: As the name implies, when implementing this technique, you’ll have to tell your users: what benefits will they get when using your app. This requires you to communicate with your users things such as:

  • What purpose the app will serve?
  • How users can use the app? and so on.


For example, the Mailbox app highlights the actions to be taken by users and the benefits they’ll get using the app.

Guidelines to Follow When Implementing Benefits-oriented onboarding:

  • Do not exceed from  showing more than 3 key benefits to users.
  • Make sure to include one benefit in each slide.
  • Prioritize the main benefits.
  • Provide Onboarding screen prior to the registration process.

2. Function-oriented onboarding: This technique unlike the benefits-oriented onboarding technique doesn’t focus on presenting the benefits users gain from the app. Instead, it pays attention to displaying an app’s functionality. And it helps in interacting the below listed things to a user:

  • What is the key functionality of an app?
  • When and how a user should utilize the app’s functionality?

For example: The Stitcher app shows how a user can utilize the main functionality of the app and when.

Guidelines to Follow When Implementing Function-oriented onboarding:

  • Don’t waste your time in explaining an obvious functionality.
  • Present not more than 3 slides, where each slide contains one key functionality.
  • Highlight functionality that helps users get started easily.


3. Progressive on boarding: The third and the last technique is based on the rule of thumb: people learn best when they something on their own. Progressive on boarding presents users the information about how to use an app in the form of a walk through.

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For example:  Snapchat’s app makes users walkthrough it’s main functionality and guide them how they can take a screenshot.

Guidelines to Follow When Implementing Progressive onboarding:

  • Use Progressive onboarding technique for complex walkthroughs.
  • Include gesture-driven interaction in the slides.

Best Practices To Deliver Great Onboarding Experience

Below are a few guidelines that you should adhere to when designing an onboarding screen for your app:

1. Provide a brief overview: In order to achieve this goal, you just need to highlight some of the most important app areas on the onboarding screen. Doing so, will help users find the exact functionality they’ve been looking for.

2. Present Key Strengths of Your App: Next, it is very important that users can know about your app key strengths immediately when using the onboarding screen. This will keep your users engaged to your app even after the onboarding process.

3. Provide Step-by-Step Guide: Make sure to provide a useful step-by-step guide to your users (i.e. present slides each containing useful information about the app). This will help provide your users with a seamless onboarding experience.


If you’ve been seeking out ways to deliver a user-friendly onboarding experience to your app users, then reading this post will serve as a good starting point. The post covers useful advice that will help you understand about the techniques used in creating onboarding screens and a few guidelines to ensure providing users with the onboarding experience.

Author Signature: Addison Cohen is a mobile app developer working with Appsted Ltd, which offers iOS app development services and delivers most comprehensive mobile application solutions. He loves sharing latest information on mobile technologies like iOS, Android development processes.


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