Get to grips with mobile app onboarding

One of the best ways to learn something is to see it in practice. Progressive onboarding relies on this idea. With such an approach, you introduce the app's features when users have actually started looking into it.

Below you can find advice on implementing the progressive onboarding technique.

01. Introduce hidden functions

feedly app

The Feedly app offers a wealth of ways to share an article (via Twitter, G+, email, and so on). To avoid cluttering the navigation bar, it employs hidden functionality

Every mobile app developer aims to use the mobile screen space as effectively as possible, which means tricks such as expanding menus and hidden functionality are relatively common. In this situation, it’s a good idea to explain where those hidden functions are through onboarding.

02. Explain gesture-driven apps

gesture explanation app

Let users know how gestures work on your app

If your app is quite simple and relies heavily on gestures, the progressive onboarding technique is ideal. When onboarding, explain the function of each gesture through pop-up messages to users.

03. Offer further explanation

gesture cheatsheet

Provide a gesture cheatsheet

If your app uses a lot of gestures, it will be difficult for users to remember them all. Moreover, it's likely your app is not the only gesture-driven one in a user’s phone. Make things even more straightforward by explaining gestures in the app’s settings, so users can refer to them whenever they need to.

Combine onboarding options

app screens Human

The Human app onboarding combines benefits- (screens #1 and 2) and function-oriented (screen #3) techniques

The types of onboarding we've discussed here are the most popular ones. However, to successfully compete in the mobile app development space, you can adopt a complex approach by combining two or even three techniques. 

When experimenting, make sure such a combination adds high value and doesn’t pad your app's onboarding out.

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Yana is a technical writer at Oxagile, a leading-edge mobile application development company with more than 50 successful mobile projects under its belt. Oxagile provides mobile apps of any complexity: from award-winning B2C applications to heavy enterprise-grade mobile solutions.