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Mobile App Onboarding: How It Can Boost User Retention

App Development | Ankit Gupta | Last Updated: 2019-07-05

Mobile App Onboarding: How It Can Boost User Retention

Getting someone onboard, in the simplest terms, means making them familiar with the thing and ensuring that they become a regular participant in it. In mobile applications, onboarding is the first interaction that a user has with the mobile application. It ensures that the users are able to understand the app in the first use itself to avoid direct abandonment. With mobile app onboarding, the developers can ensure that users are engaging with the app owing to the simple form that it is in. If the next question in your mind is, Why app onboarding is important? then the answer is simply proven by the research by Localytics. According to the study, more than 23% of the users download an app only to abandon it after the first use. So, if you want your users to keep returning to your mobile application, mobile app onboarding has the perfect answer.


How It Can Boost User Retention
Having understood the process of mobile app onboarding, it wouldn't be wrong to say that this technique can be used by the mobile app developers to boost their user retention. However, there are a number of ways and techniques that the mobile application development companies or even individual developers can incorporate in their app development process to boost their user retention. Here are some of the most effective ways:

  • Create An App That Is Self-Explanatory The simplest way to increase user retention is by creating a mobile app that is self-explanatory. This means that the app is already so easy to use and navigate than any other specific onboarding technique is not required.
  • Design An Obstacle-Free Pathway: Building a path with least resistance is imperative for user retention. While developing a mobile application, care must be taken to create an application interface that does not create complexities for the user to move forward with using it. Whether it is navigating through the app, signing-up, finding new features, or anything else, the user should be able to familiarize with the app instantly. Whether you want to communicate the value of the app, throw light on its key features, guide the user through different functionalities, or a combination of any other intention, mobile app onboarding can assist you with that.
  • Minimize The Registration/Sign-In Forms: One of the biggest barriers that users face while getting started with a mobile app is a lengthy sign-up/registration process. Asking the users to fill in more than 2 or 3 fields could dissuade them immediately. A good mobile onboarding technique could be to eliminate all the unnecessary fields for registration and ask only basic info like email id/number and name. A better idea here could be to enable social media login. This ensures that the user is able to register with the application through their social media account. The benefit is for the company as well as they are able to access more information of the user through this. However, in case there are some details that cannot be missed out during registration, it is advisable to break the entire sign-up page into 2-3 screens.
  • Incorporate One Screen, One Concept: Bombarding the user with a multitude of information could overwhelm them and end-up making them want to leave. You do not want to overwhelm your users by throwing a lot of information at them at once. This is where One Screen, One Concept rule can come to play. This concept compels the app developers to create different screens on the app for different concepts. This technique works even better when you are aiming for benefit-oriented or function-oriented app onboarding.
  • Use Micro-Interactions Wherever Possible: Micro-interactions are considered one of the most effective means to give relevant feedback to the users. Any minuscule scroll or touch on the app triggers a reaction, thus, appealing the user's desire to receive acknowledgment for their action. Micro-interactions can be a great way to make the users familiar with the app system. Their touch can trigger feedbacks stating what that icon or button can do. Visual harmony and fluidity in the interactions is the key to onboarding your users with your mobile app.
  • Provide Guided Tutorial On The Go: Another effective way to boost user retention on your mobile app is to provide a guided tour of the app. However, it is imperative that this tutorial is not imposed on the users. To best achieve this, offer guides for the app as the user explores it further. Let them become familiar with the app as they explore and give away small interactions. Moreover, add a get tutorial option which the users can use anytime to get a guided tour of the app.


Mobile app onboarding is indeed one of the most effective ways to retain users on your mobile application for long. Adding these features and functionalities on the app can ensure the users are well aware of your app and know its value to stay on it for long. You can also find many other simple tips to make your android app successful on this blog.


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