Home Digital Transformation and Digital Adoption What is Onboarding UX and Why is it Important?
Digital Transformation and Digital Adoption

What is Onboarding UX and Why is it Important?

What is Onboarding UX and Why is it Important?

When was the last time you opened a platform that was unfamiliar to you? 

Recently, right? 

Nearly every organization on the planet nowadays has their own unique website or mobile app (71%) – which can make your quest to complete something more than a little confusing.

Whether you want to purchase a product, get a quote, provide feedback, or simply ask a question… it can be difficult to find the right channel to do so without additional guidance.

That’s where an onboarding user experience (UX) comes in to save the day.

Ready to find out what is onboarding UX? This guide will answer all your questions, and more.

The Definition of Onboarding UX

Onboarding UX is the method you use to onboard trial users to a piece of software that’s unfamiliar to them. 

In general, it entails the addition of a step-by-step guide that directs new visitors around the platform and points them in the right direction for what they want to achieve. 

What is Onboarding UX?

However, an onboarding UX isn’t as simple as the definition makes it sound.

There’s so much more going on behind the scenes.

The process can be customized to every organization, the platform they use, and the audience they are targeting – making it a complex process to wrap your head around.

Your user’s onboarding UX begins from the very moment they arrive on their platform and continues through to when they leave. 

During this time, judgement is being formed.

Therefore, to have the best chance of success in finalizing a lead, you’ll have optimize onboarding conversions and walk the fine line between:

  1. Being helpful by pointing out important features and functions.
  2. Willfully putting an extra barrier between yourself and a sale. 

It’s an interesting challenge, but not one that’s unachievable. Especially not if you have the right tools at your side.

What is the Business Value of Onboarding UX?

Once you’ve cracked the code, though, the value of an onboarding UX is astronomical. Why?

Well, let’s face it. Every time a new visitor arrives on a site or application, there’s a learning curve they have to climb.

Even if the layout has been optimized to best guide their journey, that doesn’t mean certain actions will be as obvious to them as it is to you. 

At this early stage, any challenge your audience faces in completing their task is another obstacle that could be harmful to your profit line.

For instance, if they spent a few minutes hunting for a phone number to reach out and place an order, and this information isn’t readily available to them… they might just give up.

As a one-off occasion, this might be an acceptable loss. On a regular basis, this could be detrimental. A user’s onboarding UX looks to combat high bounce rates by ensuring that your users face no difficulty in finding their way around your platform.

Types of Onboarding UX Patterns

Do you want to hear the good news? Thankfully, your digital adoption strategy doesn’t have to be extensive.

There are loads of different types of onboarding UX approaches that you can take and each one will help your user arrive at their end destination. 

Whether you want a video tutorial invite to pop up on your home screen for every new visitor or you want to embed a software overlay onto your platform… all your options are perfectly valid.

1. Contextual Onboarding

Let’s face it. Even on a custom platform, there will be plenty of features self-explanatory by anyone who is used to using the internet. Therefore, you should identify specific areas of your website or application where your users will need a little bit of support and put a command trigger in place where relevant.

2. Hotspots

What is your audience’s intent? Where are they heading when they download your app or open your website? Are they trying to do something specific, like browse through a feed or add a product to their basket? If so, then you can introduce a guide to these specific areas to point visitors in the right direction and ensure they achieve what they wanted to do.

3. Product Tour Onboarding

Now, this form of onboarding UX is a little more complicated and it’s used in specific applications. Product tours are a useful tool if you’re someone who sells software and wants your customers to truly understand the value of what you have to offer. How? Through an innovative demonstration.

4. Task Lists

As contradictory as it sounds, a new visitor’s arrival isn’t always about them. It’s about you, too. If you have certain boxes you want to tick (such as the collection of an email address) then you’ll need to provide directions for your user to gain as much information from them as possible. 

5. Interactive Walkthroughs

Last – but certainly not least – is one of the most engaging onboarding UX options out there, which all businesses should use to their advantage. Rather than having a visitor quickly grow bored with the stream of information you are presenting them with, interactive walkthroughs will encourage them to take an active part in their own training.

What is Onboarding UX? – FAQs

Whether you accommodate it or not, your website and application visitors are going to judge your worthiness by their overall onboarding UX. 

Therefore, if you want to maintain a strong brand reputation and high conversion rates, you need to deliver the best possible customer journey from start to finish. 

Still have questions? Perhaps these FAQs can prove to be of use.

  • What is the goal of user onboarding?

At the end of the day, a software user who doesn’t understand the layout and the available features of the platform they have visited is going to get frustrated and they won’t see the true value of what lies before them. To combat this, you need to carefully consider your onboarding experience and provide training to your visitors.

How can I onboard a new user successfully?

Thankfully, getting someone to become a new user is the hardest step. Onboarding is easy. All you have to do is adopt user onboarding software to create an overlay that will sit over your website or application. This offer useful tips to new visitors in real-time and explain how to use the platform they’ve landed on.

  • What makes a good user onboarding experience?

When your software makes sense to a visitor and it’s not difficult to understand what they need to do to achieve their goal, then the onboarding process will be easy. If you have a complex system, however, with many internal “pages”, you’ll need to provide more guidance and support in the form of a tutorial. This will eradicate frustration and result in smooth software adoption.

Software training doesn't have to be time-consuming through a digital onboarding UX. Userlane has the solution.

Automate Onboarding UX through Userlane’s DAPs

Do you own a piece of software that needs to be accessed by your stakeholders?

If so, you can’t leave their ability to overcome the learning curve to chance. Should a customer be confused, they’ll quickly get frustrated and abandon their mission to make a purchase.

That’s a situation best avoided, wouldn’t you agree?

Through Userlane’s Digital Adoption Platforms, you can automate online training and ensure that any new visitors receive the guidance they need to complete their task.

With your help, we’ll design an overlay for your website or application that’ll deliver a step-by-step guide to all new users, pointing out useful features and getting them up to speed.

Ready to learn more? Book a demonstration today.

New to Userlane? Take a step in your software adoption journey and join the pool of our happy customers.
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About the author:
The Userlane team brings you digital adoption insights, product updates, and plenty of onboarding and engagement advice for user-centric businesses.