Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies

Lunch & Learn Recap with Alex Fedorov

May 18, 2022

Headshot of Alex Fedorov

This post was written by Alex Fedorov, a member of the User-Centered Design Advisory Board.

On Thursday, May 12 I gave a talk entitled "User Onboarding: Retaining more users by nurturing first time experiences." Here is a quick synopsis of the presentation.

I asked the questions: What is user onboarding, why is it important and to whom, and how should organizations think about applying it to their digital products?

This is relevant right now in my field because we spend a lot of time and effort getting the core product experience “right” but often tack on onboarding flows as an afterthought. This is a contributing factor in user churn and retention. Currently, almost 75% of people who download an app will abandon it within one day, and about 90% within one week.

Key takeaways

Onboarding can be defined as the practice of optimizing a digital product for a user’s first-time experience with the goal of educating and orienting new users.

Good onboarding can be instrumental to retaining new users by helping them get started and realize value with minimal friction.

If possible, consider Gradual Engagement which is the practice of allowing users to try out some of your product before forcing registering.

Try to align your onboarding path with a core feature that users find valuable – in other words, get early users to the “A-Ha moment”.

Understand the core onboarding patterns in use today: Instructional Tours, Wizards & Checklists, and Interactive Guidance to determine which is the right fit for your product. Note that some of the most effective onboarding employs a “learn by doing” approach.

Consider Out-of-app cues such as welcome emails, text messages and notifications to draw the user back in to ideally take a meaningful action.

Decide upon and implement onboarding decisions as a team. Measure and track metrics and activity related to user acquisition, early use, repeat use, and retention to see how your strategy is performing to retain the maximum amount of users.

Join us next week for the Lunch & Learn series. For more information on the User-Centered Design MS or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit our website.