Onboarding is a process of getting users “up and running” with a site, app, or service. Successful onboarding increases the likelihood that a first-time user becomes a full-time user after adopting a product.

This article explores four creative mobile onboarding concepts.

1. Tell a story

Mobile apps often use swipe-through tutorials or value proposition tours during the first launch. In most cases, this onboarding doesn’t bring too many benefits to users. In the worst cases, such onboarding acts as a road blocker — users try to swipe it as quick as possible to start using an app.

But it’s possible to take such a boring concept and make it truly valuable for users. This onboarding is an excellent example of how to tell a quick story about using a service using subtle animated effects — the box travels through screens and makes it easier for users to comprehend information.


2. Customize user preferences

Different users have different preferences. That’s why the idea of customization and personalization is so popular among app developers today.

For example, during onboarding allow users to choose the news they want to see. Such onboarding creates an experience that feels personal.

3. Use device capabilities to simplify data input

Many apps request user data during onboarding. But there’s one serious problem with filling out a form on mobile — typing. Typing on a small mobile screen is error-prone.

It’s possible to use the power of mobile devices to simplify the procedure of data input. Netguru developed CarLens (a concept that you can see below) which uses photos that users take using a mobile camera and apply a machine learning algorithm to recognize a particular car.


4. Configure hardware devices

For some apps, onboarding includes steps of hardware configuration. The clarity of instructions have a direct connection to the outcome. The less clear instructions, the more chances for failure.

Below you can see a concept of onboarding for Cobblestone system. Cobblestone is a WiFi & HiFi music system for speakers. It uses your smartphone to control music to any speaker over WiFi. Mobile app requires some actions from the user side — users need to plug the ethernet cable to Muzo adapter. But the app makes this task much more straightforward for users because it shows what users have to do.



To make the mobile onboarding more effective, make it useful instead of tedious, minimize the user input (nobody likes typing on mobile) and show, don’t tell.

4 Creative Mobile Onboarding Concepts

PS. Also, don’t be afraid to put some personality into the onboarding process. If you can’t be funny, at least be human.