User onboarding has become something of a buzzword in the realm of digital products and services.
Yet, if I were to ask most people, "What makes a fantastic user onboarding experience?" they might just give me the cliche answers - fast, efficient, intuitive, etc.
However, let's break down a popular misconception right at the onset.
While speed and efficiency are important, a superb user onboarding experience is not merely about getting users to zoom through a system or app as fast as they can.
Instead, it's about making them feel empowered, enlightened, and eager to explore what awaits them on the other side of this initiation process. It’s the first interaction a user has with your product, and as the age-old saying goes, "First impressions do count!"
So in this article, we will show you 5 best user onboarding experiences through various examples. You will learn what makes a user onboarding successful in retaining a customer or converting a free user to a paid customer, and not just collecting the status of onboarding as 'complete.'
What is a SaaS user onboarding experience?
When someone signs up for your SaaS product, they're embarking on a new journey with your software. They might be excited, but they also might feel a bit lost or overwhelmed. Your job is to guide them, help them understand the software, showcase its key features, and demonstrate the value it can bring to them. This is what a user onboarding experience takes care of.
This can be achieved through a variety of user onboarding elements such as…
- product tours that give a 360-degree view of your software,
- interactive walkthroughs that hand-hold users through their initial interactions,
- tooltips that provide useful hints,
- hotspots that highlight important features, and
- user onboarding checklists to keep track of their progress.
What makes a user onboarding experience great?
There are 5 factors that can make user onboarding go from good to great. There is no exception to excluding any of these if you want a user onboarding that converts people from leads to users and then to paying, loyal customers:
An exceptional user onboarding process starts with understanding the users' needs. This means identifying what they are looking for in the product and tailoring the user onboarding experience accordingly. Instead of just showcasing the product's features, the focus should be on how the user can effectively utilize those features to meet their specific needs.
2. Encourage Action:
Interactive onboarding experiences allow users to learn by doing, which is generally more effective than passive learning. Instead of lengthy explanations or demos, users should be nudged to take actions, like setting up their profile or trying out a key feature. This helps them familiarize themselves with the product and makes the learning process more engaging.
3. Deliver Value:
The main goal of the user onboarding process is to demonstrate the value of the product to the users as quickly as possible. This could be done by guiding users towards the features that solve their problems or enhance their experience in a way that other products do not. When users see firsthand how the product can benefit them, they are more likely to continue using it.
Just as the product and its features evolve over time, so should the user onboarding process. Feedback from users can help identify areas of the user onboarding experience that can be improved. Likewise, as new features are added to the product, the user onboarding process should be updated to include them.
The onboarding experience shouldn't end once users have completed their initial setup or learned the basic features. It should be a continuous process, providing support and guidance as users explore more complex features, and when updates or changes are made to the product. This ensures that users always have the resources they need to make the most of the product.
In essence, a great user onboarding experience is thoughtful, engaging, value-driven, adaptable, and continuously supportive.
5 Best User Onboarding Experiences
ClickUp is a versatile project management platform that helps teams organize tasks, collaborate effectively, and stay productive all in one place.
As soon as you sign up for ClickUp, you're greeted with a quick quiz that aims to understand your specific needs. Are you a marketing team? A startup? Or maybe a freelancer? Depending on your answers, ClickUp tailors the onboarding experience to your unique situation. It's like a tour guide that knows exactly what you want to see, making your journey more enjoyable and relevant. Similarly, a WordPress Quiz Plugin can be utilized to engage website visitors and gather insights by creating interactive quizzes tailored to their interests and preferences.
ClickUp encourages users to learn by doing. It doesn't just tell you about its features; it lets you try them out for yourself. As you navigate through the software, prompts guide you to create your first task, invite team members, or set up a project. It’s an interactive tour that gets you involved from the get-go, making the learning process feel less like a lecture and more like an exploration.
ClickUp's onboarding doesn't end after your first session. They offer a wealth of resources like tutorial videos, webinars, and an extensive help center to support your continuous learning. So, no matter how far you've come, there's always help available to learn something new or deepen your understanding of the platform.
Duolingo gets you using the app right away. In fact, within minutes of setting up, you're already translating sentences, matching words, and speaking phrases in a new language. It's a fun and empowering way to learn, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment right from the start. You're not just learning about the app, you're already using it and experiencing its value.
I was able to learn at least 6 words in Japanese in the first few minutes of signing up for the app! How cool and motivating.
Duolingo tailors the learning experience to you. It adjusts the difficulty based on your current level of language proficiency. This adaptability ensures that you're always challenged, but never overwhelmed. It's like having a personal language tutor who adjusts the lesson plan according to your needs.
In essence, Duolingo's user onboarding is engaging, empowering, and adaptive. It's designed to give you a taste of success right at the beginning and provide a personalized learning experience as you continue your language learning journey.
After the first lesson you are congratulated with engaging graphics, some in-app coins and the opportunity to move to the next level.
Slack is a messaging app for business.
When you first log into Slack, you're guided through a step-by-step tutorial. This isn't just a static set of instructions, but an interactive experience where you learn by doing. You send a test message, react to a message, and even mention a user.
One of Slack's standout features is its ability to get teams collaborating quickly. During the user onboarding process, it encourages you to invite your team members and start a conversation in a shared channel. This aspect turns the typically solitary user onboarding experience into a communal, team-building one. It’s a unique approach that not only helps users understand the product’s collaborative nature but also sets the stage for how work will be done in the future.
Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design tool.
Canva asks you a few simple questions at the beginning to understand your design needs and then customizes your experience based on your answers. Whether you're a teacher, business owner, or just creating for fun, Canva curates templates and tools that are relevant to you. This personal touch makes the platform feel tailored to your unique design goals.
Canva understands the power of teamwork in creating beautiful designs. If you indicate during the initial setup that you work at a company and intend to use Canva for business projects, it encourages you to invite your team members. This is a great way to get everyone on board quickly and streamline your collaborative design efforts.
Simple and clear guidance
Canva's user interface is intuitive, but they've still sprinkled helpful tips and prompts throughout the process. These pop-ups guide you on how to use tools or add elements to your design. It's like having a friendly art instructor, offering advice over your shoulder as you explore your creativity.
Notion, the all-in-one workspace tool, offers a fantastic user onboarding experience. Let's look at the elements that make it exceptional:
When you first join Notion, they send a welcoming email that gives you a quick overview of what Notion is and how it can benefit you. They break down its potential uses — project management, documentation, collaboration, etc., giving you an immediate sense of its versatility. It's like walking into a store where a friendly associate quickly shows you around and points out the must-see sections.
In the same welcome email, Notion includes a short, two-minute 'Get Started' video. This video gives you a quick tour of the platform and shows you the basics. It's a bite-sized, visual way to learn that respects your time and helps you get started quickly. It's like having a brief but effective tutorial that guides you through the key aspects of a new video game.
Templates for Quick Start:
One of Nation's strengths is its range of ready-to-use templates. Whether you're working on project management, note-taking, or creating a knowledge base, there's a template that you can use to get started immediately. For new users, these templates are an absolute boon. They offer a structured way to understand how to use the platform while providing immediate value
While we can all appreciate and learn from these incredible examples, creating an equally compelling user onboarding experience for your own SaaS product might seem like a daunting task. After all, designing a process that is both engaging and informative, tailored to your specific user needs and business goals, is no small feat.
That's where Inturact comes into play. We're a user onboarding agency specializing in helping B2B SaaS companies craft remarkable user onboarding experiences. We believe that every SaaS product has unique value to offer, and our mission is to help you convey that to your users right from the start.
With our expertise, we can help transform the first interaction your users have with your product into an unforgettable journey, much like the ones we've explored today. It's time to take your user onboarding from good to great. Ready to embark on this exciting journey? Let's start a conversation today.