User Onboarding: Patterns & Anti-Patterns

During my UX career I’ve had the opportunity to work on several new-to-the-world products, both for early-stage startups and established companies.

One lesson I’ve learned is that a well designed, thoughtful initial user experience – that is, the onboarding process – is critical to driving user adoption.

A few months back the Cleveland chapter of UXPA invited me to give a talk for their June meeting. I decided to gather up what I’ve learned about user onboarding into an hour+ presentation. Here’s what I covered:

  • What is onboarding?
  • Why is it so important?
  • A model for adoption and abandonment.
  • Onboarding principles, patterns, and some anti-patterns.

Below is an embed of the slides. However, since I actually showed some short video clips of product onboarding patterns, you may want to download the source Keynote file. It’s in my public Dropbox folder here. Feel free to download and enjoy.