When people start using your product, provide them a simple task to get started with. Payment app Wise present you with four distinct options, asking you "What would you like to do now?"
Where in your onboarding can you give people a small task to get started with?
For content-heavy platforms, allow new members to select from a range of pre-chosen categories, making their experience immediately personal and subject to less analysis paralysis. e.g Automation tool IFTTT provides you a set of pre-defined automation 'Recipes' to collect instead of making your own from scratch.
How might you allow people to tailor or fast-track their experiences by choosing only what matters to them?
Create a positive surprise towards the end of your onboarding process, celebrating task completion and providing clarity that they're good to go. For instance, messaging app Intercom provide a colourful blast of confetti once you've finished a learning sequence.
How can you leave people feeling great upon key milestones of your onboarding?
We learn better when information is spaced out over time and across context, so take the pressure off shoe-horning everything in within the first experience.
How instead can you space out what is to be learnt over time? Over what period? Consider repeating important learnings.
Too much info, tasks and expectations will simply overwhelm, turning first impressions into worst impressions.
What is the shortest possible onboarding you can provide that gets people started? Cut all non-essential steps and information.
When faced with a new environment, we look for support as to the right choices. Help people get set up with well-designed default choices.
Where in your onboarding can you offer meaningful defaults to encourage 'good' behaviour or to simplify the onboarding process?
Wrapping up a series of tasks into a compelling narrative can help us navigate any complexity or disinterest with the onboarding process itself.
Where can you help guide newcomers with simple stories from existing users to provide clarity, relatability and inspiration?
Providing a clear reminder as to the whole point of onboarding can motivate us to complete it. Duolingo do a great job here, teaching you a little of your chosen language *before* you finish signing up.
What are the high level goals of your onboarding experience? How can you surface these aspirational outcomes to help onboarders better imagine their futures and do the work now to get there?
Providing the the right level of choice at the right time is delicate balance. Be careful of how many sets of choices you offer to people to curate their experiences.
Could some choices be constrained or left out of the initial onboarding? Going further, do they need to be any part of it at all?
We're desperate to be told we're on the right track, and respond well to feedback telling us so.
Where in your onboarding can you provide clear feedback that "I've got this", particularly early on or for more complicated tasks?
Task completion lies at the core of onboarding, so showing that onboarders are already on their way will compel them to complete the entire process.
Where's the earliest point you can make people they've already started onboarding, visually showing this progress on-screen?
We're often motivated by closing down information gaps, and this could be put to good use during onboarding processes.
How can you trigger a sense of curiosity within your onboarding process to motivate completion and trigger that satisfying "aha!" moment?
Allowing people to select their own aims is a great way of providing long-lasting accountability and a more tailored onboarding experience. Duolingo do a great job here by asking you to set a daily goal.
Where can you allow people to set their own commitments within your onboarding experience?
Onboarding processes ask us to complete a series of tasks, of numerous sizes and complexities, so it's natural that we'll not complete every part of the onboarding process.
If this is the case, how can you highlight "just how close" users are to finishing within your interface of follow-up comms? Emphasise the minimal effort and the maximal gain of completing the next task.
Our sense of self bleeds into what we own. Foster a sense of personal ownership within the onboarding process from early on to create a strong desire to motivate completion and fully own the experience.
Where can you turn a generic process into a personal one? Even subtleties like framing progress through the user's name will help.