First impressions matter. Whether it’s the moment you step out into Grand Central Terminal’s main hall, play your first game in virtual reality, or open software for the first time. Every first impression is a delicate balance of fulfillment, discovery, and retrospection.
Within the mobile app user flow, onboarding – those first few screens, animations, or videos – set the tone for not only the utility or objective of the app, but can also set the stage for a deeper connection with the user. Not every product will have the mind-blowing a-ha moment that, say, I had last week using the new HTC Vive (it’s VR, and it’s awesome), but every company can, and should, lay out the intentions and value of their products at their first engagement with a user. Even then, there’s still the possibility users won’t connect with it.
Doing research into the on-boarding process for one of our clients, SO many digital products wrongly assume users know the product backstory, all of its functions, and the opportunity for fun, utility, inspiration, productivity, fulfillment, or what else the product has to offer. This applies to every product or service, whether it’s a brand’s flagship retail store, the new pair of Jordans, that new co-working space in your neighborhood. People won’t stay loyal, much less evangelize around your product unless it’s something that either represents them or provides a real utility.
Perhaps, one of the best on boarding experiences we’ve come across is from the app Workflow. For those who’ve never used Workflow, it’s a robust way to connect and automate various apps by simply dragging and dropping actions into a workflow. It’s a relatively novel concept, and one that could quickly get confusing or overwhelming. The app’s onboarding, however, not only teaches how to create a workflow, but takes the opportunity to link the Camera app.
Turning a set of three photos into a GIF is likely one of the coolest workflows available, and also a problem that remains unsolved on mobile. Sure, some users will never use the Photo-to-GIF workflow, but they’ll likely take some pleasure in having created a GIF in seconds.
The post on boarding screen is no less intuitive. Aware of the endless possibilities of workflows to be created, the Home screen offers a ‘Gallery’ view of the most popular workflow people use. This content strategy for discovery allows users to browse, see what new workflows are available, and play around with new and funky automations.
Great job, Workflow. You guys get onboarding.