How to Increase User Retention with Mobile App Onboarding

User Retention with Mobile App

Several mobile applications are developed each day, however only a few become successful in grabbing user’s attention. Mobile app development companies fail to understand the reason behind the increased rate of mobile app abandon. Mobile applications that focus on the external features but lack holding user retention face difficulties in holding users for long-run and eventually end up with a reduced number of customers. Success lies within the customer onboarding experience making a mobile application reaching the top place in the market giving a tough competition. If customer onboarding is made the center of attention, it will not only increase user retention but will facilitate business with lifetime user value.

There are several components that need to be considered, this article describes the best practices to create an effective mobile app onboarding experience to increase user retention.

Build the Path of Least Resistance

User onboarding is much more than just attracting visitors with a welcome message, it needs to be easy and instinctive. Users tend to abandon an app if the most critical features like user-interface, login screen and navigation are too complex for users to understand. You need to build a path that has the least resistance increasing user retention rates. Your app should overload the user’s brain power with multiple extra functionalities all over the app. Instead, keep it simple and provide users what is more important and only the irrelevant and absorbable information. Deduct mobile app features which aren’t useful or too complicated and integrate minimalistic mobile app’s onboarding interface.

Reduce Sign-Up/Log-In Fields

Since mobile screen sizes are smaller, you must consider the form that perfectly goes with the size and design. Using lengthy forms may impact user onboarding negatively, thus using a single form for sign up or log-in will be ideal. However, some apps may have exceptional cases where they require more information. Whereas, if your app needs basic login or signup information, remember to keep it easy with a reduced number of fields. Log in or sign up options may frustrate users, therefore practice best approaches to increase user retention by simplifying their experience. You can provide input masks, implement smart features, dynamically validate values or add customization to the keyboard.

Give Feedback Quickly

Feedback plays an important role in mobile app onboarding and serves in multiple ways. Feedbacks can tell users that their entered password isn’t able to meet the criteria along with the explained reason. For this purpose, errors notifications are generated which should give a clear understanding to the users. It helps in reduction of app failure making the navigation easy and interesting for the users. Error handling holds a major position in UX as it directly affects user retention rate. The in-app error message that isn’t clear causes users to freak out and abandon the app. Explain to users what’s wrong in understandable language mentioning the steps to overcome the problem.


Use Guided Interaction to Drive Progress

For successful progressive onboarding, provide users with a guided interaction that not only engages them but makes the discovery process fun. You should provide a step to step guide telling users what to do, they don’t love being taken as a child but rather provide the opportunity to explore the app. Make them familiar with the important features and leave the rest as a mystery to be solved, remember not to make it complex. Instead of using lengthy tutorials keep them slight hints hidden in functionality to generate their interest in the app. Integrate a discovery process without your app with the option of exploration to increase user retention.

Use Animation Purposefully

Animations are always successful in gaining user’s attention which may attract them towards something undiscovered. Through animation user’s onboarding experience would be made interesting, drawing them towards the most important elements. You may use animations for feedback purposes, as this will leave a positive impact instead of making them frustrated through error messages. Animations are a great way to convey the message in an effective way, grabbing the user’s attention for the long-term. You can present new content without giving a feeling of leaving the current screen. Be careful while using animations as it may also irritate the user. Keep a mobile application development services purpose in mind while integrating within the app.


The customer onboarding experience is a key contributor to increasing retention rates of the mobile application. This component is often not given much attention that affects user retention rate taking the app towards failure. In order to increase user retention, you should apply effective practices into your mobile application to provide user seamless in-app experience. It includes design components with reduced complexity and more minimalistic approach, quick feedback, customer delight, using purposeful animations and adding a great deal of value.


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