This framework shows you how to onboard users with a simple three-step process.
Step 1: Write a scenario
This documents the feature, user type, and platform you want to onboard. Keep to a single answer per category to focus on individual tasks.
What feature are you onboarding?
Who are you onboarding to this feature? Consider new vs existing users, knowns vs unknowns, or even specific personas.
This feature may be available on multiple devices, but how you onboard on each may differ.
Step 2: Choose components
Once you have a scenario, determine the appropriate methods and choose the right components.
Pick the relevant methods:
Onboarding methods have different intensity levels:
Introduce a feature by interrupting a user's experience.
Point to a relevant feature during a user's experience.
Support understanding of a feature a user has discovered on their own.
Designers should collaborate with other teams to choose methods, considering different business perspectives. Teams can work together using our interactive method-picking tool to find the best method for each scenario.
Select appropriate components
Your method determines the most effective and appropriate components to use.
Use multiple methods
Use multiple methods to help users at different points in their journey.
A feature that allows users to customise their edition downloads. This feature is essential for app users, and a 'show' method (e.g. a welcome modal) may be an appropriate onboarding technique. However, it's also hard to find, so you could also use a 'prompt' method (e.g. a badge on the settings icon).
Step 3: Document rules
Once you've chosen your components, it's vital to document the logic and rules of your flow and where the flow fits in your broader onboarding experience. This reduces the risk of conflict and lets you manage what's being onboarded for each product and when.
Defining the rules
Ensure your user journeys are clear and logical. Ask yourself:
When should onboarding occur?
Where should it happen?
How long should it appear?
If a feature is unused in a specified period of time, it may be useful to remind the user of the feature. You can do this by repeating an onboarding component/technique.
Finally, consider onboarding within the wider user experience, particularly any other feature onboarding. All onboarding should be documented in the same place to reduce the risk of conflict.
Below is an example of onboarding the ‘article saving‘ feature in a mobile app: