Peter Peter - Founder, UserActive

User Onboarding: 3 Useful Interface Elements For Your Software

User Onboarding

The first impression of your software is often the most important experience new users will have with your product. In this post, we’ll discuss 3 elements you can use to improve your user onboarding process.

Making Your Users Feel At Home

Imagine the following scenario. You enter a hotel and your first impression is just fantastic. The hotel staff welcome you, take your bags and explain what you can expect from your stay. They tell you about what you can do during your visit, the facilities and events, and they show you where everything is. This kind of welcome makes hotel visitors feel special. If you can welcome users into your product in a similar manner, you’re going to make a good lasting impression.

Let’s consider the opposite. What happens when you visit a really lousy hotel? Well, you immediately think, this is not what I hoped and it’s not likely that you’re going to come back! So, how can you avoid giving your users that experience? Here are 3 powerful elements you can add to your product to make onboarding memorable and set a great first impression for new users.

1. New User Orientation

Firstly, you can welcome your new user into your product and provide them with some context around what your product does. What are the key features? Which features represent the greatest value? As a user, what can they expect from your product? One way we often design this is by using an overlay or a pop-up containing three to five slides. Embedded in that pop-up you may have a welcome video and you can also add a few slides to introduce the main features.

You want to highlight your key value features and bring them to the front and centre so that your new users know where to find them and how to use them, right from the outset. We’ve seen many products where value features are hidden away and they’re not shown during the orientation… that’s something you want to avoid!

New user orientation

2. Present a User Onboarding Checklist

Secondly, you can provide an onboarding checklist. We really like onboarding checklists because they help users work through the key features and value areas in your product, guiding them through the process. When done correctly, the product reminds users to complete their setup and explore features they may not be aware of. Essentially, you’re giving users that extra encouragement to interact with these elements. That way, you’re able to guide them through the product adoption process.

User onboarding checklist

3. Provide a Walkthrough

The third element you can use is a walkthrough. You can even embed a walkthrough into your checklist as one of the checklist items. Walkthroughs can take place in a number of different areas in your product and at a number of different moments in the user’s lifecycle. It doesn’t just have to be that very first time they log in. For instance, during a walkthrough, you want to be showing navigation, where things are, how to interact with features and how to perform tasks. A really good walkthrough takes your user through a task and leads them to the desired outcome.

User onboarding walkthrough
An onboarding walkthrough designed for Adeptly

A great example of a walkthrough is Adeptly, an enterprise platform for learning and development. In Adeptly’s game authoring feature users can create games, provide options and game decisions. Taking the user through that process to create a game, showing how to set it up, publish it and share the game is a great example of how a walkthrough can be really helpful. By providing a walkthrough, you allow users to perform complex tasks for the first time and guarantee that they get through the process easier to reach their desired outcome.

Need Help With User Onboarding?

We’ve designed user onboarding processes for many SaaS companies and if this is something you need help with or if you need a custom-designed onboarding process that’s unique to your product, get in touch with us via our website at and we would be honoured to help you. In the meantime, we hope this post has helped you to review your onboarding in order to improve your product, get more users and grow!

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