Designing user onboarding — Lessons from Figma, Duolingo, and more


Find out the common mistakes in designing onboarding and learn the secret sauce behind engaging onboarding from 20+ top tech companies.

Let’s look at how these popular brands and many others design onboarding
Let’s look at how these popular brands and many others design onboarding

Imagine you walk into a nice restaurant. The staff greets you with warmth and guides you to your table. But as soon as you sit down, they run away, leaving you alone, and you cannot even find them anymore.

Sounds odd?

Sadly, this is exactly how many product onboarding experiences look today — leaving users confused and unsure of what to do next, even when it comes to making a payment.

Onboarding is arguably the most important experience for any product, especially SaaS ones. According to a study from ProfitWell, onboarding directly impacts your product retention. They studied more than 500 companies and found that customers with a positive onboarding experience were 7.2% more likely to return to the product than those who weren’t satisfied. They also discovered that great onboarding leads to a higher willingness to pay, thus directly affecting your revenue.

Over the last two months, I’ve analyzed more than 20 onboarding flows from various industries and companies. Throughout this analysis, I identified several common mistakes that companies make, as well as observed how successful companies like Figma, Miro, Grammarly, Slack, Monzo, and many other leading tech companies have implemented their onboarding processes. Let’s look into these mistakes and uncover the secret sauce.

Before we explore what good onboarding looks like, let’s address the common issues with most onboarding today.

Mistake 1 — Onboarding ends too early

How many times have you signed up for a product, only to be bombarded with numerous tooltips at the beginning but then suddenly left in a desert with no more support?

An example is Sketch, the popular design prototyping tool before Figma dominated the market. After you fill in your personal information and sign up for an account, they navigate you to a dashboard


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