Onboarding and Education Strategies

Onboarding and Education

Who: These are users new to your product that have little to no knowledge of how it works and how to accomplish their goals.

Content: Your main content will be educational Flows, tours, and Checklists.

Completion: Onboarding is often fairly linear and there will be a final flow to complete, or a user will have completed all your onboarding flows. At this point they move on to the next stage.


The goal of this stage is for the user to realize value in your application as quickly as possible and with little friction. They should reach one or multiple “aha moments” with little time or effort.

What is success?

This is more a question around what makes your customer successful than what makes you successful (the latter is likely pretty clear). Here are a few questions for brainstorming content to build and how to prioritize them.

  • What are the 3 to 5 things a user absolutely needs to know how to do to realize any value? 
  • What are the top few things users are looking to do when they log in (especially for the first couple times)? You should work to align your content with their goals.
  • Of those, what order makes the most sense for learning? Either by priority/importance or foundational items first.
  • How obvious/complicated are the onboarding tasks as they currently stand? This will help inform how prescriptive your Flows should be.

Take some time to find answers to these questions. Having data insights here can be helpful as well, such as “which activities do successful companies/users do regularly?”

Building content

If you have a clear vision for the content you’d like to build and priorities there are resources in this Getting Started section for building Flows and targeting users. If you’d like some help, below is a prescriptive outline for creating an onboarding experience.

  1. Welcome
    • A personalized welcome message is a great way to set the tone for the rest of your relationship with a customer.
    • Go to the “Welcome Modal” example to get started.
  2. Tour
    • A tour is especially helpful if a user would otherwise start on a page without any direction or orientation.
    • The goal here is to quickly introduce a user to the main features of the application, not give an exhaustive walkthrough of the entire product.
    • Think back to the questions above and show just a couple of the top items.
    • Go to the “Product Tour” example to get started.
  3. Teach
    • Again, think about the questions above. Is there one thing virtually everyone wants to (and should) do their first time in the application? Do you need knowledge of one feature to be able to be successful with another?
    • Pick a task a user should learn and let’s build a flow to show them how to use it.
    • Go to the “Step-by-Step Educational” example to get started.
    • You can create more than one of these and have them show based on certain criteria you choose.
    • Once you have multiple flows up and running you can compile them into a Checklist.
  4. Nudge
    • There’s a balance between walking your users through everything, letting them explore, and making sure they learn/do everything that will get them to value.
    • A lifecycle nudge helps users complete necessary tasks if they haven’t already done so on their own.
    • Go to the “Lifecycle Nudge” example to get started.
    • You can create multiples of these as well if it makes sense.

Looking for something more in depth? We have that. Check out our User Onboarding Academy.