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Using web stories for user onboarding

Not sure how to familiarise people with your app? Then learn the benefits of using web stories for user onboarding.

It is never easy to design a good app. Not only do you need to pick the right features and incorporate suitable visual elements. But you also need to carefully consider how users will experience your app. No clever features or slick design can aid you if users don't find your app easy to understand and use. This is why it is paramount that you carefully consider the UX aspect of your app, and ensure that it is top-notch. To help you in this regard, we will explore using web stories for user onboarding and why doing so can be surprisingly effective.

Different ways of using web stories for user onboarding

Web stories are a type of content that heavily relies on visual elements. As such, they can be surprisingly effective in improving user onboarding and addressing various issues that it might face. The key thing is to understand what user onboarding entails for your app. Once onboarding is done right, it is easy to appreciate how valuable it is for overall app success.

Smooth transition from web to app

The first major hurdle app designers have to tackle is how to get people to view their app. Yes, you can have ads regarding your app. Push content that highlights its use. And even provide incentives to users for installing the app. But, while these are useful, they tend to be superficial. An important way to drive users to your app is to make full use of their interests.

A girl looking at her phone with interest.
It is always a good idea to make use of current user interest to begin the onboarding process.

Let's say that you have a user reading one of your blog posts. They were interested in a certain subject, and they've found that your blog post covers it well. By the middle of the post, they should be fairly interested in what it has to say, and what recommendations you have for it. Well, this is the ideal time to recommend your app to them. You can do this through a hyperlink, or you can place an interactive image. But, what we recommend is that you use web stories. Through a short web story, you can connect the content of the blog post, with the usability of your app. Therefore, you can make full use of the ongoing attention of your user, and point that attention to your app.

Keep in mind that web stories can have interactive elements. Therefore, your user can be installing your app within a click or two. Mind you, we don't mean to say that web stories can replace other methods of app promotion. We only wish to outline that they can be surprisingly useful as a brief explanation of what your app provides, and how your users can install and use them.

Presenting important info

When your users are inside your app, you can effectively use web stories to present important info. This is one of the main ways of using web stories for user onboarding as web stories are terrific in capturing the viewer's attention. Through a web story, you can effectively explain a certain aspect of your app, and how it can serve the user. Discounts, updates and design changes are all vital info. And hoping that the viewer will read updated notes, or even discount offers is wishful thinking. Pop-up notifications will capture the viewer's attention. But, they will often be seen as intrusive and annoying. Instead, use in-app web stories to present important information and rest easy that your viewers will view it.

People working on using web stories for user onboarding.
When it comes to using web stories for user onboarding you need to carefully pick which info you will present and when.


An easy-to-follow tutorial

Sometimes a simple info dump might not be enough to get the message across. Complex systems within apps often require tutorials so that your users can understand what you want them to do. Fortunately, even in this regard, web stories have you covered.

Keep in mind that web stories can contain both animations and video content. As such, you can implement easy explanations for various aspects of your app. Knowing how to create tutorials and space out important information is crucial. But, once you get a hang of it, you'll see that web stories hold terrific potential for onboarding. Whatever aspect of your app your users find confusing, you can look to explain and elaborate. What we recommend is to make your tutorials as interactive as possible. People tend to learn more from doing than from viewing. This is why interactive content is far more effective in teaching people, than simple passive content. A well-placed, well-made tutorial can do wonders for app onboarding.

A programmer working on interactive content.
Interactive content is especially useful for onboarding, as it most effectively teaches users how to navigate your app.

Also, don't make your tutorials too long. No matter how interesting, and well-made your stories are, they should serve to point your users to your app. The longer the tutorial lasts, the more you risk them getting disinterested in the app itself. So, try to make your tutorial only as long as they need to be.

Relying on visual information

The great thing about web stories is that they rely heavily on visual content. Even the written content that you integrate into them needs to have some form of visual content to rest upon. This combination of written content and visual content (or visual content on its own) makes for a terrific template for onboarding. Through visual storytelling, web stories can guide users through your app. They can showcase various aspects of it, and explain complex systems. And seeing that the visual content in web stories is often animated, they stand as a great place for animated content as well.

Final thoughts

User onboarding is a complex subject that is, by no means, solved by using web stories. The only way of using web stories for user onboarding is to first understand what it is all about. This entail tracking the user behaviour on your app. Testing the app with people that had nothing to do with its creation (beta testing). And seeing whether your onboarding efforts have the desired effect. The fact that web stories are attention-grabbing, visually based and easily incorporate interactive content makes them great for onboarding. But, it is paramount that you understand what your users go through, and what they might fail to appreciate or understand about your app.

A visual representation of people tackling onboarding.
Don't expect that you will tackle user onboarding in one go.


Also, keep in mind that user onboarding starts before the user installs your app. You should explain the app systems before recommending the app to the user, and outline how using the app will benefit them. Even in this regard, web stories can be of use, as they can easily show app screens and how they are utilized. All in all, web stories are a powerful tool with great onboarding potential. Not to mention that through StorifyMe stories are incredibly easy to create. The only obstacle is how well you understand your app, and how creative you will be with web story usage.

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