5 Apps with the Best User Onboarding Flow

Your team knows your mobile app very well; they know every screen, every inch, and what value it brings at maximum. Yet, you have only a few seconds to tell those values to a first-time user. In fact, 20% of users abandon apps within 30 seconds, and one of every four users doesn’t come back to an app after the first use. These statistics, combined with the fact that you have only one chance for a great first impression, put high pressure on app owners.

It is always good to learn from the ones nailing it. So, we compiled the best app onboarding examples that will certainly inspire you.

1) Evernote


Evernote is a note-taking app that helps users organize, manage, and archive ideas, projects, to-do lists, etc. It is one of the apps that certainly know how to onboard users.

When users launch the app for the first time, a screen as in the image above welcomes them with an eye-catching Evernote green CTA. After creating an account with an e-mail and password, Evernote invites them to try the premium package for free. If they choose to continue with the basic version, the Evernote onboarding flow starts to show them the app’s functionalities and benefits.

Image: UX Cam

One critical issue about onboarding flows: You need to introduce as many features as you can. However, you should also avoid wearing the users with too much information that causes them to feel lost and leave the app. There must be a balance. Hence, Evernote introduces its most important features first in a way to encourage the users to take these core actions. While clicking through these processes, users learn about the value that Evernote will bring to their lives.

Another tricky issue about mobile user onboarding is permission requests. If you ask for too many permissions all at once at the very beginning, users will probably have some trust issues. It is important to rationalize why this app needs such permission or access. Here comes another great app onboarding experience by Evernote: The app has a feature of scanning documents. It needs to access the device camera, however. Evernote asks for permission successfully by clearly explaining why it is needed in the first place.


It is certain that some users just skip the slides and directly start using the app. However, this may cause them to not know some fantastic features at all. to avoid that possibility, Evernote, as a progressive onboarding example, also provides information while users are using the app. It has a quick, progressive onboarding part explaining functionalities for the users who need more information.

In the end, Evernote’s user-centric onboarding flow is a bit long, yet well-structured and informative.

2) Calm


Calm is an award-winning meditation app that helps users experience better sleep, lower stress, and less anxiety. It also smoothes the first entrance to the app with a well-designed onboarding flow.

The splash screen that appears in the beginning says it all: “Take a deep breath.” After this splash screen, Calm smoothly transitions to a screen where the users set their goals, such as reducing anxiety or stress, having better sleep, etc. Multiple selections are possible or users can skip this screen. On this page, Calm also asks for push notification permission.

After the selection, there comes the login/sign-up screen where one can also use your Facebook account.


In the Calm meditation app, it is possible to continue without creating an account. However, the app emphasizes the benefits of having an account while using the app. This is actually great in terms of user onboarding best practices.

After you create an account or not, Calm serves two interstitials between account creation (or not) and the home screen. The first one is an offer as a list of features to unlock the full version with a seven-day trial period. The second interstitial is a prompt to enable Calm notifications.

Calm provides users with a minimalistic user interface where one wouldn’t find many buttons and options. Clear in-app tutorials guide users to complete desired actions. While getting onboarded, Calm users discover the value the app brings to their life.

3) Strava


Strava is a social networking platform for athletes and cyclists to track their runs and rides through GPS. When users first launch the app, it asks them to either log in or create an account through Facebook, Google, Apple, or e-mail. This is usually a crucial part of the elements of user onboarding.

After a user creates a basic profile, Strava asks for permission to contact them via e-mail about your stats, tips, updates, and stories from the community. If you wish to know how to improve user onboarding flow in your app in a way to maximize permission opt-ins, this is great: A clear explanation and the eye-catching Strava orange Yes button. 

After various permissions for the data record, location access, etc., Strava simply asks users which sports they are performing. With its tidy, clear, and simple user interface, Strava creates a good onboarding experience for users.

4) Duolingo


Duolingo is one of the most popular platforms for language learning. And product onboarding is particularly important for educational apps since users might need more encouragement and motivation along the journey of learning.

Onboarding flow on Duolingo is a gradual one that firsts encourages people to try the app and then sign up. First, users are asked to choose a language. Then, they start with simple and quick exercises in their language of preference. Only after that brief tutorial, they are asked to commit by creating an account.

This user experience strategy is Duolingo’s one of the smartest moves because it allows users to see how easy it is to learn a language on Duolingo. Hence, Duolingo ranks among the apps with the best user onboarding experiences.

After a user decides to create an account, the process takes place quite fast. It takes only 3 steps -providing name, e-mail, and password. And users can follow all processes with a progress bar on the screen.

By allowing users to engage with the app gradually, Duolingo eliminates the frustration that registration may cause.

5) Fitbit

Image: UX Planet

Fitbit is a personalized activity tracker that users can use to set and manage goals, track their sleep time, heart rates, workouts, etc. On its first screen, the Fitbit app shows the value that it provides with a walkthrough. Fitbit is a highly personalized app; that’s why the onboarding process requires the app to gather information about the user.


After collecting this information, Fitbit creates a personalized dashboard displaying statistics with steps, kilometers, and kcals. Overall, Fitbit makes a great job by rationalizing permission opt-ins and ensuring a personalized experience in the app through collecting user data. This whole process relies on successful onboarding on mobile.

Bonus: Kahve Dünyası


Kahve Dünyası is a Turkish coffee chain, and it has an app to provide its users with special campaigns, sales promotions, store locations. The app is a great illustration of utilizing Storyly as a user onboarding tool. Do you wonder how? Kahve Dünyası has created a permanent story group offering, which allows them to revisit whenever they need. Through these pinned stories, they offered an app guide to newcomers. Without educating users on how to use stories thanks to wide usage on Snapchat or Instagram, Kahve dünyası benefits from stories as an onboarding element.  

If you want to discover how you can use stories in your app too, make sure to check Storyly.

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