5 Apps with the Best User Onboarding Flow


Your team knows the best of your mobile app; they know every screen, every inch, and what value it brings at maximum. Yet, you have only seconds to tell those values to a first-time user. In fact, 20% of users abandon apps within 30 seconds, and 1 of every 4 users doesn’t come back to an app after their first use. These statistics put high pressure on how your user onboarding flows. We previously discussed user onboarding lessons with examples from Microsoft’s Clippy (a total pop up nightmare), LinkedIn, Slack, and Reddit. We will continue by providing examples of the best user onboarding flows. 



Evernote is a note-taking app that helps users organize, manage, and archive ideas, projects, to-do lists, etc. When you first launch the app, the screen above welcomes you with an eye-catching Evernote green CTA.

After creating an account with an e-mail and password, Evernote invites you to try Evernote Premium for free. Continuing with the basic version, Evernote onboarding flows to show the app’s functionalities and the benefits for you.

Image: UX Cam

Evernote encourages you to try the features during the first steps of the onboarding process. By clicking through these processes, you discover the new functionalities and benefits of Evernote. One of the functionalities is scanning documents, and Evernote asks for permission to access your camera. A permission request for an app is often tricky, yet Evernote serves it successfully by clearly explaining why it needs this permission.

It is certain that some users just skip the slides and directly start using the app. Evernote 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.



Calm is an award-winning meditation app that helps users experience better sleep, lower stress, and less anxiety. The splash screen 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 you can skip this screen. On this page, Calm also asks for push notification permission. 

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


If you decide to create an account, Calm mentions the value of creating an account. Yet, you can cancel this process and continue without creating an account. 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 you 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 in their life.



Strava is a social networking platform for athletes and cyclists to track their runs and rides through GPS. When you first launch the app, it asks you to either login or to create an account through Facebook, Google, Apple, or e-mail.

Image: UX Cam

After you create a basic profile, Strava asks whether it can contact you via e-mail about your stats, tips, updates, and stories from the community by explaining clearly with an eye-catching Strava orange Yes button. 

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



Image: Appcues

Duolingo is one of the most popular platforms for language-learning. Its onboarding is a gradual one that firsts encourages you to try the app and then sign up. The onboarding flow leads the user through choosing a language, quick translation exercises, etc. before asking users to commit.


This user experience strategy is Duolingo’s one of the smartest moves because it allows users to experience how easy it is to learn a language on Duolingo. After a user decides to create an account, the process is quite fast too, only 3 steps of providing name, e-mail, and password that you can follow with a progress bar at the of the screen.  

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

Image: Usability Geek


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.


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, etc. It onboards users by using in-app permanent stories, which allows them to revisit whenever they need. Without educating users on how to use stories thanks to wide usage on Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media platforms, Kahve Dünyası benefits by using stories as an onboarding element.  

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


First impressions matter, and you get only one chance. However, user onboarding is a continuous process and doesn’t stop when the user signs up or logs in. The above apps are great examples of how user-centric onboarding should be. By being well-structured and informative (Evernote), minimalistic and tidy (Calm), transparent and clear (Strava), by providing hands-on experience (Duolingo), by showing the value for personalization (Fitbit) and with its interactive, fresh yet familiar stories (Kahve Dünyası). All show the importance of a seamless onboarding experience with their success.

Want to know more about how you can use stories in your app? Check Storyly.

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