Apps are like dates: first impressions are everything. If it’s not clear what your user needs to do to find that one playlist that’s going to rescue their house party, they’ll likely close your app. (And they may not open it again.)

Use onboarding to new users get acquainted with your app.

App onboarding is a short series of in-app messages a user sees when they open your app for the first time. The goal is to help these new users find their way around your app and articulate its core value.

Help new users find their way around your app with a series of in-app messages that they’ll see as soon as they log in for the first time. Show off what makes your app great: Key functionality and benefits, cool features, etc. By the end of the introduction, users should be clear on how to use your app to complete basic tasks like stream a video or find a relevant playlist.

App onboarding is especially important for media apps because it allows users to personalize their preferences so you’re able to serve them up the experiences they crave.

Spotify’s onboarding experience clearly depicts all of the benefits of using their app to music lovers, including the ability to customize your music experience:

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Audible’s app also does a great job at clearly depicting the great benefits of signing up, and even shows users how key functionality works so they can understand:

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PRO TIP: M/E apps tend not to end their onboarding experience with permission requests for push notifications or location like other industries do. Part of this is because many M/E apps (apart from some news apps) aren’t taking advantage of mobile marketing. This is a huge missed opportunity, as our research has found that push notifications increase engagement by 88%.

The permission request should match the look and feel of your app and explain the benefit the end user will receive if they opt-in. Including permission requests at the end of your app onboarding experiences boosts their likelihood of opting in since you have iterated what’s in it for them.