Onboarding new users after a redesign — Tips and techniques

After a redesign of a big website or app, figuring out how to best onboard new users always comes into question. The technique used to onboard can leave a lasting first impression on the user which makes it crucial to be executed correctly. There are different techniques that can be used with different kinds of redesigns and users. Think of onboarding as educating the user while also retaining them. You want them to know that it will benefit them from the get-go. Onboarding can be implemented in various ways. Here are some techniques and tips to keep in mind:


  • Create how-to graphics highlighting new features to look for that users can swipe through quickly
    • Use for common usage instructions that might already be known to most
    • Use small snippets of information with consistent brand style (short and concise)
  • Walk user through a feature
    • This can be done to quickly show a user how to do a simple task
  • Suggest best practices to users
  • Gather user information by asking to connect to social profile upon entering
    • This technique works best with apps
  • Go through a sign-up process with user while gathering data on user preferences
    • Collects data and teaches the user how to interact with the platform
  • Explain 2-3 core benefits or functions and how to achieve those


  • Consider the audience of the website/application
    • How did they use it previously
    • How will they want to use it
    • Is the target user accepting of change
  • Conduct user testing – link to usability testing blog.
  • Keep information limited – don’t want to get in the way of customer using the website/application
    • Keep the onboarding process short, around 2 – 4 steps
  • Avoid guided tutorials — if you have to hand hold your user on their first visit, you did not build with UX in mind

These tips and techniques should help to make the onboarding process more clear. Onboarding a new user plays a big part in a website redesign. The users’ first impression could determine whether the site will be used in the future. Skipping this step could lead to major user experience issues that all designers try to avoid.