So if you can imagine a dating app, the essentials are stuff like: gender, location, age, name, a photo

Then say you have some optional fields that are pretty useful such as "looking for" - their purpose for using the app.

And then say you have 20 other fields which are nice to have, but not need to have: religion, politics, languages, diet, relationship type/status, etc.

If you make the user fill them out during onboarding, well then onboarding gets kinda long and becomes a pain. If you keep it short with the just the essentials, then you end up with many minimal profiles e.g. people who just uploaded a photo, didn't fill out their bio, and left it at that.

What do you suggest?

2 Answers 2


The less friction you can put in front a user who wants to register with your site, the better. If your onboarding process is too complex, you will lose users.

I would get the user signed up with the absolute minimum of information necessary, then maybe on subsequent visits give them reminders to fill in the rest of the data. For example, "If you are not getting the matches you were hoping for, it may be because you have not fully filled out your profile. Go here <> to finish your profile."

If it's really important for the proper functioning of the app for the user, you could even put up a flag in a status bar that says something like ("! Incomplete User Application").

The key is to figure out which properties are actually necessary and which ones aren't. If a missing 'nice to have' means that the user's match rate will drop by 80%, then maybe that's a must-have.

If you really want to prod the user to fill in the rest of the data, you could tell them what they are missing when they search for matches: "5 results found. Note: The lack of a 'relationship status' property in your user record caused the rejection of 26 other people who may have matched your criterion. Click here <> to correct."


Maybe you could use a little gamification.

First, you have the user sign up only with the essential info, so that they don't leave the platform before having finished to sign up.

Then, you can encourage them to complete the missing info after they created the account.

Option A: give the user points for completing sections. This however makes sense only if the user can "spend" the points for extra features or other benefits.

Option B: give the user a badge. You would then need to display a list of the badges so that the user knows what they have to do to "catch them all".

Option C: when opening the profile, the user can see a bar with the percentage of completion of their profile. Seeing the incomplete bar will urge the users to fill up all of the fields. Linkedin and BlaBlaCar both have this concept and they encourage you to complete your profile to gain "maximum efficacy".

(For this topic, I highly recommend reading "Designing Social Interfaces" by Crumlish and Malone)

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