I work on a fitness and recovery app which has an on-boarding process which requires the user to position 2 sensors on his body and pay attention to some small tasks on the screen (like put the sensors on your body now and press "I am ready" when done).

In turn, the users mindlessly press next without reading. The screens look like this Screenshot

There's a small instruction and a video displaying how to position the sensor or strand the strap. We put emphasis on the large video as a large part of our user base are elders - videos works better than reading when they have eye problems.

As most of the tasks in a screen take at least 15 seconds to complete, would displaying a popup with a message (We don't think you properly read what you have to do) if the user pressed next under 10-15 seconds?

To not annoy the user in the long run, we can only show the popup only the first 3 times the user goes through the flow, as after that he will get used to the steps and may prepare in advance for them and be faster.

Are there other known solutions to dealing with lack of attention in an on-boarding process?

  • 2
    Is there any way you could get the "sensor" to feed back to the app to determine if they have been attached to anything? Regardless of wether they are attached correctly, you could use this to stop the "next" button from appearing on the screen until the user has taken the action of attaching the "sensor" to some body part - This, in itself, may be enough to force the user to pay attention to when they need to place the sensor as, without it, they will not be able to continue. Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 8:19
  • @AndrewMartin Unfortunately no. There's no way for us to know whether the sensors have been placed before the user interacts with them - or if they have the straps attached and so on.
    – Darkkz
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 8:53
  • 1
    Be very careful about annoying the users who are the most enthusiastic and vocal about your product. Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 17:20
  • Unless the preparation process is much more involved, your user could have positioned her sensors before she even opened the app. It's usually best to check for features anyway: as your app needs to read the sensors runtime, make it check the sensors as part of the set-up. If you call it calibration, she won't even mind making a few movements to confirm all is well connected.
    – Xano
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 20:23
  • Will this be a regular task for these users? Is it possible for them to know already what the steps will be? Will they eventually learn and predict the steps? If so, might it ever be the case that they have already completed all of the steps? Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 21:43

3 Answers 3


It is usually a good idea to disable the Next button until a require activity has been completed. You know your users can't complete the activity in less than 15 seconds. I will propose then to disable the next button for 15 seconds. Write on the disabled button a message like "watch instruction first".

  • This is similar to what have I thought and it seems like the best option. I just wanted to reach a general consensus whether this is a good solution or not. As far as things go, it seems like only solution. Curious if apps from outside this sphere use the same technique for retaining attention (what method does google use throughout their apps, for example?).
    – Darkkz
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 13:31
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    Does the video show only to a user first time he/she is using this app? If not then you must check if user can't make it faster than 15 seconds. Oculus force their users to watch safety video before they can acknowledge the health and safety warnings.
    – Ada
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 13:47
  • These screens are somehow mandatory - that means the user will go through them even after 2 months of using the app. There's an idea in which to shorten the flow once a user gets accustomed with on-boarding.. Back to your question, yes, the user will see these screens (and in turn the videos) regardless of how long did he used the app. And yes, there's a chance later on that the user may prepare before hand therefore being ready in less than 15 seconds. That's why I wanted to display that popup only during the user's first 3 onboardings.
    – Darkkz
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 8:41

Provide two (equal-weight) buttons: "Straps fitted OK" and "Show me how". Then you have no tempting "Next" button and new users are made aware that the video is relevant.

  • 1
    A very interesting approach that I have not considered. While two buttons seems like a good idea — because it presents the user a choice and it stops him from race-pressing next — in the example displayed in the initial post we explain to the user from the get go how to complete the action he is facing (i.e. how to strand the straps of the sensor). The green box called video in the example, that's what it does, hosts a video in which the user can see what he's supposed to do. I feel like adding a "show me how" hits redundancy with the video already being displayed.
    – Darkkz
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 8:36

If at all possible see if the sensors can send back a feedback when it is attached to the body, and that prompts the next automatically. This is the same as entering your credit details on purchase where you don't have to prompt next when you've finished typing the 16 digit card number and it automatically goes to the Expiry date or CVV Number.

If you were to disable a button, I would suggest check the average time a user takes to put on the sensor and then make it visually clear that its ready to take the user to the next step, but make sure you do indicate to why it is disabled as it would be visually unclear that why as a user who takes less time to put on the sensors waiting for the Next to be enabled after X amount of time.

  • While definitely this is the best approach, we do not support body proximity sensors on the sensors. At least not in this version of hardware. This have to be solved strictly from a design point of view.
    – Darkkz
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 8:32

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