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I have a mobile app in a niche (bird management) where the average age of the user is ~40

The app requires the user to create data, which can at times be time-consuming (it's needed).

The churn rate is quite heavy, only about 45% of the users create enough data to see what the app is capable of, and some of them just log in and don't create anything at all.

I've tried many approaches from messaging, to email, and some interviews, but the information is not good enough. The consensus of some users is quite simply "I have too much data on my end I need to write, and I can't find the time", but then some other users were in the same situation but followed through.

My current assumption is that most people look at the amount of work needed on their end, and are unsure if the app will suit their needs. Unfortunately, I cannot undergo more interviews to clear this out.

In light of this, I am studying the possibility of creating an onboarding experience that can show the features of the app easily, but I need some help narrowing down my choices, or finding new ones.

Here's what I have at the moment:

  1. Video - A really small in-app video that just highlights the features. This one might take some time, and depending on future updates might require constant tuning.
  2. Swipe cards - The generic swipe onboarding experience with the feature highlights. I am afraid of having little real estate to have a clear statement on each feature, so I'd have to rely quite a lot on the used assets.
  3. Already-created sample data - The user already has pre-filled data, so they can already navigate through the app to see what it can do. If not done correctly I think it might just confuse the user into thinking he might have already logged into the app, or be confused as to why he already has data. I also took into account average age.

I'd love to hear any input, perhaps even any article linking or so, that could help me look at examples that I can base my self on.

I'm quite new to UX.

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    Just wanting to comment that onboarding is in many cases unnecessary and would raise the interaction cost to getting to the main features of your app. Check this Nielsen Norman Group article here: nngroup.com/articles/mobile-app-onboarding Feb 22, 2023 at 2:25

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my two cents focus on the user pain point rather than the onboarding options thanks for sharing your users feedback: "I have too much data on my end I need to write, and I can't find the time" these problem could be rewritten as Opportunities.

As a user I want just enough data to write So that i can understand the value.

You could break into steps the data that needs to be entered.

If this is feasable, test this concept in different ways and see what works best.

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  • Thank you, Giulio. I will attempt to test a way to make input quicker. Jan 29, 2023 at 16:13
  • I have read your problem again. You say that "the app require the user to enter data" how much data? Possibile to. Know? Can this be broken down into chuncks? You then say that 45% went on to see what the app is capable of. How much data is needed to prove its usefulness? If people are intimidated they have to wait too long to see the value. Bring that value sooner to the user.
    – Giulio
    Jan 29, 2023 at 16:38
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The onboarding likely isn't the problem here, the data entry is. For example, take a look at how Google Maps handles contributions: The vast majority of contributions you can make are single-action tasks, like:

  • Leave a review for this business
  • Is this business wheelchair accessible?
  • Are these opening times correct?
  • Share a picture of this place

On its own, this may be a somewhat inefficient way to fill out a very, very long database, but since for the user it's a 2 minute thing generally, it's easy to find these 2 minutes every day - or maybe even multiple times a day - and enter data. You can do the same breakup of a large, daunting task into smaller, fun and potentially even gamified tasks for your bird app.

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  • Nice example Google maps. Each location May need severa details but not all need to be asked to one person.
    – Giulio
    Jan 28, 2023 at 20:19
  • Hello Leo. Thank you for your reply. The data entry can be worked on, although it's smaller than most of my competitors, but as far as the interviews I've done so far it's not super clear it's an issue. Some people have like 500+ birds to input, and it's a given that they must do it, as some of them have it literally on pieces of paper, so no import data. Gamification is a cool option I hadn't thought of yet though. Jan 29, 2023 at 16:11
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    If your users have 500 birds on handwritten notes, the data entry is the main part of onboarding. No person wants to take a novel worth of notes and write them all again - especially not on a phone. If technically possible, a scan + OCR run may go a long way. If not, your best bet is going for people who are new to birding and don't yet have massive archives like this. Jan 29, 2023 at 17:59
  • Hello Leo. You are absolutely correct in your scan + OCR, and new people approach. Wonderful that you came to that conclusion, it's the same as mine. Given scanning is not so straightforward (they don't follow standards, and I need a whole bunch of examples), and reaching new people is actually hard (it's quite a closed niche), I turned to evaluating onboarding ideas that could help me test the assumption that I can win them over by showing what the app can do, before they do anything -- Do you understand my point of view? Jan 31, 2023 at 9:34
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My two cents on this would be to work on the offerings front too.

In your case, it would be a great thing to enable your users to hire a data entry guy to do the job possibly by integrating freelancing platforms like upwork on freelancer.com

For first time users: use "Lazy Registerations" I would say create a pre-populated dummy data to showcase the value of your product for the First time user. Once they know what they are gonna get they will be interested to invest time on data entry.

Hope this helps. !

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